Narasinga Rao Parwathavani is one of the most famous Kannada playwrights. He won the Sangeet Natak Academy Award for Play Writing in 1980.
His Early Life and Career
Parwathavani was born in 1911 in the Dharmapuri District, Tamil Nadu. He worked in the forest Department of Mysore after graduating from Mysore University. He had always been interested in theatre and by the year 1939, he became a well known actor, playing roles like those of Kabir and Krishna. This was also the time he began writing plays. He also wrote and acted in radio plays.
His Plays and Work
Narasinga Rao Parwathavani, who began writing in 1939, went on to publish more than 80 plays. He also adapted many plays by western writers like Shakespeare, Gorky, Chekov, Moliere and Gogol, which were staged in various places in Karnataka. Parwathavani’s original plays mainly reworked mythological themes or presented episodes from the lives of famous historical personalities like Purandara Dasa.
In the play Kichaka, Parwathavani presented the character of Kichaka in a somewhat different light. In the Mahabharata, Kichaka was mainly a negative character, whereas in Parwathavani’s play, he was presented as a noble character who was forced by fate into a path of destruction.
For this play, Parwathavani used not only the original Mahabharatha story but also derived from the works of Kumarvyasa’s Kannada Mahabharata, the Sanskrit playwright Bhasa and another Kannada playwright Kallasam.
His play Mukuti Muguti (the nose jewel of Mukthi) presented an episode in the life of the Kannada poet-saint Purandara Dasa. He also wrote farces and comedies – Meena Maduve, Goggayya and Jenugundu.
A book of his collected pays was published in 1971. His works reveal a keen insight into the life of the middle class of his time and also his gift for satire. Narasinga Rao Parwathavani is one of Kannada’s most popular playwrights whose works gave impetus to the growth of modern Kannada theatre. He won the Sangeet Natak Academy Award for Drama in 1980.
The famous playwright breathed his last in the year 1994.