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Mangalore: Tulu Comedy Ace Naveen D. Padil Speaks out from his Heart
by Walter Nandalike

August1, 2005

Tulu stage has its own class and creativity. Tulu language does not have any barriers of religion, caste or community. In south Kanara, every community can speak this beautiful and tranquil language. It has no controversy. It has its own national and local honor and admiration.

In South Kanara, Tulu plays are one among the major entertainment for admirers of art and culture originating and flourishing in the twin districts. It is an accepted fact that humour produced in Tulu plays can hardly be produced in other languages.

Among the many current and past Tulu stage legends, Naveen Padil has his own identify. The 36-year old comedian has over 16 years of experience in Tulu stage art. People admire him for his most relentless and natural acting, for his clean jokes on stage.

However, like any other star artists, he too has had many turning points in his career. Recently he visited office in Mangalore and had a long tête-à-tête with the editor-in-chief Walter Nandalike.

He spoke out from his heart. He spoke about his current success saga. And his ups and downs in life, his likes and dislikes. And most of all, all that he wanted to express, as a friend.

The beginning:

It was an utter coincidence for Naveen to make an entry to Tulu stage. In one of the plays at his native place, an actor could not turn up at the last moment. Naveen took the courage to take the comedy role and successfully presented his talent to the public. Vinaya Karnataka Nataka Sabha was an amateur artists’ team in B C Road. Naveen helped the team by taking an important role at a crucial moment. Since then offers started coming to him recognizing his first talent exhibition.

‘Onji Nimisha’ - First Break:

A one-time mega hit Tulu play ‘Onji Nimisha’ brought name and fame to Naveen. The play is written by Vijay Kumar Kodialbail and was directed by Damodar Bangerea.  Tha team of actors was organized by Kishore Kumar Shetty.

Soon after he joined Tulu’s famous professional troupe headed by Devdas Kapikad, which is now named as ‘Cha Parka’ team. The plays one by one started hitting to the hearts of the people, Naveen’s comedy has very well been applauded and appreciated by the Tulu drama lovers.

12-years with ‘Cha-Parka’, and later...

“12 years spent with Cha Parka is quite memorable in my life where I learnt a lot, I improved my acting and I gained much popularity”, he says. Devdas Kapikad, another renowned Tulu actor, director and writer, convener of ‘Cha Parka’ team was instrumental in taking the Cha Parka team to a great height, a standard of its own. Naveen and Devdas duo were doing tremendous progress on the Tulu stage, and these 12 years will be remembered as the ‘golden era’ of Tulu stage.

Unfortunately, a few months ago, there was set back to this long relationship and indeed it has caused a huge loss to the Tulu stage, and to the Tulu drama lovers at large.

As per Naveen’s explanations, it was a very small incident.

“Things were working fine with us, but for a few months there was a change in the attitude of the director, convener and the organizer of the Mumbai shows. I could not understand the reason behind this. Many people said that the recognition and fame I get from the plays could not be tolerated by a few members of the troupe. There was this incident, which hurt me a lot and forced me to come out of this troupe’, Naveen explains.

Naveen Padil (right) with a co-actor

“When the two of the lead lady roles left the team for personal reason, I found a new talent to the Cha Parka team. The new actress, who was introduced by me, was the main reason for the controversy. During a trial, I tried to correct her acting by interfering. I always treated the troupe as my own, so I was working like a family member.  I used to make such interferences in the past too.  The new actress instead of accepting the correction suggested by me, insulted me in front of many actors, asking for my credibility.

‘Who are you to correct me? I go according to the director.  Mind your own business’, were her words which stunned me.’

I expected at least Devdas and other co-actors to support me. Instead, they supported her, which really stunned me.  I feel it was a conspiracy to sideline me, and I thought staying back would harm my career.  Yet, I continued with them for the basic fact that I thought I had to stay with a troupe which worked so well not only for me personally, but for the entire Tulu stage art. But I was given extremely low profile roles. I tried my best, but my conscience did not allow me to continue with the troupe in which I grew and helped myself to build up an acting career.  It was one the most painful moments of my life; but God has shown me better ways to carry on with my talents”.  

Naveen was sentimental when he told us about this incident. He said that was deeply hurt because when he decided to leave no one tried to even ask him why he was leaving.  “That means, they did not want me to be there!”, Naveen exclaimed.

Naveen Padil (left) with Anand Bolar

Naveen still has very high regards for Devdas Kapikad. “He is a great artist, a marvelous organizer and a wonderful person. I do not have any comments or complaints against him. I will continue to have lots of respect for him. I wish all the best”, Naveen told us.

Lakumi troupe - A new horizon

No sooner than Naveen opted out from ‘Cha Parka’ team he joined to support Kishore Kumar Shetty who had started a new professional troupe ‘Lakumi Kalavidaru’. The troupe is doing wonders these days.

‘Ganguna Gammath’ which has produced 60 shows within a month is creating waves in South Kanara. Apart from this drama ‘Kusalda Kusal’ has been staged 42 times and ‘Aapina Avode’ has been shown 18 times so far.

‘Ganguna Gammath’ is the play which has given him complete satisfaction; he is playing a lead role as ‘Gangu’. The play has a moral and message to the people about Polio.

Shows in the Middle-East:

Naveen was highly excited to announce that his play ‘Ganguna Gammath’ will be performed in Doha on September 23 and in Kuwait on September 29. This is something he was eagerly looking for, he says. “By the grace of God, my dream is fulfilled”, he says. He has already travelled to UAE and Oman to perform.

Naveen as an artist:

Today Naveen is dedicating his full time to Tulu stage. He is a complete professional artist. Has taken part in over 50 dramas, which have been staged for more than 3000 times. Apart from comedy roles he can contribute to the stage in serious plays too. He is an all rounder - he can play any kind of role.

Tulu is not the only cup of tea for Naveen.  He has taken important role in Kannada TV serial ‘Chirasmarane’ which is telecast in Doordarshan 1.  He has made an appearance in NDTV’s popular programme ‘Watch Out’ which he would like to remember for very long.

Happily married to Premalatha, living in Padil. 

Spending around sixty minutes with Naveen D Padil was indeed a golden hour.  That’s his charm.

Can be contacted at 00971- 9448545663 / Res - 0091-824-2275782.

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Comments on this article
rajesh.b, putur Saturday, October 01, 2011
hai padil sir erna nataka super all the best
Comment on this message     

HI, Ganesh murva manila villageMonday, December 13, 2010
Hello Kusalda Arasu yappala kusalde thulu nadede inchaa yenklene pura thylipayond uppule,,,,,,,,all,,the best sir,,,,i am ur,,big,,fan
Comment on this message     

chandrashekar poojary, HEJAMADI[UDUPIThursday, November 04, 2010
Comment on this message     

Praveen Borugudde, MoodbidriSaturday, January 02, 2010
Namaskara naveen sir yan erena abhimani yan bengalorudu uppunandala uoorugu bathunath sarthi erena nataka thuvondulle erena natakada soomar cesset enada undu eath sarthi thoondala bejar apuji BEST OF LUCK NAVEEN D PADEEL
Comment on this message     

Punith Rai, BangaloreWednesday, August 12, 2009

Hi Padil Sir . You are the greatest, evergreen tulu actor. I am your big fan. All the best.


Comment on this message     

sukesh shetty , kaup (udupi)Saturday, December 27, 2008
i like naveen padil nataka
Comment on this message     

SUDHEER, Shirthady,MoodbidriSunday, November 02, 2008
Hi padil Sir,yaan eerena abhimani, yaan Banglored eppunandala, urugu bathinani nataka thuvare madappaye,daye panda natakod thikkuna maja,hasya,kathe Filmudula thikkand.Filmudu raddare ganteda storien shoot malpera onji,radde thingolu gethonver. Nikulu avve radd ganteda storin onje dinattha radd ganted malth abimanilen ranjisavarattha GREAT! BEST OF LUCK Sir.
Comment on this message     

vinod kumar, mangaloreSunday, August 19, 2007
The great actor Navin D Padil has brought happiness for millions of hearts by his wonderfull acting. It is 100% absolute that one is going to loose half strength of his troupe without Naveen,suppose if Naveen had played any role in his troupe during previous years. A drama without him is a temple without God.
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