The living mimicry legend

Padma Shri recipient Venumadhav turns 84 today

By Author  |  Published: 27th Dec 2016  11:00 pmUpdated: 28th Dec 2016  6:19 pm

Warangal Urban: Father of Indian Mimicry Nerella Venu Madhav is stepping into his 85th year today as he celebrates birthday in the presence of his family, friends and mimicry artistes.

Born to Nerella Srihari and Srilakshmi in Warangal, Venu Madhav was the first Indian mono-actor to perform at the United Nations headquarters and made heads of States, delegates and Ambassadors spellbound.

Popularly known as ‘NV’, he has bagged numerous awards for his splendid performance. While he was awarded with Padma Shri by the Government of India, he received Kalaprapoorna from Andhra University besides two honourary doctorates from JNTUC, Hyderabad, and Kakatiya University.

He was nominated as Member of Legislative Council of Andhra Pradesh by the then Chief Minister and his close associate PV Narasimha Rao in 1971. Venu Madhav started mimicking people at a tender age of 16. “I used to mimic the people who visit my house and friends,” says Venu Madhav who worked as the teacher at Mattewad Middle School in Warangal.

Since he had trained many mimicry artistes in India, many of his disciples have started celebrating his birthday as ‘World Mimicry Day’ for the past 13 years. While the government has constructed an auditorium in Hanamkonda and named it after him, the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) has named a street in Warangal city after this living legend.

On the other hand, Nerella Venumadhav has set up a cultural trust and is presenting awards to the artistes on his birthday. This year, noted Carnatic vocalist KSR Balakrishna Sastry of Saptaswara will be presented with the Venu Madhav award.

“We have set up the award to encourage the artistes in different fields. The award carries Rs 10,000 cash, a certificate and memento. We are going to present the award to Gana Kalanidhi KSR Balakrishna Sastry,” said Venu Madhav.

The birthday celebrations will be conducted at Nerella Venu Madhav Kalaa Praanganam at Public Gardens in Hanamkonda.