Tribute

All these years later, there hasn’t been another like Shankar Nag

He juggled various roles with ease, and altered the landscape of Kannada cinema through his films.

Actor, writer, director and producer Shankar Nag died on September 30, 1990, in a car crash. He belongs to a rare category of people who juggle various activities with ease.

The spotlight fell on Nag when he starred in the 1978 Girish Karnad film, Ondanondu Kaladalli. He co-wrote a Marathi film the next year, 22 June 1897. Direction wasn’t far away either. In 1980, Nag directed Minchina Ota. For his debut, he roped in his brother and actor, Anant Nag. The duo went on to star together in several successful movies. I’m drawing an example which will make it clear for the millennials: imagine Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan in a scene. Isn’t it mind-blowing? That’s how it was back then.

When Anant Nag and Shankar Nag shake hands for the first time on screen in Minchina Ota, there’s a pause. The pause is for us, the audience, to break into a smile. The heaviest star on Shankar Nag’s shoulder has to be that his directorial debut doesn’t look like a film made by a first-timer at all. It has the angst of the working class and the brilliance of actors who know their job well. The 36-year-old film might be a little old for today’s tastes, but it is still enjoyable on the whole. Dull moments in the screenplay are few and far between.

You’ll find Shankar Nag’s poster on most of the autos in Karnataka. The actor passed away more than a quarter of a century ago, yet that hasn’t come in the way of pulling his aura down in the minds of audiences. Though he is known for his action roles (starting from the National Award winning film, Ondanondu Kaladalli), he is also reputed for his lover-boy appearances.

Play
‘CBI Shankar’.

If Karnad’s film showed Nag as a mercenary with a heart, Minchina Ota showed him as a thief who is fed up with society. In both films, his character is unhappy with the way he is being treated by his bosses. Co-incidentally, his character is killed in both movies. If the former opened the doors for experimental cinema, the latter cleared the path for uninhibited storytelling.

Every mimicry artist that goes on stage will definitely do a set on Shankar Nag. It’s really that easy to mimic him and entertain viewers. The fact that he stood tall among the stars of Kannada cinema in the ’80s cannot ever be erased.

Had Nag survived the car crash in 1990, he would have gone on to act and direct numerous meaningful movies. We would have seen more variety in Indian cinema. Karnataka may have lost a true star, but it’ll always cherish the works of Shankar Nag.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

Play
Play
Play

2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.