Well-known arthadhari (interpreter in Talamaddale) K. Ramananda Banari (71) of Manjeshwar received the Polali Shankaranarayana Shastry Award for 2010 at a simple function organised by the Polali Shastry Smaraka Samiti here recently.

Known for his clear diction, poetic language, he has been busy in the Yakshagana circle of Sri Edneer Math. A medical practitioner by profession, he is also a writer and has served as president of the local writers' association.

Dr. Banari learnt Talamaddale from his father the late Kirikkadu Vishnu Master indirectly. He learnt by observing him teach different character interpretation to others. He took to Talamaddale at the age of 16. But as he went to study medicine, his life took a deviation.


He runs a hospital in Manjeshwara and serving the patients remains his motto. However, he has often found time to play his favourite Talamaddale characters. “I have usually played the sober characters such as Karna, Arjuna, Rama, and Krishna” he told The Hindu. He had interpreted characters such as Ravana and had on occasions donned the role of female characters such as Draupadi and Shoorpanakha. “But I rarely take part in Talamaddales now,” he said.

He did not believe that Talamaddale as an art is on the wane. He, however, sees some unhealthy influence on the language used in Talamaddale. “It is changing with times,” he said.

His collection of poem Arogya Geethe gives explanations about 43 diseases. The poem on Malaria for example explained as to how it spread, how to detect it and how to cure and above all how to prevent it. Arogya Geethe was one of his six anthologies. He had published 15 books and been on the panel of editors of many other books.