BANGALORE: Noted producer T.S. Narasimhan, who filled life to the fictional Malgudi created by novelist R.K. Narayan through “Malgudi Days”, directed by Shankar Nag, died here on Saturday. He was ailing for some time. He was 86 and is survived by three children.
Besides producing Malgudi Days, Narasimhan produced few children’s films and feature films and was also instrumental in taking Kannada film to national and international level.
Narasimhan who worked for some time in Department of Telecommunication left and entered the film industry. He produced Kesarina Kamala, directed by R.N. Jayagopal, which delineates on the plight of a sex worker back in 1973. Shrungar Nagaraj (producer of Pushpaka Vimana, who died recently) was in the lead role along with Kalpana in the film.
Narasimhan produced Dhange Edda Makkalu, a children’s film directed by Vadiraj in 1979, which got best children film award by the State Government. He also produced Bangarada Jinke starring Vishnuvardhan and Bharati directed by T.S. Nagabharana in 1980. He produced Banker Margayya based on R.K. Narayan’s famous novel Financial Expert in 1983, which was adjudged the best regional film at the national film awards.
He along with noted cinema personality C.V.L. Shastry produced Malgudi Days (1986), which was a big hit. Signature music of the serial composed by noted composer L. Vaidyanathan is still remembered. In fact, it is now a popular ring tone for cell pone users.
R.K. Narayan’s illustrated brother R.K. Lakshman sketched the characters for titles. Thirty-nine episodes of Malgudi Days were telecast on Doordarshan. Subsequently, it was re-telecast on Doordarshan and various entertainment channels. This television series was shot entirely near Agumbe in Shimoga District.
Recalling production of Malgudi Days, Jagadish Malnad, who handled the production, said that Narasimhan, heeding to Shankar Nag’s demand, used celluloid film rather than shoot digitally. “When Shankar asked, Narasimhan agreed instantly. How many producers will extend the support of the kind? He did not compromise with quality,” he said.
He also produced tele-serials such as Tenali Rama and Stone Boy (directed by T.S. Nagabharana). As he was closely associated with children’s film movement, he produced Naaviddeve Echcharike (Nagabharana), which got best children’s film award by the Karnataka State government.
Director Nagabharana who directed three films and two serials for Narasimhan, describes Narasimhan as the disciplined producer. “He was the one who got agreement signed by Vishnuvardhan,” he said. Narasimhan took the Kannada film to national and international level, he added.
Narasimhan served in various capacities in Central Board of Film Censors, National Film Development Corporation, Film and Television Institute of India. He tried hard to bring ambitious Children Film Complex to Karnataka, but he could not realise his dream. He also established Jyothi Editing Laboratory, where land mark films got edited.