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Staff Reporter

Cartoonist Gururaj Marpally has found his niche after a bit of dabbling

BANGALORE: “Cartooning is an art that is simple yet powerful,” says Gururaj Marpally. Having dabbled in practically all creative forms, his latest interest is cartooning. He believes that cartoons give him the power and freedom to express himself subtly yet effectively. The general themes of his cartoons usually are government and politics, peppered with witty legends.

A farmer from Marpally in Udupi district, he has explored almost all art forms, some of which are Yakshagana, theatre, scriptwriting, novels, music direction, modern paintings, percussion, singing and choreography.

Mr. Marpally’s eclecticism comes from his association with one of Karnataka’s most respected names, Shivarama Karanth. He was an artiste in the late litterateur’s Yakshagana troupe, Yaksharanga. He has also worked with noted theatre person B.V. Karanth in Rangayana, and also as an associate with him in the National School of Drama (Delhi). Mr. Marpally has also worked as dance demonstrator at Ninasam Heggodu and was the lyricist and dialogue writer for an art movie, Shankarapunyakoti, besides being the assistant scriptwriter for the film Vimukthi. He also has a novel to his credit called Athanthra as well as two poetry collections Ekanthada Alapagalu and Kalapatra.

His illustrations find place in essays and novels. “It is the most satisfying art,” says Mr. Marpally, talking about his felicity with the drawing pen.

He also likes the freedom freelancing affords. “If you want to be free, you have to be a farmer. You have your independence and can make your own decisions.”

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