You don’t have to be a doctor to make a mark as a stage singer. But being one serves as your calling card to open the door of opportunity. I wonder if Dr Natashekar’s musical talent would have had such public exposure, if the singer had been a shop assistant, instead of an ENT specialist. He is known widely as doctor who also sings well.
Left-handed compliment, perhaps. Dr Natashekar doesn’t mind. He is a doctor first; music making is his spare time passion. Point is, Dr Natashekar is not competing with Sonu Nigam. “Singing is my hobby, and I am happy that it entertains others,”says the doctor, who leads a similarly talented group of local doctors. Styled as Geet Gatha Chal the doctors’ cultural group organises free concerts at Mysore’s Kalamandira. “We’ve been doing this since 2001,” says Dr Natashekar, adding that over this period Geet Gatha Chal has built a name for itself as a crowd-pulling music group. Inviting me to his next concert (Nov.9) Dr Natashekar suggested that I be at Kalamandira half-hour early.
I had gone to his clinic at Ramaswamy Circle with an ear complaint; and we started talking music on seeing a trophy with a photo of Mukesh on Dr Natashekar’s desk – ‘I got this for our ‘Mukesh Evening’ concert in August’. Dr Natashekar played to a packed house for three hours of vintage film songs credited to playback singer Mukesh.
Portraits of Dr Natashekar’s favourite trio – Mukesh, Rafi and Kishore – found space on the wall of his clinic. Outside, at the reception counter, I saw a photo of our doctor paying respect to Siddaganga Swami at Tumkur. To mark the swamiji’s 100th birthday celebrations Dr Natashekar brought out a CD of his rendering of Basavashwara’s Vachanas.
Geet Gatha Chal is Mysore’s own music group of the local medical fraternity that puts to public use their personal hobby. The group includes dermatologist P A Kushalappa, Dr A L Hemalatha, Dr Sneshasri and a few others. A one-of-its-kind cultural initiative that is worth emulating by talented professionals in other towns is not widely known beyond Mysore. Geet Gatha Chal doesn’t have a website.
Dr Natashekar, like most other professionals in Mysore, is not very coversant with Internet usage. He could do with some help and guidance from software professionals who admire Dr Natashekar’s music. A website of his group would surely spread public awareness about the good work done by this group; and help Geet gatha Chal network with interested individuals and groups wth flair for music.
Geet Gatha Chal can upload video-clips of their concerts on YouTube for the benefit of non-resident Mysoreans who admire their music. With a website of its own and YouTube exposure Dr Natashekar and his group could get sponsored for concert tours by NRI associations, notably, Kannada Sanghas in the US and other countries.
Meanwhile, Geet Gatha Chal could visit local welfare institutions such as orhanages and homes for the aged to entertain inmates. Spending time, an odd Sunday afternoon, with them could by a fulfilling experience for the music group. Dr Natashekar and his friends would do well to reach out to the folks who have neither the opportunity nor abiity to make it to Kalamandira.