Keep It Going, Dr.Natashekar

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.


3 Responses

  1. Hi GVK,

    It is nice of you to have noticed the trophy on the desk of this Dr. Singer, who also repars your ears so that his music may be appreciated. Kudos for the article.

    I happen to know Natashekar since 35 years and one year. 35 years back, he was a student, one of the brothers of my wife’s friend. After my coning back to Mysore, i found that the mischious student which we had seen earlier had transformed himself in an ENT surgeon and his pastime was singing!
    i appreciate listening to music and write about whatever i listen. These nusings are being published by ‘Star of Mysore’, the popular eveninger of Mysoreans. I had written a curtain raiser for the programme ‘Memories of Mukhesh’, which Dr Nata Shekar had sung and also the review of the programme. I am reproducing both for inforamation of our fellow bloggers.

    Memories of Mukhesh

    The name Mukhesh itself is inspiration enough for ardent lovers of Hindi film songs. Born in Punjab, as Mukhesh Chand Mathur in 1923, he was only a tenth standard pass. While serving in Delhi PWD as a Surveyor, his friends encouraged him in singing. Motilal, an actor and a relative of Mukhesh, noticed his ability of singing, at the marriage of the sister of Motilal. With much hope of becoming a hero, he was drawn to Mumbai’s tinsel world, through Motilal. During this period, Mukesh managed to bag a role in a Hindi film, Nirdosh (Innocent- 1941). In fact, he had sung his first film song in this film as an actor-singer. Mukesh was such a big fan of K. L. Saigal. In his early years of playback singing he used to imitate his idol. In fact, it is said that when K. L. Saigal first heard the song Dil Jalta Hai to Jalne De (Pehli Nazar-1945, popularly known as Mukhsh’s first song), he said, “That’s strange, I don’t recall singing that song”.
    He has sung with almost all leading singers of Hindi films, under every music directors. His musical voice suited Rajkapoor and he was a permanent feature in all Rajkapoor’s films until his death in July 27, 1976. During the 60s and 70s, the team of Shankar, Jaikishan, Shilendra, Rajkapoor and Mukhesh was a hit. In memory of this immortal singer, ‘Manadaaladalli Mukhesh’, a programme of two dozen songs, sung by him had been organised at Kala Mandira on August 10, by Dr Natashekar and his troop.

    Mukhesh still lives in the memories of the connoisseurs of good Hindi film hits. It is a dilemma whether Mukhesh immortalised Raj Kapoor ot the vice versa. The sonorous voice was a born gift to him. I did not realise that youngsters of this generation relish the old and nostalgic songs of yesteryears this much, until I saw the crowd at Kala Mandira on August 10. Not only the auditorium and the balcony were full, with people standing in spaces wherever available, but also in the corridors and the front vestibule, where a screen had been arranged for viewing the goings on, on the stage. Except for some political meetings, this venue had not witnessed such a heavy crowd. It was a different experience altogether with this carefully crafted programme. On stage, there was a beautiful backdrop, with large images of Mukhesh on both sides, well lit by scanner strobes. The center of this backdrop had a OHP screen. The selection of songs was well thought of, with Karaoke singing. It will not be sufficient if I stop at this. The OHP screen displayed the actual film strips of sequences with lip sinking to the songs, sung on the stage. The scanner, the lacer, the strobe, the video karaoke and the works, contributed to make this programme a grand success.

    Natashekhar sang with four lady singers, Sheela Narayan, Snehashri, Sahana Channappa and Varsha. He bagan his song tribute to Mukhesh with a solo Kisiki Muskurahat (Anadi-Shailendra- Shankar Jaikishan) and ended with the group song Jeena Yaha Marna Yaha (Mera Naam Joker). In between the other songs Ohore Taal Mile (Anokhi Raat), Dil ke Nazar se (Dil ke Nazar se) etc. Though all the songs selected were good and rendered well, most note worthy were Mera Juta Hai Japaani (Shree 420), Kahi Door Jab Man Dal Jaaye (Anand), Saarangaa Tere Yaad Me (Saaranga), Dil Tadap Tadap (Madhimati), Dam Dam Diga Diga (Chaliya), Dost Dost Na Raha (Sangam), Chandan Sa Badan (Saraswati Chandra) and so on. What was ingenious was interlude of either video or audio recordings of Lata Mangeshkar, Anoop Jhalota, Noushad, Dilip Kumar, Usha Mangeshkar, Raj Kapoor, Kalyanji, Nitin Mukhesh, Yash chopra etc, on Mukhesh. Especially what Raj Kapoor had remarked on the death of Mukhesh is remarkable. He had said, “I have lost my voice….What am I? A mere caricature of flesh and bones. Mukhesh was my soul. When he went out, I have lost my soul”. The last song Jeena Yaha evoked spontaneous audience response and the entire auditorium sang with the singers. However, the person selected to enact as Rajkapoor in the attire of the Joker, was a very poor imitation of the actor looked like a buffoon.

    In the middle of the programme, the chief guest of the function KB Ganapathi, Editor of Star of Mysore and Mysore Mithra and Pragnya, an actress of Mysore origin were garlanded. The actress expressed her wish to contribute her talent in Kannada film industry only. The Editor remarked that the efforts of Nata Shekar have made everyone to sit glued to their seats. The singing has taken the elders to their younger days with nostalgic memories. The glory of yester years will be a source of inspiration to the youngsters. The hard work of the doctor is laudable in this respect he said. Jovially he also offered himself to be a hero for the young actress, if need be. The anchoring by Ravi Shankar was superb, with subtle wits and spontaneous adlibbing. A self-restraint regarding the dress code of one of the female singer was more desirable.

    — S.R.Krishna Murthy

    Memories of Mukhesh, a Curtain Raiser

    It is already 32 years since Mukhesh left this world physically. However, his songs have never seized to reverberate in the ears of the fans. He has remained in the hearts of connoisseurs etching a permanent mark. His old and golden numbers will come alive at Kala Mandira on August 10, bringing back his memories. Dr Nata Shekar and his troop have organised a programme to render the songs sung by Mukhesh.

    Dr Nata Shekar, an ENT specialist of the city, had a flair for singing since he was a boy. The encouragement he received from friends and the teachers helped him a lot to sing more. His first full concert with orchestra was when he was a student in Medical College. One more doctor, Dr Hemalatha joined him in singing the old glories. They formed a team ‘Geet Gaatha Chal’ in 2000, to sing old melodies. They had their own apprehension about the audience response, which made to hire a small hall. But, as it turned out, the reaction of the connoisseurs was over whelming. They continued to present this programme year after year, hiring Kala Mandira. Even this auditorium appears to be small as the popularity of the programme by the doctors, increased. When Dr Kushalappa joined this team in 2005, the singing attained more strength. Now there is no turning back and the citizens of Mysore are expecting the performance every year. The leader ‘Geet Gaatha Chal’, Dr Nata Shekar is a great fan of Mukhesh. The present programme on tenth of August, is the result of his fascination towards Mukhesh’s songs. This programme is apart from the yearly ‘Geet Gaatha Chal’. KB Ganapathi, Editor of Star of Mysore will be the Guest of Honour for this programme. Dr Nata Shekar will be joined by Dr Snehashri, Sheela Badri, Sahana Channappa, Varsha in this melody fare. Lovers of Mukhesh songs can expect a melodious evening.

    — S.R.Krishna Murthy

  2. “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”

    In a place like Mysore, one does not need a Website! Reading the two comments, it is clear that people know his talents well. Several stage singers of yester years such as Mysore Ananthaswamy drew hundreds of fans in an age when the Internet was not invented.

    It is ridiculous to assume that in Mysore or even in India, the
    Internet and the website can bring exposure. Your ‘Mysore Blog Park’ is an example where the Internet has not produced much publicity and is relatively unknown.
    compared to another blog.

    I am an IT professional of 35 year standing. Websites work in the West where over 80% of homes have Internet connections of one kind or another.

  3. dear dr nata shekar ji iam inviting you to visit our rafi saab”s blog,total over 500 pages are there,to go to next page,kindly click older posts,you will find bottom of every page,kindly visit this link,take care


    mohamed parvez

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