Tamil stage actor-playwright-director, K.S.N. Sundar was conferred the title ‘Nataka Kala Sarathy’ by the Governor of Tamil Nadu, K. Rosaiah, on the occasion of the 116th anniversary of Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, on 14 June at the Sadguru Gnanananda Hall in Chennai. Just a few minutes prior to this, his father ‘Kalanilayam’ K.S. Nagarajan – veteran stage actor and director – was honoured by the Governor, for attaining 100 years and continuing to perform on stage. (He acted in the play Yaar Payyan? penned by K.S.N. Sundar the previous day).
Not many father-son duos have had the privilege of being honoured on the same stage and it was a rare sight for the audience. While the sabha secretary M. Krishnamurthy welcomed the gathering and read out the citations, Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti, President of the sabha heaped praise on both the artists for this unique honour. “Perhaps, this is the first time, or the one and only occasion that such an honour is bestowed upon the father and son,” he declared. The federation of city sabhas had performed ‘kanakabishekam’ on the centenarian a fortnight ago and this was the second occasion that the 100-year old was being felicitated in the presence of a large number of rasikas.
Former Solicitor General of India, Mohan Parasaran felicitated the centenarian for his contribution to Tamil theatre. Tiruppur Krishnan, Editor, Amudasurabhi eulogised the role played by the veteran actor in shaping several stage actors like Poornam Viswanathan, ‘Kalanilayam’ Chandru, Karur Rangaraj and a dozen other artists. He mentioned Nagarajan's innovation in presenting the ‘Janavasam’ procession in the auditorium itself when he staged Savi’s Washingtonil Thirumanam. Nagarajan has produced plays of writers like Anuradha Ramanan, Devan, Sujatha, ‘Marina’, Indira Parthasarathy, ‘Deepam’ Na. Parthasarathy. He brought over hundred artists on stage when he presented Na.Pa’s Kurinji Malar. Krishnan congratulated K.S.N. Sundar for staging the ‘Manikodi’ era writer Swaminatha Athreya’s Anubhava Aradhanai, depicting the life of saint Tyagaraja.
In his acceptance speech, K.S.N. Sundar thanked the organisers and all those who had stood by them throughout their journey in Tamil theatre.