Sunday, January 8, 2012

She mimics 'sounds of nature'

Most mimicry artists imitate celebrities, but this woman mimicries mother nature. Forty seven year old Geetha Montadaka is the first woman in Karnataka to practice mimicry and to reproduce around 120 different sounds heard in nature.

The sounds she mimics are stunningly real, so much so that while imitating voices of peacock, dog and other animals for fun she was surprised when they actually responded back to her prank calls. Her imitation is so perfect that the animals get confused hearing her.

She can imitate with ease sounds of nature such as breeze, vehicle passing by, chirping of the birds , bullock carts trudging on a muddy road, bell-chimes, chants of suprabhatam, roaring of animals, barking of dogs, mewing of cats, claps of thunder, fluttering of leaves on trees and several others.

Hailing from a poor farmer family in Sulya, Dakshina Kannada, she started practicing this rare skill from a tender age in the forest nearby her house. In the beginning she began practicing to imitate birds and animals she saw. When she started getting back response from the birds it inspired her further to make it as an hobby.

In the meanwhile she got an offer from Rangayana and has been working there as an artist for the past 23 years, right from the time of its first Director BV Karanth. Being a stage artist she has appeared in several plays and has received over 500 awards that includes two State-level Awards. In order to completely involve herself in theater she had quit her Government job long back and is completely satisfied for making her career as an artist.

She has given performances all over India and also abroad including USA (1992), Germany and Austria (1995). She is very adept at narrating stories with sounds. She has also lend her mimicry talent to create awareness about AIDS among the public.

'What started as fun developed as a habit with lot of practice and became challenging as years went by. Most think mimicry is an art meant only for males. I wanted to show that even women can do it. I gave my first performance during my college days,' says Geeta. She hopes to popularlize the mimicry across country and make it popular among people.

She says Its a difficult for a women to sustain as a theater artist and thanked her husband Ganesh for his support. She said stage has thought has many things to her, specially to lead life.

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