Natesa Thambiran won legendary fame for his portrayals of evil characters from the epics and Puranas, like Kichaka, Dussasana, and Hiranyakasipu, stretching their ferocity to extremes of imagination and possibilities. He breathed fire from his mouth, burst crackers to jolt the audience, and compelled them to rivet their eyes on his literally explosive entrances. He lost his fingers in one such explosion early in life, yet continued to perform. His unique style and individual talent for dramatic expression, the grunting and strutting on stage that spread terror, the presence that unleashed extraordinary force, endowed him with a lustre in whose shining glory Purisai basked. Kamala Devi Chattopadhyaya spotted his talent and encouraged him to cross the confines of his village. He is reputed to have given over 6000 performances.
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