Padhye and his puppets

May 23, 2012, 07:38 IST | Rucha Kamat

Ramdas Padhye is the first Indian ventriloquist, puppeteer and puppet-maker who has been invited by UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette - International Puppetry Association) to perform at the World Puppet Festival that takes place today in China.

 “I am proud to represent my country internationally in the puppet industry. Seventy four acclaimed puppeteers will represent their countries in this event,” says Ramdas. Here’s what he told CS before leaving for China:

Who: Ramdas Padhye and son Satyajit, What: Talking about their show in China, Where: At his residence in Tilaknagar Pic/Santosh Nagwekar

A journey into puppetry
In the last 40 years, I have performed at more than 9,000 ventriloquist and puppet shows in India and abroad. I will be presenting a specially designed show called ‘Puppet Parade’ in this festival with my wife Aparna, a puppeteer and singer, and my son Satyajit, an upcoming ventriloquist, puppeteer and puppet maker. We will be showcasing traditional Indian puppetry forms as well as different contemporary puppetry forms from around the world. We have also designed more than 30 different kinds of puppets and we will showcase each one of them innovatively with music, acts and moods for about half an hour.

The highlight
The most interesting feature of our show is that we are going to showcase a 150-year-old puppet of the pioneer Indian dramatist Vishnudas Bhave. Besides this, we are going to combine various forms of puppets like ventriloquial, string puppets and rod, and will present a skit ‘The Relationship’ that explores the relationship between a ventriloquist, his dummy and the dummy’s sub conscious mind. We will start the show in Hindi, and end it in Chinese, for the benefit of the Chinese public.

Cherishing the legacy
All the credit goes to my father, YK Padhye who was a renowned Indian ventriloquist and a puppeteer and most importantly, who started this art in India. I am also glad that my son decided to change his career from being a CA to becoming a puppeteering. He has been assisting me for almost ten years. 

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