Banarpal: There are many whose profession and passion never meet. In spite of this, they give justice to both their profession and passion.
Meet Pradeep Barik of Kulad village in Banarpal block of Angul district. Pradeep runs a saloon near Nalco’s main gate and maintains his family that comprises his parents, wife, a son and a daughter.
But Pradeep’s passion is interesting. He is an actor! But, he loves portraying female characters.
In his locality he is famous as Jishu than Pradeep. Whenever he has an acting assignment (must be a female role), that day his saloon will be closed in the evening.
“We like to get our hair cut in his saloon. But sometimes we find it locked. If his saloon is closed we are sure that he is out acting. We have never seen his saloon closed for any other reason but acting,” villagers said.
Pradeep’s love for acting is so intense that when he paints his face and wears the female get-up, real females find themselves nowhere near him. Starting from walking to body movements to facial expressions to dialogue delivery, he excels in every field, leaving his audience guessing.
Whenever he comes onto the stage in a colourful saree with a flower decorated chignon, kajal-laced eyes and ‘alata’ decorated feet, he instantly strikes a chord with the audience, triggering a huge round of applause.
When asked from where he got trained in acting, Jishu’s answer is that he has no formal training. Whatever I am today, it is because of my love for acting.
“As a child, I had seen many dramas and operas and next morning I used to entertain my friends and family by recreating the scenes,” he said, adding that an actor grew inside him like that. However, he holds Danda Guru Bamadev Seth as his role model.
Pradeep also performs ‘Dand Yatra’ in his village and nearby villages. In ‘Dand Yatras’, people love to see him in ‘Hadiani’, Parbati, Sakhi, Saurani and Keluni roles as they are his masterpieces.
He has been associated with the Maa Kali Danda Nrutya Anusthan of his village for 15 years, and keeps visiting nearby villages to stage plays.
When Pradeep has no acting assignments, he practices his family profession with equal sincerity and gusto.