Jammu has produced many stalwarts in the theatrical arena. Some of them have left an impact on people’s minds. Right from the days of Sh. K.L. Sehgal, Sh. Om Parkash and Sh. Rishi Raj Chopra, Jammu has seen a spectrum of artistic excellence. But one of the luminosity and the beacon light of artistic grandeur is the son of the soil, Mr. Kulbushan Sharma.
Jammu can never forget his contribution in the field of theatrical drama and street plays. Born to Late Smt. Lajwanti and Late Sh. Tirath Ram Sharma in the year 1954, Mr Kulbushan was endowed with peculiar skills right form his childhood days. When he came under the emancipating influence of the trio, Sh. K.L. Sehgal, Sh. Om Parkash and Sh. Prithvi Raj Kapoor were iconic stature who had performed at Sanatan Dharam Sabha Natak Samaj (SDNS)- a historic-artistic club/ institution in the heart of the city of temples.
On the occasion of Ram Navmi and Krishan Janam Ashtami in every annual calendar , the stage plays like Ramleela and Krishan Leela were conducted and they had a deep impact on the psyche of Mr Kulbushan. Given his husky voice and eminent personality, he was offered roles at quite a young age of 12. The first role he played on the stage was that of Nakula – the youngest of the Pandava brothers. After this, there was no looking back.
The various roles he played included the roles of Angad, Sugreev, Akshay Kumar – the son of Ravana, Bali and Parshu Ram, Jamad Agni, Dashrath and ultimately the role of Demon King Ravana. He played the role of Ravana for the last 15 years without break. There came a time when SDNS and Kulbushan become synonymous. All those characters which he had played form time to time at Sanatan Dharam Sabha Natak Samaj this artist of flaming heights. Consequently, people started taking keen interest in the mythological backgrounds and his name became buzz-word in every theatrical gossip popularity among the masses.
Then came a turn in his professional and artistic pursuits when his luck on T.V. In 1994, selected in the Doordarshan Jammu auditions and started getting good work in Hindi and Dogri serials. His work acclaimed and soon he became a household name. As of now, he has become a renowned and an approved Television Artist. The tremors of his work have been felt in metropolitans of the country.
In 1998, a team of Directors and Artists led by Mr Arvind Swamy, Satyan Kappu and others from Mumbai Film world came to Jammu for the serials and met Mr. Kulbushan. They his exceptional acting skills and suggested him to enter into the world of Bollywood. He got offers for Dogri films, Hindi films and ZEE TV Serials a number of times, to certain circumstances, difficult for him to carry on acting outside his hometown.
His promising performances include Bawajitto, Anth, Janasheen, Andha safar, Bikhra hua maazi, Sharat, Radha, Saat din ke lye, Dhed roti, Viswaas, janwar, Aandian, loodian likran, Dabbar, Himayun, Rajnigandha, Bagwaan parshuram, Good bye swamy, Ek aur dhronacharya and Sarkaar . His serials were telecasted from DD1 And DD2, beside his stage shows in Annual Drama Festivals organized by J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Language. His role as Sumeer Singh in Bawajitto has become unforgettable. His teleplay “Sharat” based on a Russian story was a worth watch. His role of a Pathan in one of his serial real crowd catcher. Later Anth based on terrorism won much to applaud.
His directors, writers and producers like Sh. Sohal Lal Koul and Sh. Ashok Jhelkhani (now Director Doordarshan Delhi) have remarked that Kulbushan is an artist par excellence. He is a real dramatic can encompass his role with dedication and sincerity.
In 1986, the Dogri play Sarkar staged at Abhinav Theatre Jammu on of inauguration ceremony statue of Maharaja Ranbir Singh at Ranbireshwar Temple, audience to stand on their toes and highly acclaim his character of Maharaja Ranbir Singh. He turned the tables on said day, to the extent that Dr Karan Singh, the grandson of Maharaja Ranbir Singh and Smt. Padma Sachdev. They were also compelled to give him a big hug and shower him with appreciation.
He and his team had also repeated the same performance in the capital city of the country which was a huge success as well. Other than the performance of Mr Kulbushan, the author also received an appreciation as he had successfully brought to the light Maharaja’s approach toward social, political and religious issues.
Kulbushan has great passion for Ramleela and he believed it was his foremost duty to work for Sanatan Dharam Natak Samaj. Street plays and theatrical work should be rejuvenated in urban and rural peripheries so as to boost the building talent. One must apply the real motto of theatre in his real life so that every character is performed consciously to avoid all ill will, hatred & vices. Then and only then, the world would be a better place to live in. Money does not matter much for him as he worked for the sense of achievement and satisfaction which he churned out in the intense roles he played.
“At family front also, he remained an apple pie of the members. He can also be acclaimed as symbolic Sharavan Kumar of modern times as he keeps high regard for his parents and mentors,” said his brothers Ch. Prem Nath Sharma, a renowned wrestler and Vidya Rattan Sharma – a businessman.
They further said, “Presently at his place, he is leading a life of a Satyogi and setting an example to follow the suit.”
“Whosoever comes into his contact feel like taking a holy dip into a vast ocean of fulfilment,” disclosed his friends and Mr.Sanjeev Kumar Sharma .
People like Kulbushan Ji are rare gems and still he has a long way to go. When asked about his future planning in the artistic arena, he was enthusiastic and replied in affirmative with the lines of IQBAL
“SITARON SE AGGE JAHAN AUR BHI HAIN,
ABHI ISHQ (ZINDGI)KE IMTIHAN AUR BHI HAIN”
“HAIN DONO KI PARVBAAZ AIK SE HI FIZA MEIN
KARGIS KA JAHAN AUR
SHAHIN KA JAHAN AUR”
Kulbushan is of the view that the role of Ravana is very close to him. He can feel an extra dose of energy in himself while playing this character for last 15 years and added that there are many myths regarding this character: Ravana –a hugely learned person and a special devotee of God Shiva. He had enslaved death too. It was because of his one vice i.e ego , he succumbed to the fatal arrow shot at him by Lord Rama. In his recent interview with Take One Channel, Kulbushan maintained that rather than setting the statue of Ravana and his family on fire, one should keep check on his vices of sex, anger, attachment , greed and ego so as to make the whole world pure in all respects.
He owes a lot to his mentors viz. Sohan Lal Koul ,Sh.Ashok Jhelkhani, Pt. Ram Nath Shastri , Prof. Madan Mohan , Sh. Shiv Dutt Sharma, family members his fans and entire , family of SDNS for constant support and encouragement.
In the present scenario, Mr. Kulbushan was of the view that many people like Balwant Thakur, Mushtaq Kak, Deepak Kumar and Sudhir Mahajan are doing good work for the Dogri Theatre & uplifting the vernacular lore. He is always in praise for the Jammu Artists & hold that the day is not for away when Dogri art would hit the international Audience.