By Yogita Shinde(17 Aug 2011)
In early 20th century British India, Indian theatre musicals, especially in the Marathi language, reached a pinnacle with the incredible actor-singer Narayan Shripad Rajhans. He was born on June 26, 1888, in an age when women were not allowed onstage. So men dressed as women--female impersonators--and Bal Gandharva (‘Little Singer from Heaven’) was among the most famous. His musicals were distinguished by their songs and lavish spectacles--both elements that left their imprint on emerging Indian cinema--and Bollywood. No wonder this period is known as the ‘Gandharva era’, and his songs popular even today.