Udaipur has something that spells out loud… “Talent”…and talent can be seen in various fields. The soil of Udaipur has seen artists, actors, cricketers, sculptors and a lot other talents. Peeping into this window, we managed to pick a few who are well known for their talent in some of these fields.
Pandit Uday Shankar (Dancer)
Born on 8th December in 1900 in a Bengali family, Pandit Uday Shankar will always rule the hearts of Indian Classical dancers. He created a fusion style of dance by adapting European techniques to Indian classical dance inspired by the elements of folk and tribal art forms which he popularised in Europe, United States and of course India during 1920s and 1930s. Pioneer of modern dance in India, he was awarded in 1962 by Sangeet Natak Academy, The National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. In 1971 he was awarded with Padma Vibhushan by Indian Government. He left for the heavenly abode on 26th September 1977.
Ashok Banthia (Actor/Director)
Ashok Banthia was born in a traditional business family in Udaipur. He earned a diploma in theater in 1982 from Punjab University, Chandigarh followed by National School of Drama, New Delhi and also did a course in Direction from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney.
After finishing his course at NIDA, Sydney, he played the role of Indian Cricketer Nawab Pataudi in Kennedy Miller’s serial Bodyline. He also worked in English film The Peacock Spring and French film Indian Orchid apart from a lot of Indian films. Apart from films, he has also acted in TV serials Ramayana, Balika Vadhu, Mahadev, Chanakya, Mahabharat. He was the Associate Director for TV serial Tamas.
Limba Ram (Archer)
An archer who represented India International competitions which includes 3 Olympics, Limba Ram was born in Jhadol Tehsil of Udaipur on 30th Januray 1972. Belonging to the Ahari tribe spending days of poverty, Limba hunted animals in the jungle with his bamboo bow and reed arrows. In 1987, he went for a four-month training camp that was organised to train good archers in New Delhi. He trained under coach R.S.Sodhi. The same year, he became overall champion at the National Junior Archery Tournaments held in Bangalore. Limba Ram went on to earn several championships; he was awarded Arjuna Award in 1991 and Padma Shri in 2012.
Vikram Solanki (Cricketer)
Born on 1st April, 1976, Vikram Solanki is an Indian born former English cricketer. He was born in Udaipur and moved to Wolverhampton with family at the age of eight. He made his first class debut with Worcestershire in 1995. With team mate Kabir Ali, Vikram played for Rajasthan in the Indian Ranji Trophy in 2006-2007. He joined the Indian Cricket League in 2007 and made 6 appearances for the Mumbai Champs. In 2012, he left Worcestershire at the expiry of his contract and joined Surrey on a two-year contract. He announced his retirement at the end of 2015 season.
Rahul Singh (Actor/Writer)
Rahul Singh was born on 18th October 1976. A well known actor and writer, Rahul now lives in Mumbai. His mother Prabha Thakur is a well known poet and member of Rajya Sabha. In college, Rahul wrote more than 50 street plays and was part of the group that performed for social organisations. In 2001, he appeared in Zubeida. In 2002, he wrote dialogues for Bollywood film Kaante and acted in Jail in 2009. He has also acted in TV serials apart from a lot of other Indian films. He has also performed in classical and modern plays of English Theatre.
His strong performances have been in Dushman(taxi driver), Zubeida(Uday Singh), Kyun!Ho gaya na (Banna). His latest TV serial performance has been in Peshwa BajiRao as Aurangzeb.
Nakuul Mehta (Model/Dancer/Actor/Director/Producer)
Born in Udaipur on 17th January 1983, Nakuul Mehta has a lot of feathers in his cap. As model, actor, dancer, director and producer he rose to fame with TV serial Pyar ka dard hai meetha meetha pyara pyara. He did his M.Com. from Mumbai and trained in different dance forms like break dance, Jazz, Hip-hop, Salsa and contemporary. He even hosted the TV show India’s Got Talent in 2015.
Aindrita Ray (Model/Actress)
She was the youngest daughter born to a Bengali family in Udaipur 1984/1985(exact year not known). Since her father has been with the Indian Airforce, Aindrita has moved a lot from place to place. She is now settled in Bengaluru acting in Kannada films. She has appeared in various Kannada, Bengali and Telugu films. In 2010 she appeared in Hindi film The Flat. She has received many awards and was also nominated for Filmfare Awards.