Tears welled when Jayaram Perumal, narrated his sad story. And when Victor Jara, an orphan took to the stage, the audience could no control its tears.
Jayaram and Victor two street children, who led a wayward life in the filth and squalor of Bangalore, were rescued by well known sculptor John Devraj. Both are today accomplished painters and sculptors.
Jayaram recounted how he was into drugs and petty crimes before he was put on the righteous path. Victor rendered a song he had composed, while mentor Devraj strummed the guitar in the background.
The Jury of the Essel Karnataka Art and Culture Awards headed by Justice A J Sadashiva had recommended that a special mention be made of the two at the Awards ceremony, along with another young Bharatanatyam artiste Kirti Ramgopal.
The event showcased Karnataka's rich culture right from the famous Dollu Kunitha to Channapatna toys.
The winners were B K S Varma (Fine Arts), B Jayashree (Theatre), Sridhar and Anuradha (Dance) Shubendra Rao (Music) and T C Savitha (Folk). The people's award went to Varma.
The highlight of the event was a live jugalbandhi where Varma instantly depicted Jayashree's songs on canvas. The audience gave Savitha a resounding ovation when she regaled them with the traditional Puja Kunitha.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to well known theatre personality Dr Yenagi Balappa.