Shankar did not limit his creativity to cinema. He was equally immersed in theatre and television. Malgudi days is the best example of Shankar’s oeuvre on television. Prior to globalisation, Doordarshan was the only broadcaster in India. In addition to programme production, Doordarshan used to invite private producers to produce television serials. Shankar accepted the offer and directed Malgudi days, based on the collection of short stories by R.K Narayan in 1987, under the banner of Padam Rag Films. Well known actors Vishnuvardhan, and Anant Nag appeared in the serial. Master Manjunath, who essayed the role of impish Swami became a household name.
The music, accompanied by the nasal twang “Tananaa tana na naa” was composed by L.Vaidyanathan.
The teleserial was shot in Agumbe, Shimoga district, Karnataka. Shankar went to direct another teleserial, titled Swami in the same year. Malgudi days has been rated as one of the finest serials ever that could be made in the history of Indian Television.
Despite dabbling in cinema and later television, Shankar devoted considerable time towards theatre. He envisioned a platform for theatre, folk and performing arts.
He was ploughing his earnings from acting into several creative and innovative endeavors. At a time when there were no recording facilities in Bangalore, he started the Sanketh Electronics Recording Studios. He also established the Bangalore Country Club, where he created facilities for under-water filming.
Shankar Nag, with his wife and daughter, met with a terrible accident along the NH-4 on September 30, 1990. This visionary film-maker and multi talented star died in a road accident in 1990 at a very young age, leaving wife Arundhati and a little daughter behind. The Kannada film industry was shocked and film stars, technicians, directors, producers collectively grieved Shankar’s untimely demise. Though his daughter, Kaavya and Arundhati survived, Shankar Nag breathed his last in the hospital.
Shankar Nag was one of the most brilliant filmmaker, director, actor that Kannada film industry has ever seen. Though Shankar Nag left this world almost 14 years back, people even today cherish his innovativeness, creativity, simplicity and his dedication towards work. This dreamer equally valued the theatrical arts as much as he loved the silver screen. Creating a platform for theater artists, technicians and viewers under one roof was one of his dreams.
The visionary is not here today to see his dream baby but its his wife Arundathi Nag who took the sole responsibility on her shoulder to make his dream come true. It has been an endeavor to execute and create this mammoth space in the city for such noble cause that is aiming at being a catalyst in a form of art that has touched millions across the world. Despite of financial constraints, Arundati Nag made it possible.