Wednesday, February 07, 2007
I got introduced to Malayalam drama when I was pretty much young. My dad used to be associated with or rather was instrumental in organizing All Kerala Drama Festivals through his Club (I think it was called Falcons) and one of the first malayalam play that I read was a manuscript named Kadalassupookal (Paper Flowers) submitted for entry into this competition.There were also a number of black and white photographs of my dad as the hero of several plays in our family album including some with actress Philomena who incidentally is from Thrissur. (My mother definitely was not crazy about these photos). Needless to say with us kids growing up he had very little time to spend nurturing his club and the remnants of his venture like the shiny satin curtains was put to good use as draperies in my house.
Still I used to get a regular dose of Malayalam dram through my one of my uncles who was a connoisseur of drama. We used to visit their house every summer and he would take me and my brother out along with his family to watch the latest Malayalam plays. More than the pleasure of watching the nadakam there was much more enjoyments in the next few days in observing my uncle dissect the drama and the actors and give his critique on their performance. This is was almost like a group discussion the kind one might encounter these days for an MBA admission with everyone including me eager to prove their leadership skills and put their point across and at the same time making sure they do not ruffle any feather while taking the maximum airspace.
My own forays into the world of theater started when I was chosen to play the wicked step mother to Snow White in the school annual day. Not a very auspicious beginning I would say. This progressed into romantic hero roles during my senior years which kind of were a disaster considering I always wanted to be the romantic heroine. Only time I ever got to play a women on stage was once in school youth festival when I played the role of Sakuntala’s Thozhi.( I swear there was no Sakunthala in the drama, or I am sure I would have landed that role with my histrionic ability.) Once I progressed into women’s college these roles changed to even more snappier ones like a double role as St. Paul and Christ( you are right ..there was no one else ready to carry that cross). A swift end to my interest in the field came after we enacted a serious play at the D Zone arts Festival. School of Drama students from Aranatukkara came in for a little bit of voice coaching and a whole lot of mouth watching (Vai Nottam). They wanted to make sure they make good the only time they could enter into the armored gates of our women’s college without undergoing interrogation that even a terrorist cannot stand (Many a real brother has confessed to being a lover during such interrogation according to college legends).The very serious modern play was initially declared a winner but was later relegated to down under which I still believe was a drama enacted by our arch rivals at the Engineering College against us the fairer sex in womens college. There ends my chapter in dramatics.