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Sans fizz and spontaneity


Crazy situations and flashes of humour ... "Kuzhandhaisamy".

USUALLY, S. Ve. Shekher's plays are as light as the breeze and the whole exercise is carried off effortlessly by him. Themes as airy as thistledown, and digs at all and sundry make for a bagful of laughs. ``Kuzhandhaisamy'', Natakhapriya's 23rd play, (organised recently by Abbas/Prabhat at the Narada Gana Sabha Hall) has crazy situations and flashes of humour. But conspicuous by its absence was the fizz. And the spontaneity that makes each flippant remark such fun.

Siva's (S. Ve. Shekher's) parents are looking out for a bride for him. (How much longer have we to see the getting-wider-by-the-day Shekher playing the young groom to-be?) They find her but she gives them the slip and her namesake Radhika (Kalpana) steps into her place. Shekher's bride has an obsession for anything ``readymade.'' But still he hadn't bargained for her plan to go in for a readymade child. With schooling being the ordeal it is for both parents and students, they decide to adopt a 15 year old who has gone through the rigours of school. A mistake results in a 51 year old (who looks nothing less than 71) landing up at their home as their adopted child! But not before the plot assiduously explores various situations for laughs.

The viewer tries his best to aid Shekher (story, screenplay and direction) in his crusade for humour. But unless you are a die-hard fan, your enthusiasm peters out midway. You lapse into a stupor as the plot winds its way through the bungling of the politician-friend which brings an indignant rowdy to the couple's doorstep and arrives at the climax — the entry of the old man into their home. The situation is not only absurd but distasteful as well, as the old man runs after the couple bleating ``mummy'' and ``daddy'' at regular intervals. Some time later, his daughter is introduced into the scene and she does her bit of running around after her ``grandparents''. And if you guessed the end, you are no Hercule Poirot. Shekher, who is generally the life and soul of the party, seems content to bask in sartorial splendour with a change of shirt for every scene. Support from other artistes is not as good as it should be. Some stage presence is definitely called for in the heroine.

The lines penned for the politician (Telephone Mani) who constantly carries around a statue waiting for the court verdict, raise a few laughs. So do the ones written for Siva's mother (Soundarya) who is mad about TV mega serials and identifies everyone she meets with a character she has seen in a serial. Otherwise, the dialogue (Kovi. Kovan) is nothing much to write home about. The theme too is very reminiscent of ``Jurassic Baby."

One sympathises with veterans who have to work hard to unearth novel ideas for each new play. But why not wait for the inspiration to strike? Shekher, with his superb sense of timing and his flair for the comic, can surely do better than this.

KAUSALYA SANTHANAM

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