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Tribute to a master storyteller

Soorya Krishnamoorthy brought to life many characters in M.T. Vasudevan Nair's stories through a light and sound show.



Bringing alive MT's characters on stage.

IT was an exhilarating experience for the audience who had gathered at the Salvation Army School ground in Thiruvananthapuram last week. `Thudarcha,' a light and sound show by Soorya Krishnamoorthy, was presented by more than 60 theatre artistes. Krishnamoorthy wanted it to be a `gurudakshina' to the writer M.T. Vasudevan Nair. This was the reason why Krishnamoorthy brought to life major characters of MT's works.

"It is a meeting between MT's characters and those in my fiction. And they share their miseries as the story proceeds," says Krishnamoorthy.

Necessary evils

Through the show, Krishnamoorthy tried to underline the point that miseries are necessary evils for the growth of any artiste. So, Unni, the main character in the story, returns to his village whenever he finds himself searching for ideas. He knows that there is no happy news waiting for him in the village. Still, he keeps returning and is repeatedly hurt. The fond memories of his mother pull him back to his village. The two Ammus who weave in and out of his life are just pawns on the board, he knows. Unni cannot blame anyone but his fate.

Krishnamoorthy as a writer gave fresh lease of life to many characters that M.T. Vasudevan Nair created with subtle strokes. What would have happened to the immortal characters after 40 years? Krishnamoorthy has tried to answer this question through this show.

Complete characters

Almost all characters in the show are round, complete and effective. The mother of Unni is reduced to a voice. "Still it has brought tears to me many times," says Perumpadavam Sreedharan, renowned novelist. This is a story not only of Unni but also of a village, of Nila, of Thannikunnu, in which many innocent men such as the `velichapad,' `bhagavathar,' Kathakali dancer and a boatman who is waiting for the day the Nila regains its lost treasure, merge. Each one is caught in a vortex. The whole village is going down, the audience see it from a distance, but the poor countrymen are too close to sense the imminent doom.

Says ONV Kurup, poet and lyricist, "This is the story of writers like us. Writers who burn like wicks to throw light around."

"The miseries they face is the oil that keeps them burning," says one character. Krishnamoorthy says it took several months to put up a show like this. "I read my story aloud to people from all walks of life and made necessary corrections before flagging off this project."

`Thudarcha,' scripted and directed by Krishnamoorthy, is produced by the Malappuram District Tourism Promotion Council. "We will go to Malappuram in order to train the artistes there to perform this show," says Krishnamoorthy.

MANU REMAKANT

Photo: S. Mahinsha

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