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Timely tribute to Uroob

MALEEHA RAGHAVIAH

`Uroob: Kalamthanneyanu' attempts to cover the entire gamut of works and characters of Uroob's novels and more.



Quiet flows the Kallayi: Transforming Uroob's novels on celluloid.

"What I have sought to depict is the inherent element of timelessness in Uroob's novels - like Ponnani or Kallayi rivers. It portrays the deep sensitivity of the author and the vibrancy of his novels.

Of ordinary souls immortalised, the element of poetry in the flowing of a river or the fragrance of the pepper vine," says C.P. Rajasekharan, the director of `Uroob: Kalamthanneyanu,' on writer Uroob alias P.C. Kuttikrishnan.

"I knew Uroob personally. I felt it was my duty to make a film on him. Many a time he was the producer, and I the director. This documentary is a continuation of that association," he adds. Rajasekharan, who is the Director, All India Radio, Kozhikode, says Uroob's son, Sudhakaran, who resembles his father, seemed the right choice to enact the role. M.T. Vasudevan Nair, litterateur, who switched on the camera for the docu-film,and others who knew Uroob well, were surprised at the similarity between the father and son - not just the looks, but the mannerisms as well. Initially, Sudhakaran was sceptical. But once he got into the mode, he carried on in the most informal manner.

"Before I started shooting the film, I visited Ponnani and interacted with some of the characters, who are still around. I read Uroob's works. This docu-film is a recreation of his works, personality and experiences," says Rajasekharan. By juxtaposing imageries of the familiar scenes in Uroob's novels with the characters who dominated his stories, Rajasekharan has woven a tapestry that appeals to the heart and strikes a chord with the viewers. Jayan Chembazhanthi handles the camera.

Characters of `Ummachu'

Except for the opening scene, what follows is fiction. There are fleeting depictions of `Ummachu,' a name that conjures up pictures of the woman who has been immortalised by Uroob, and the profusely read novel by the same name. "Possibly, Uroob met the character in `Ummachu' during one of his visits to Ponnani court," adds Rajasekharan. The documentary portrays the extraordinary beauty and inner strength that Uroob recognised in ordinary people; his reflections on Malabar during the Second World War and after, and the communal harmony in the social milieu.

The bond between Edassery Govindan Nair and Uroob forms the basis of many episodes. Amminiattathi, the empowered woman, glimpses of Hassanar, Chakkunni Nair and Nalini, all immortalised by Uroob, find place in the documentary. Uroob's school in Ponnani, and his ambition to be a postman are not forgotten. One gets glimpses of the Kuttipuram and the Kallayi bridges, which had much symbolism for Uroob, Radha Theatre at Sweet Meat Bazaar, which was the rendezvous of writers in Kozhikode, including S.K. Pottekkat.

Experienced director

Rajasekharan has made docu-fictions on Vishu, Easter and the Cochin Shipyard. He won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award for Best Malayalam play in 1987, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi award for total contribution to theatre in 1991, Doordarshan award for best scripting and production and Akashavani national awards several times for scripts and productionThe 50th anniversary of Uroob's novel `Ummachu' had invoked memories of the noted novelist's characters in a hundred ways, and this docu-film is a walk down memory lane, and a tribute to the popular writer.

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