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Thespian's homage to a writer

Manu Remakant

Kaladharan brought to life Kunjaikutty Pillai Karanavar, a character of C.V. Raman Pillai's seminal novel `Ramarajya Bahadur.'



Soliloquy: Kaladharan as Kunjaikutty Pillai Karanavar . Photo: S. Gopakumar

People who gathered in Gorky Bhavan to participate in the Jayanti celebrations of the renowned Malayalam writer C.V. Raman Pillai were treated to a magnificent play by thespian Kaladharan.

The play began with a introduction by P. Venugopal. It was an adapatation of `Bali' the 33rd chapter of the famous novel of C.V., `Ramarajya Bahadur.'

The play began with Kunjaikutty Pillai Karanavar, who is an astrologer, spy and loyal servant of the king, and the diwan meeting Dharmaraja to discuss a crisis. The actors skilfully transported the audience to another era when the erstwhile Travancore was threatened by Tipu Sultan. The only way out to safeguard the kingdom is to appeal to the patriotism of Kunjaikutty Pillai Karanavar. In the end Kunjaikutty decides to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the land and his king.

The second scene saw Kunjaikutty scaling the heights of a mountain (and immortality) to reach the source of the Periyar. Kaladharan as Kunjaikutty subtly blended Kathakali and Koodiyattam to make his solo performance a memorable experience for the audience.

Kunjaikutty's moods dictated the pace of the play. With no props, Kaladahran portrayed Kujaikutty's difficulties in breaking the boulders to change the course of the Periyar. Kaladharan as director and hero brilliantly captured the essence of the play.

The play was staged by C.V. National Foundation in association with the Lovers of Indian Visual Entertainment (LIVE).

Rosscote Krishnapillai, grandson of C.V. Raman Pillai, says, "We regularly conduct workshops and stage performances to commemorate C.V.'s anniversary. No other writer has exploited all the nine rasas in his works. So each year a writer talks about the use of one rasa in CV's novel."

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