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Kailasam is an all-time favourite. Two of his plays were staged in Bangalore recently

T.P. Kailasam may no longer be amidst us in flesh and blood, but he remains with us through his works. Who can forget “Tipparalli Baludoora / Nadiyok Baludoora...” or “Kolike Ranga” or the many more. His Anglokannada emanates from the deep understanding of the middle class homes, in the changing social scenario of the early 20th century. Recently, two of his plays, “Ammavara Ganda” and “Home Ruloo”, were staged along with “Kailasam Jhalak” on two consecutive days. The Jhalak comprised of reflections on his life and work.

The play “Ammavara Ganda’, with a slight change in its texture, with the inclusion of popular film numbers like “Jinke Marina” and “Preetine Aa Dyavru Tanda Asthi Namma Balvege”, in its music, came in a new casing “All New Ammavara Ganda”, staged by Vatikutira, directed by Kiran Vati.

The play did not merely concentrate upon the theme of changing gender roles, and the assertion of identities, fight for equality, and the resulting conflict in a domestic situation. Instead, it made an important observation regarding children as the victims of such crises in the family situation.

As one watched the team enact “Ammavara Ganda”, it was clear that it was the result of a good number of rehearsals. The Herculean task of rendering the lines powerfully along with a good body language and acting was accomplished effectively. The acting of Subbu (Vadiraj Bhat) was remarkable. His body language and the easy and powerful rendering of the lines were excellent, so was the acting of his comrade, Narasimhayya (H.C. Srinivas), though he fumbled for the right words at certain instances, he managed in a way that did not ruin the play or plot. The performance of both Saroja (Deepa), as the wife of Subbu and Kamalu (Vidya Venkatram), as the wife of Narasimhayya were good, though Saroja’s acting and body language was certainly more powerful. The sets were simple,the lighting was good and the music was effective and gave a whiff of fresh air to the play.

Regarding the other play “Home Ruloo”, staged by the Antharanga, directed by S.K. Madhava Rao, it was disturbing to see the audience break into laughter at almost every dialogue rendered and scene enacted. Kailasam in his book “Little Lays and Plays” says: “The barque of humour often veers/ From shoals of smiles to seas of tears.” The serious element behind the veil of humour, probably went unnoticed by most of them present in the audience. The blame of it also rests upon the shoulders of some of the actors, if not all.

The play portraying a changing family scenario in the evolving society, giving rise to tension and turbulence, could have been dealt better. Venkamma’s (Suguna Suresh), concentration seemed more on the rendering of the lines and hardly upon the emotions or body language, and the character of Iyeru, wore a near expressionless face, though the character of Iyengaru did a much better job. Subbamma (S.K. Madhava Rao), Ramanna (Y.V. Gundu Rao) and Bora delivered the dialogues powerfully along with an effective body language, suitable emotions and with ease. The lighting was good and the sets simple. The “Kailasam Jhalak” directed by Gundu-Raj, had actors enacting bits and pieces from a couple of his plays, rendering his poems “Borana Bhara” and “Tipparalli”. The reflections on the life of Kailasam, was both humorous and tugged at one’s heartstrings.

BHUMIKA RAJAN

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