Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Sep 20, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Thiruvananthapuram
Published on Mondays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

Braving the odds

For K. Chandran Nair, Ottan Thullal is a passion that borders on reverence


K. CHANDRAN Nair dispenses tea at the busy canteen of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) while humming the verses of the popular Ottan Thullal play, `Garuda Gharva Bhangam'.

For Chandran, Thullal is a passion that borders on reverence. Unlike many of his contemporaries, no one from Chandran's family has been performing the art form. A passion for the art form is what prompted him to take up lessons in Thullal.

"My uncle was the one who taught me more about the nuances of the art form. Thullal has been on the decline for some time now. I took up Thullal because of my desire to contribute to its revival," says Chandran.

Chandran Nair has been performing Thullal in different parts of the State. He trained at the `Guru Gopinath Viswa Kalakendram', Vattiyoorkavu, in Thiruvananthapuram under Kazhakoottam Bhaskara Pillai. Chandran was awarded a fellowship by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, in 1995 and 1996 to promote Seethangan and Parayan Thullal.

Rhythm

Thullal, a form of art, which dwells on social realities, places prime importance on rhythm. "Lyrics are developed to suit the rhythm. Seethangan and Parayan Thullal are the two variants of Thullal that differ mainly on account of the pace of the rhythm. There are also differences in make-up for the three forms of Thullal. Ottan Thullal is the fastest and most popular," he explains.

Versatility

To become a successful Thullal artiste is a difficult task, as the artiste has to communicate with the audience even while singing, dancing and acting simultaneously. Rigorous practice and arduous exercises help to develop an agile body and mind. "A good artiste is distinguished from an average one by the spontaneity and versatility with which s/he enacts a play to suit the taste of the audience," he observes.

Despite the efforts taken by Thullal artistes to revive the traditional art form, they hardly get any sort of recognition. Many entrants shy away from pursuing this art form due to the absence of proper remuneration.

"Though I have been performing Thullal for the past 25 years, I barely manage to earn Rs. 3,500 for a performance. I also have to bear the travel, accommodation and food expenses of the troupe members," says Chandran.

Lack of awareness

Chandran is concerned about the lack of awareness on Thullal. The art form, commonly staged in temples, fails to appeal to the younger generation. He says, "Cinema could help spread awareness to revive and promote Thullal." Chandran prefers to adhere to the traditional standards of performing the art form and believes that Thullal should be "retained in the way it was developed by the visionary, Kunchan Nambiar".

His children, Dhanya and Divya, are eager to follow in the footsteps of their father. Despite his hectic schedule at the canteen, Chandran finds time to practise Thullal. "I am glad that I have been able to contribute to the promotion and revival of this great art form, though in a small way," adds the artiste.

REMA SUNDAR

Photo: S. Gopakumar

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Madurai    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2004, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu