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Ode to the guru of theatre

Sankaradas Swamigal was remembered by members of Madurai Tamil Nadu Nadaga Nadigar Sangam

Photo: G. Moorthy

Breathtaking Remembering a tradition

The auditorium broke into a rapturous applause when Arjuna of ‘Pavalakodi’ gave a comic explanation that he is looking after the ‘stone draped in sari’ with all his research knowledge and certainly not thinking of it as a woman. Lord Krishna maintains silence for a moment.

If you are a new watcher, it may take time to decipher the tinge of humour and sense embedded in the dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna. But when you understand it, you cannot but help laugh heartily.

Laughter was spontaneous inside the Raja Muthiah Mandram recently when important scenes from ‘Pavalakodi’, a drama written by Sankaradas Swamigal were being re-enacted. The occasion was Mupperum Vizha – 86th Guru puja of Sankaradas Swamigal, and felicitation for members of South Indian Film Artistes Association organised by Madurai Tamil Nadu Nadaga Nadigar Sangam.

Stage will come back

The day long celebrations picked up momentum in the evening with actors turning up to pay tribute to Sankaradas Swamigal. Sarath Kumar, Radha Ravi, Vijaya Kumar, Manorama, Pasi Satya, Satya Priya, Mumtaz, Vindiya, Senthil, Charlie and many more were present at the function.

Speaking on the occasion as the president of South Indian Film Artistes Association and Akila Indhiya Samthuva Makkal Katchi, Sarath Kumar predicted that stage will soon make a comeback as evident in the increasing patronage. “It is like a cycle, cinema has its origin in koothu, drama and again cinema will make a come back in the form of drama,” he said.

Mr. Sarath Kumar also promised to donate a sum of Rs.Two lakh for the construction of a marriage hall at Thanakankulam, where an exclusive housing colony for artists has been established by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board. The SIFAA would contribute Rs.One lakh while the remaining amount would be generated through donations.

Actor Radha Ravi fondly remembered his family’s connection with the theatre and highlighted the uniqueness of SIFAA that encompasses all drama artists and their association as its members.

“It is our duty and we relish in organising the gurupuja for swamigal whom we revere,” said R.R.Raju, vice-president of Madurai Tamil Nadu Nadaga Nadigar Sangam.

“Watching Kamal Hassan in 10 roles with the aid of technology in ‘Dasavatharam’ is certainly enticing, but it will be all the more enthralling when you watch artists performing live. It is unparalleled, isn’t it,?" asked 70-year-old P.Ramiah, who was watching the drama. Indeed, after watching the scenes from ‘Pavalakodi,’ nobody would disagree.

Infobox

Born in 1867

Wrote 68 plays

Introduced harmonium in stage plays.

Groomed actors such as MGR, Sivaji Ganesan and M.R.Radha

S.S. KAVITHA

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