Sivakumar’s ‘Aram Seiya Virumbu’ should be an enlightening exercise on Vijay TV this Deepavali.

Unlike earlier occasions, the actor-orator’s speech this Deepavali is a tightrope walk. But, as always it will offer a fiesta for viewers who prefer philosophical ideas made simple and interesting, with anecdotes from real life. The pivot of Sivakumar’s talk, titled ‘Aram Seiya Virumbu,’ will be Vedathri Maharishi’s teachings that are actually truths of life. Yet, you can clearly note Sivakumar eschewing controversy as he underlines the fact that he disassociates himself from any particular spiritual guru.

The special screening of ‘Aram Seiya Virumbu,’ to be telecast on Vijay TV this Deepavali (8.30 to 10 a.m.) was held at Four Frames Preview theatre, in Chennai. “Kindly pardon the inconvenience. This large turnout was unexpected,” began Sivakumar, in his short address before the show. “I’m a theist who doesn’t believe in visiting temples, because I think God is all-pervading. Similarly I don’t align myself with any saint or sadhu.”

Still, as a person who has observed Sivakumar for the past few years I couldn’t comprehend the relevance of Vedathri Maharishi and his teachings being the fulcrum of ‘Aram Seiya …’, till he explained the circumstances to me, in a one-to-one: “The programme was held at Coddisia Hall in Coimbatore, in the presence of an 8,500 strong crowd, in honour of S.K. Mayilanandhan, a Padmashri awardee, philanthropist and a devotee of Vedathri Maharishi. I ruminated a lot before accepting the invitation. But after an in-depth study, I decided it was worth it because the bottomline of his teaching was Knowledge is God, which is a universal truth. Still if you ask me whether I’ll speak about such universal truths as a devotee of the Maharishi, it’s a clear ‘No’.

Wisdom, wherever it comes from, has to be imbibed, and that’s what I do. I’m inspired by the Vedas and our epics and all these philosophies are present in them too.” Sivakumar’s stand is clear.

Blend of emotions

As a telling document, ‘Aram Seiya …’ traverses many a terrain, touches upon the lives of Vallalar and Gandhi, Adi Sankara and Bharatiyar, Vivekananda and Jesus Christ. Like a river moving slowly at certain points and gushing out at others, a blend of emotions are on display as he delivers his address. A clear advantage of being an actor-orator!

Womanhood as exemplified by the mother and the wife in every home, comes in for a lot of praise, as Sivakumar garnishes it with the beliefs of Jayaprakash Narayan and his wife Prabhavati, and Karl Heinrich Marx and his wife Jenny von Westphalen. From the sublime, Sivakumar shifts to the deplorable, as he speaks with anguish about our callousness that allows manual scavenging to continue in the country.

This time round you will notice that much attention has been given to the stage décor, the visuals and camera angles of Sivakumar’s oration.

For the first time, you will see him standing at the podium attired in a white dhoti and shirt for the event. And probably for the first time, some of the pictures used to augment the programme will evoke a smile. The only snag is that the effort seems hurried at a few places. “I couldn’t help it. Time was running out and I was given the stage quite late. I had to make it crisper than I had intended,” explains Sivakumar.

Just like ‘Patti Mandrams’ are the hallmark of special occasions on television, Sivakumar’s speeches are also becoming constant features. Shows that the admiration for the man’s prowess is only increasing by the day!