The staging of ‘Kiratham’ Kathakali at Ernakulam was well-received by the audience.

A recent performance of ‘Kiratham’ attakatha at Ernakulam was a delight to the audience.

Written by Irrattakulangara Rama Warrier, ‘Kiratham’ narrates the story of Arjuna’s penance to acquire a mighty weapon called ‘Pasupathasthra’ from Lord Shiva. The story is an excerpt from the Mahabharata.

While living in exile, at the request of Yudhishtira, Arjuna observes a tough penance to acquire the divine weapon. Eventually, Lord Shiva relents but only after teaching Arjuna the value of humility.

Lord Shiva and Parvathi appear before Arjuna, in the disguise of a Kattalan (hunter) and his wife. The arrogant Pandava prince is humbled by the Kattalan. But Arjuna’s devotion wins over Lord Shiva and the weapon is given to him.

The play took off with the padam, ‘Paramesa Pahi…’, when Arjuna sets off on his journey for the penance. His hunt for an ideal place brings him to Mount Kailasa. Sadanam Bhasi excelled as the Kattalan and enthralled spectators with funny gestures and vigorous movements. His kalasams with firm steps were perfect.

Sadanam Manikandan donned the role of Arjuna. The rapport between Bhasi and Manikandan was excellent, especially in the scenes depicting the fight between the two characters. Sadanam Sadanandan, Sucheesh K.Rao and Jayasanker acted as kattalasthree, Lord Shiva and Parvathi respectively.

Melodious rendering by versatile artiste Sadanam Harikumar, supported by his son Sadanam Kartik, enriched the beauty of the performance. Recitals of the padams ‘Parameswara pahi…’ and ‘Varu khataka…’ were exceptionally good. Percussionists Sadanam Ramakrishnan on the chenda and Sadanam Devadas on the maddalam supported the actors.

The performance was organised by Ernakulam Kathakali Club and Ernakulam Shivakshethra Upadheshaka Samithi.