It was a moment of elation for Sruthi Devidas of Federal Institute of Science and Technology, Angamaly, who shared the first prize in Kathakali with Remya Krishnan of Sree Buddha College of Engineering for Women at Elavumthitta, to join the league of her mother, S. Sasikala, who too stood first in the Kathakali contest in the first youth festival of the Mahatma Gandhi University Union way back in 1984.
Sruthi says she has been learning Kathakali from Class 5 and had won first prize at the State arts festivals held in Tirur, Ernakulam, and Kannur. Moreover, she has been winning top slot in Kathakali in the university youth festival for the past three years.
She has been learning Kathakali from Balasubramiyam, former principal of Kerala Kalamandalam, and Kalamandalam Sreekumar.
The mother-daughter duo has shared many stages, says Sasikala. Sruthi's father, Devidas, is an Ayurveda practitioner.
Remya Krishnan, who has shared the prize with Sruthi, has been learning Kathakali for the past six years. A first year B.Tech. (Computer Science) student, Remya too has bagged first prizes for Kathakali at State school arts festival and higher secondary school arts festival.
Daughter of Krishnan Namboodiri, a temple priest, and Radhadevi, she says her entire family are Kathakali connoisseurs.