For the audience at the mono act competition at the Kerala University Youth Festival who were put off by the loud melodramatic performances, Nishad’s portrayal of sportsmen in slow motion on a TV screen was a novel experience. Without so much as a whisper, he conveyed to all the pain and passion that the men on field put into such stirring performances.

But few knew that Nishad, a first year B.Sc student at the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) in Akkulam, could only see the applause, not hear it. That power-packed performance, which included an athlete running towards the audience with facial muscles shifting vigorously, an intense volleyball match and a cricket match complete with umpires and fielders, won him the first place in the competition.

“Nishad began taking an interest in mono act when he was in class 7. He liked to portray the expressions on sportsmen’s faces, as most of his time was spent in watching matches on television. When he came to our college, he was inspired by the performances of his seniors and signed up for the competition. He is a self taught mono act artiste,” says A. Shiju, a NISH instructor. His winning the first place was even more special as it came in a competition in which more than 50 students participated.