The aspirants got a feel of what to expect when actor KPAC Lalitha recounted her experience of giving voice to the lead female character Narayani in the film version of Basheer’s Mathilukal.

The huge auditorium of the Government Women’s College here was packed. It was the inaugural of a workshop, and most of the audience would later be its active participants. ‘Basheer Kathapaathra Shilpashala,’ which will be held in Kochi and Kozhikode as well, is searching for fresh faces to appear in the celluloid version of Balyakaalasakhi, Vaikom Mohammed Basheer’s masterpiece.

The aspirants got a feel of what to expect when actor KPAC Lalitha recounted her experience of giving voice to the lead female character Narayani in the film version of Basheer’s Mathilukal. “I am certain that among you there are Narayanis and Mariammas waiting to be cast,” she said, alluding to classic characters in Basheer’s novels. “But please, do not come up as KPAC Lalitha because I intend to stay here for a while,” she said to loud laughter and applause. 

Poet O.N.V. Kurup, who inaugurated the workshop, labelled Basheer’s works as classics and worthy of Nobel laurels. He appreciated the celebration and the Kerala University Union’s effort in engaging with the youth in such a large-scale for the production of Balyakaalasakhi, the protagonistsof itbeingMajeed and Suhra. Actor Suraj Venjaramoodu mimicked Mammootty and Mohanlal and brought the house down.

The film, being produced under the banner of Living Arts and Aesthes Media and directed by Pramod Payyanur, has been in the pipeline for a while now. Mr. Payannur said “this screen test” would give the talented an opportunity to act alongside veterans of the field, including Mammootty. On the first day auditions were held for the 18-30 age group. Those above 30 years would be auditioned on Saturday and on the final day, children would showcase their acting skills. 

Minister for Social Welfare M.K Muneer lauded Basheer’s skill in “turning a local tongue into a world language” and noted that everybody could find something to relate to in the wealth of the author’s works. “Not literature, but life,” theatre artiste Murali Menon described Basheer’s stories thus and wished the aspiring actors luck.