For the last 16 years, Pothiyil Narayana Chakyar is bringing smiles on the face of participants of the Chakyarkoothu event. His disciples had been walking away with top honours in the event for many years.
The record was not broken this time also, with his student Anish Shankar bagging the first prize. Winning has become a habit for Narayana Chakyar and his team. Despite achieving such laurels, he is against the growing trend to "shape up" traditional art forms for winning prizes in arts festivals.
"There are several parents who approach me saying that their ward should be trained to get a prize in an arts festival. While selecting students, I make it sure that they have a genuine interest in the art form."
A disciple of Mani Madhava Chakyar, Pothiyil Narayana Chakyar has students all over the State. For this festival, he brought three students representing Malappuram, Palakkad and Kozhikode. "I have told my students not to include humour for the sake of humour in the narrative. There is a general perception that such a style might impress the panel evaluating the event."
But Narayana Chakyar says that there is nothing wrong in presenting political issues during the performance. "But care should be taken not to mention the names of political persons," he adds.