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Guinness record at his fingertips

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Test of endurance: Sudhir Kadalundi performing on tabla. —
Test of endurance: Sudhir Kadalundi performing on tabla. —

P.K. Ajith Kumar

Sudhir, a Kadalundi native, attempts to rewrite his own record by playing tabla for 101 hours, non-stop.

KADALUNDI: The first thing that strikes you when you approach the railway crossing in this village is the beats of tabala pushing into background the singer’s voice.

As it should, for, in progress is a mammoth effort – by Sudhir Kadalundi, who is attempting to rewrite his own world record in the Guinness Book ‘for the longest performance on a hand drum’ (tabla).

It is day two of Sudhir’s five-day marathon (he plans to play on for 101 hours). A little girl, dressed in yellow, is singing an S. Janaki classic, “Pulayanar maniyamma…” from the film ‘Prasadam.’ It is a decent effort and Sudhir’s fingers dance on the tabala.

The few hundreds, who have been watching from early morning, applaud gently while the man waits for the next song to begin, his fingers still on the tabla.

He wipes sweat from his face with his left hand, while the right refuses to leave the instrument. The tabla, indeed, looks like an extension of his hands.

It always has. On January 27, 2005, he played for 57 hours and 30 minutes to walk into the Guinness Book for the first time. An entire village is waiting to see him do it again.

Before his folks

“I came here to support him in his attempt,” said Bincy, Sudhir’s neighbour. Even more excited is Nambayil Das, who heads the large organising committee of ‘Minar Thalalayam 2008’ (the official name of Sudhir’s recital). “We could have organised this in a city like Kozhikode, but we wanted Sudhir to perform the feat in front of his own people,” he said.

“The response has been fantastic and 1,200 songs will be rendered by the time the programme concludes on Sunday. We wanted to include film songs to accompany Sudhir’s tabala so that people could be entertained even more.”

The programme was inaugurated by lyricist Kaithapram on April 2. Kadalundi is waiting anxiously for Sudhir to accomplish his mission. That should come some time late on Sunday night.

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