Theatre

Karna's dilemma

Scene from Karnasapadham   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Kathakali never loses its charm. Even when there is nothing new as far as the story is concerned, each performance becomes a different experience for spectators. Such was the case when ‘Karnasapadham' was staged at Puliyanam Government Higher Secondary School, near Angamaly.

Written by Mali, ‘Karnasapadham' unfolds the situation just before the battle of Kurukshetra. Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas, meets Bhanumathy, his distraught wife. She fears for her husband's life and Duryodhana's attempts to soothe her fears come to naught. It is Karna who finally calms her and gives her hope.

The next scene shows Karna meditating on the banks of the Ganges when he is approached by Kunti. In spite of her revelation, that she is his mother, he refuses to change his allegiance to the Pandavas.

Loyal warrior

Dushasana, Duryodhana's brother, overhears the conversation and reports the event to his brother. Even when Duryodhana gives him the freedom to choose between his siblings and the Kauravas, Karna reiterates his loyalty to Duryodhana.

Kalamandalam Shanmukhan played Karna. Through subtle expressions and dramatic movements, Shanmukhan was able to come up with a brilliant depiction of Karna's inner conflicts, affection, love and loyalty. Chambakkara Vijayan excelled as Kunti as he essayed the helpless mother's love and affection. Kalamandalam Neeraj and Kasinathan played Duryodhana and Bhanumathy respectively while Kalamandalam Chinosh enacted Dushasana.

A highlight of the show was the music rendered by Kottakkal Madhu and Kottakkal Santhosh. Kalamandalam Harish and Prasanth played the chenda and the maddalam respectively. The programme was organised by Kalamandalam Hyderali Smaraka Kathakali Samithy, Puliyanam.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 5:48:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/Karnas-dilemma/article16044704.ece

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