Kerala’s two leading artistes from two different streams have joined hands to create a fusion of audio-visual experience to celebrate the country’s 75th Independence Day.
The fusion Tholpavakkoothu titled Swathanthryamrutham being created by Ramachandra Pulavar and Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan has been the first of its kind.
Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan, Guinness World Record holder for playing mridangam for 501 hours non-stop, created yet another history when he joined Tholpavakkoothu maestro Ramachandra Pulavar in Swathanthryamrutham fusion.
Using mridu, a light-weight mridangam he developed, Ramakrishnan has provided five songs he penned to the fine puppet movements created by Pulavar’s Tholpavakkoothu troupe. Together, they have created a unique audio-visual wonder documenting various episodes of India’s freedom movement.
Ramakrishnan has played mridu to the songs such as Uyarum Pathaka, Ezhupathanchandu, Mahatharamakum, Subhachinthayode and Athisayamaam. Thrissur Ramachandran tuned the music and sang the songs.
“This is one of the rarest of opportunities that we got to present the history of our freedom struggle through a fusion of our traditional art forms,” Ramakrishnan told The Hindu.
From the 1857 First War of Independence and India’s culture, to the return of Mahatma Gandhi from abroad and the significance of satyagraha and non-violence, the fusion show encapsulates all major episodes of the freedom struggle.
Lokmanya Tilak’s call for complete swaraj, the famous Azad Hind Fauj march to Delhi under the leadership of Subhas Chandra Bose, Quit India struggle, Jallianwala Bagh massacre, and Wagon Tragedy too feature in the audio-visual.
The fusion show was premiered at Cherpulassey under the auspices of the Lions Club Cherpulassery on Saturday evening. “We have created the fusion in such a way as to cement the spirit of patriotism within ourselves,” says Pulavar and Ramakrishnan.
The next show will take place at C.A. Higher Secondary School, Kuzhalmannam, as part of a National Service Scheme camp at 11 a.m. on Monday. “We are planning to take this programme further. Many inquiries are coming,” they say.