FRIDAY REVIEW

Upholding lineage

Writer at heart: Raj Nair has made a short film and written a book.

Writer at heart: Raj Nair has made a short film and written a book.  

PREMA MANMADHAN

Raj Nair’s feature film ‘Punyam Aham’ is based on the legend of Naranathu Bhranthan.

My early years in Alappuzha with my grandparents, cousins and friends moulded my love for the written word and the arts.



He has the benefit of lineage; he has that freedom of mental space to pursue his heart. That is why, this guy with a doctorate in oral medicine, who teaches this subject at a University in Brisbane, Australia, is dabbling in documentaries and feature films.

Debut film

Raj Nair first filmed his grandmother Katha’s life to show the world what it’s like to be old and lonely. “The film, ‘Kazhchavasthukkal’ documents the realities of aging, of past and current social issues and the colour of loneliness,” he says.

Now, he is on to a feature film, ‘Punyam Aham,’ based on the legend of Vararuchi, Panjami and Naranathu Bhranthan. Like him, his protagonist’s parents come from two different strata of society. He seeks to learn more about his father and the film unfolds his experiences.

“Prithviraj plays the lead. Samvritha Sunil is the female lead. Nedumudi Venu, K.P.A.C. Lalitha and M.R. Gopakumar play important roles. M.J. Radhakrishnan is the cinematographer, Isaac Kottukapilly the music director and Beena Paul Venugopal edits,” says Raj, who plans to begin shoot in September. Raj, Shyamaprasad and Janardhana Menon, under the baton of Mirabilia films, are producing this movie. It has no songs, but there is a theme song, says Raj who has written the screenplay too.

“My early years in Alappuzha with my grandparents, cousins and friends moulded my love for the written word and the arts. I used to write short stories and a lot of poems, which we recited and enjoyed. We were a group which loved to discuss literature, theatre and works of art in our formative years.

He is a writer, who strayed into medicine and dentistry, he insists. He has published a book called ‘Nishabdathayilae Theerthadakan’. Noted writers and other literati who came to visit his grandfather Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, had a great influence on him. Later, his tryst with dentistry led him to Hong Kong and Harvard. “I may be dressed in Western clothes, but at heart, I am a rustic,” says Raj.



About hope

Raj is also making a Thai feature film called ‘The Blind Mirror.’ It is about a Thai girl and her mother who run an eatery where a foreigner frequents. The other short movie he is making is in Cantonese with English subtitles. Called ‘Masked Dreams,’ it is about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Yet the film is about hope.



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