YOUNG WORLD

No talent too small

K. PRADEEP

Mithun... happy to let himself go.

Mithun... happy to let himself go.  

KOCHI

Mithun Narayanan looks small beside the chenda. But once he begins to play, till the finish he and the instrument remain inseparable. The audience is mesmerised. Mithun is confidence personified as his hands strike a perfect rhythm, leaving the other seasoned accompanists to follow him in awe.

This kindergarten student of S.D.K.Y. Gurukulam at Eroor near Tripunithura, began learning to play the chenda, a traditional musical instrument, hardly a year ago. His father Kalavedi Murali plays the chenda and also trains aspiring young musicians in playing this percussion instrument.

"Mithun used to come with me everyday and listen to those playing the chenda. I had 12 youngsters studying under me then who were ready for their arangetam. One day Mithun demanded that he also be allowed to play the chenda. He even demonstrated the basics on the wooden block on which the trainees are given preliminary lessons. I was surprised to find that he could recall so much," says Murali.

When the 12 made their arangetam, Mithun joined them and played with them at the programme which lasted nearly four hours. This was followed by his solo performance organised by Amrita Balakendram recently.

Mithun's other love is Kathakali. He can identify all the characters by their make-up and costumes. He sits awake through the night to watch a Kathakali performance. Mithun has also donned a minor role, as Manikantan, in the Kathakali play "Nizhalkoothu". Murali says, "Incidentally, my wife Satyabhama, played the role of the Malayathi, my daughter was Sri Krishna and I played the chenda."

Mithun's 13-year-old sister Meera is proficient in Bharatanatyam, Kuchupudi, Ottanthullal, Mohiniyattam, and even performs the tayambaka.

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