An inspiring story

A scene from

A scene from "Pularvettam".  

It is a hymn to the elemental human nature of love and compassion. Its simple and lucid narrative is aglow with moments and charged yet contained interplay of emotions. Yes, "Pularvettam'' or "Light of Dawn" by Malayalam film-maker, Harikumar, is a story which inspires people to enter into the world of special children and make their lives meaningful.

A winner of many awards, including the Kerala State Government award for the best children's film, it was screened in the Asian Panorama of the 13th International Children's Film festival held at Hyderabad recently. The film narrates the story of how Balu, a speech-impaired young boy of seven, undergoes a great transformation, leaving behind a miserable past when he gets love and care.

The boy, whose mother died after his birth, is brought up by his grandparents in a typical middle class environment of rural Kerala and predictably, he is ignored and shunned by society.

Impulsive, moody and vulnerable, the boy is prone to belligerence and fits of depression. In his incommunicable world of silence, made the more sordid by isolation and discrimination, he find himself the butt of everybody's abuse and insult. Balu's character has assumed its angularities and oddities as he has been consistently deprived of the love and care of everybody, including his mother. However, when a young teacher, Radha, enters his life, his life takes a turn for the better. With care and warmth, she becomes a guiding spirit and infuses in him a certain sense of purpose, thus bringing about a definite break with the past.

And in the process, he manages to defy his own handicap. "With love and care, the boy develops a new self-assurance,'' says Harikumar. Needless to add, this is also the message of the film, which also won the Asianet award for the best children's film.

A noted and established film-maker in Malayalam, this is Harikumar's first children's film. His film career started with "Ambalpoovu'', which was a trendsetter in Malayalam film. Later, he has directed about 12 films and also a large number of documentaries.

A recipient of several state and national awards, "Pularvettam'' has brought him a clutch of awards not only for direction but also for its lyrics and songs.

Released under the banner of "Mayur Arts'', the film has been produced by D. Chandrasenan Nayar, who is one of the outstanding cricketers of Kerala and has been actively associated with the Hotel and Tourism Industry for the last 22 years. Besides "Light of Dawn'', he is also the producer of the telefilm, "Ente Mannu'' directed by Bharat Gopi and also a children's film "Varnachirakukal'' directed by poet, film-maker and bureaucrat K. Jayakumar, who is also the Secretary in the Department of Culture.

By Kannan K.

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