KERALA

Maestros depict story of Ravana’s triumph

STORY-TELLING: Scenes from Ravanavijayam Kathakali organised by the Palakkad Kathakali Trust at the M.D. Ramanathan Auditorium, Chembai Memorial Government Music College, Palakkad.

STORY-TELLING: Scenes from Ravanavijayam Kathakali organised by the Palakkad Kathakali Trust at the M.D. Ramanathan Auditorium, Chembai Memorial Government Music College, Palakkad.  

Staff Reporter

PALAKKAD: Evil geniuses always succeed in their wicked enterprises and grow stronger before their downfall. It is best illustrated in Ravanavijayam, the major one of the twin plays staged by the Palakkad Kathakali Trust on April 18 at the M.D. Ramanathan Auditorium, Chembai Memorial Government Music College, Palakkad.

Kubera, Ravana’s stepbrother, sends a messenger to him suggesting that he provide a violence-free rule. Ravana slays the messenger and proceeds with his army to teach Kubera a lesson. En route, he meets the celestial damsel Rambha. He is enchanted by her beauty and proposes to her. She beseeches him to spare her. Ravana refuses and rapes her.

He then defeats Kubera and snatches his celestial vehicle. His flight back to Lanka is hindered by Kailas. He lifts the peak by his bare hands. Lord Siva gets angry and stamps him down. Ravana sings in praise of Siva. A pleased Siva gifts him a sword, ending the play.

P.K. Narayanan, trustee of the Kathakali trust, says that the maestros Madavur Vasudevan Nair and Kalamandalam Rajasekharan gave memorable performances as Ravana and Rambha, respectively. Vaisakh was the messenger.

The story of three brothers Maliavan, Mali and Sumali, forefathers of Ravana, establishing the kingdom of Lanka preceded this as Utbhavam. Kalamandalam Kesavan Namboodiri, Narayanankutty and Kalanilayam Madhumohan appeared as the lively brothers, Vishnuprasad as Lord Vishnu and Suresh as Indra. Ravana’s song in praise of Lord Siva and three red Thaadis (three brothers) performing together were a novel experience for the audience, said E. Somapalan, a Kathakali enthusiast.

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