Thursday, 25 June, 2009

'Vismay Malhar' a sublime tribute: CM

Chief Minister, V.S. Achuthanandan presents a memento to Gopinath Muthukad, the chief architect of Vismay Malhar after the programme’s debut in Thiruvananthapuram. (From left) Choreographer, T. Divya; script writer, Sreekanth Kottakkal; film star, Devan in the guise of Swathi Thirunal; actor, Poojappura Radhakrishnan in the attires of Kottarathil Sankunni and patron of the Magic Academy, O.N.V. Kurup look on.

Thiruvananthapuram: Vismay Malhar, latest spectacle on the magic stage by Gopinath Muthukad, had its triumphant debut at Tagore Theatre here on 30th of May. In witness of the inaugural presentation of the unique show, was a packed audience comprising of scholastic, theatrical and literary personalities. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan inaugurated the event, watched through its entire length and honoured the artistes with mementos. “Muthukad’s Vismay Malhar is a sublime tribute to the great writer Kottarathil Sankunni and his 100-year-old work, Aithihyamala”, commented Mr. Achuthanandan. The CM honoured the artistes with mementos offered by the Information and Public Relations Department.

Classic creation
A mix of magic, music, drama and cinema, Vismay Malhar is a classic creation. It begins with an old man on cine screen, telling the story of the writer, Kottarathil Sankunni. 100 years ago, Sankunni’s fascination for the mythical as well as factual stories of Kerala had resulted into ‘Aithihyamala’, a valuable collection of legends. As the man on the screen turns the leaves of the Aithihyamala, the character Kottarathil Sankunni appears on a bright stage. Magical scenes follow in a chain as the writer imagines about the musical powers of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal of Travancore and the magical talents of Kaipuzha Thampan a magician who was so darling for the Maharaja.

Characters come alive
All of a sudden Thampan, the magician steps out of a portrait hung on the wall. A baffled writer bows his character and expresses his desire to see the Maharaja alive. Four people appear there, carrying a palanquin on their shoulders. They astonish to find the palanquin lighter and the Maharaja disappeared. However Thampan makes a magical gesture and reappears the Maharaja.

Magical rain
When the Maharaja Swathi Thirunal made his wish to see the magic of bringing rain, Thampan had no hesitation. At the magic spell of Thampan, brought live on stage was the majestic beauty of rain. The ambience turned dark, rocked by lightning, thunder and a powerful wind. A heavy downpour, as wild and as beautiful, followed.

Touching end
An end is there for everything - for the enticing meeting of the three characters, too. When Swathi Thirunal started wielding a magically produced Veena and dancing damsels appeared from nowhere, no one thought that the King along with the musical instrument would float in the air, levitate and merge among the clouds. But it happened. Then it was the turn of the magician himself. Offering best wishes to the writer, Thampan entered into a big text of legends that was placed over the writing table, and disappeared.

At the end, as lyrics of poet O.N.V. Kurup resounded in the sweet voice of singer, G. Venugopal, Sankunni resumes his passion of writing.

Honouring artistes
A gathering of eminent personalities assembled on the stage while Mr. Achuthanandan presented mementos to the artistes. Poojappura Radhakrishnan and Devan who lived in the roles of Kottarathil Sankunni and Maharaja Swathi Thirunal, respectively; script writer, Sreekanth Kottakkal; singer Mr. Venugopal and Mr. Muthukad who not only conceived the programme, but also donned the role of magician Kaipuzha Thampan, received mementos from the CM.

Each word, an honour: Creative team behind the Vismay Malhar listen keenly as the Chief Minister, V.S. Achuthanandan speaks after the show. From left: Anand U.B., Pramod, Thara, T. Divya, Sreekanth Kottakkal, Gopinath Muthukad, Devan, Poojappura Radhakrishnan, O.N.V. Kurup, Minister of Power, A.K. Balan; poetress, Sugatha Kumari; singer, G. Venugopal; Sindhu, Ganga, Anand Mezhathur, Antachan and Director of Information & Public Relations, M. Nandakumar.

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