After so many years I went to the Music Academy to watch a play. Little did I realize that I will be immersed in the experience for days after watching it. My wife and I have never read the novel that the show was based on. We went to watch it with an open mind.
We reached the venue five minutes late, but within few minutes after sitting we got absorbed into the performance on the stage. The play went on for four hours with a break for 10 minutes. The grand sets, lights, and background score were well arranged and were impressive at certain moments.
Every year at the annual Chennai Book Fair, I have seen new editions of that novel by various publishers. It’s none other than the most popular ‘Ponniyin Selvan‘ written by Kalki Krishnamurthy. The novel has five volumes. The artists gave wonderful performance, especially the characters of Vanthiyathevan, Alwarkadiyan Nambi, Karikalan, Vanathi, and Poonkuzhali. The ‘Karikalan’ character was played by the cine actor, Pasupathi.
I have heard that there were several attempts to make this novel into a movie or a TV series, but were dropped because of the gigantic task at hand. Given this background, what we witnessed on the stage was an impressive effort that is laudable. ‘The Hindu’ newspaper had published a wonderful review of the play this week. Superstar Rajinikanth and KS Ravikumar were among the audience the day I went to watch it.
India Post released a stamp of Kalki Krishnamurthy in 1999 to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the writer. I am proud to have it in my collection.