Thathamaram (The Parrot- Tree)
This play is developed from a folk tale which is extrapolated to throw light into contemporary reality. The story is about a parrot tree which is mysterious in many ways; it speaks in unknown languages, whispers, cries, and has flowers with an incandescent smell that penetrates deep into each of the human cell. The tree says “I am a tree, am a bird, am the smell, and am the sweetness. Dreams of this native land are buried deep underneath me.” This tree epitomizes the archaic myths about a tree that grows in the far deep forest whose fruit is a medicine that cures all sorts of illness. It has a rhythm that keeps the natural cycles vibrate and resonate mutually and keeps the life going ahead. This tree is visible and known only to the wisdom of birds only.
Once, the king of the land is infected with a mysterious illness, - sleep and somnambulism. As he dwells deep into sleep, malicious, evil and vicious spirits/creatures that were buried for ages underneath earth were reborn and resurrected. They crawled into the dreams of each and everyone and also disturbed the balance of life processes. Everyone else including the princess lose sleep… “The evil species danced around in ecstasy; hunger and famine spread all over. New diseases sprang up. Untimely downpour of heavy rain and storm; holes appear in the sky…Earth gets sunburns … Seasons looses their rhythm; all calculations go off the track… Rainwater gets the taste of bitter… Severe summer of tragedies… and scorching rains…”
The song of a little parrot that flew from the forest soothes the princess… the evil species cannot stand the song and they keep themselves away from it. After a few days the parrot returns to the forest to visit its parents. The father parrot went deep into the forest and brought the mysterious mythical fruit that has the capacity to heal any forms of illness, even if he has to sacrifice his life in this act. The little parrot has to gift this fruit to the King. On eating this, the trauma that had filled him and the nation will be cured.
The little parrot on its way back to the castle with the fruit gets tired and dozes for a while on a leafless tree. The evil species who were residing on the same tree spits venom and poison into the fruit. Then they rush to the palace and inform the king that the parrot is coming with a poisonous fruit to kill the king. The king in turn asks the parrot to taste the fruit first, before the he eats it. The parrot tastes and dies; the king orders to bury the parrot and the poisonous fruit in a distant desert.
After many years, it rained continuously for three days in the desert, and there the parrot tree sprouted. It grows with enchanting flowers and fruits; but the people are shied away as they are afraid of the poison... Finally an old couple depressed by the loneliness and many diseases, arrives there to end their lives by eating the fruit of the tree. But to the dismay of everyone, the fruit did not kill them but they were rejuvenated from their agonies.
The play connects the experiences of the present day reality as well as of the past with the myths, hearsay, folklore, stories, tradition, legends, cultural reminiscences and flora and fauna of Kerala. It reinforces the rhythmic continuity of human life with trees, birds, and other living and non-living entities. The story creates a world which is real, surreal and mythical, all fused together to form a plasma of a magical dreamy fantasy. The story is narrated direct and simple in a transparent, poetic and candid style to create a cosmos of the exuberance, earthiness, and fantasy where various elements co-exist, mutually complimenting and completing.
The performance uses music, songs, movement and choreography accentuated by the use of simple properties, narration, with simultaneous enactment and characterization. Use of imaginative sets, properties and music suggest the space, characters, time, as well as the cultural/ political implications of the play. The performance language is designed so as to give the space for creativity and the histrionic talent of the children, the whole process of rehearsal was exhilarating to the little actors; a scheme of rehearsal and play making that was equally important as the product.
Gowri Murali • Gouri Krishna A • Jeyasuriyaa M.A • Anju Joan • Malavika Murali • Krishna Radhakrishnan • Rose Sherin Ansary • Arun A • Hemanth Menon • Unnimaya Edanilath • Jayabhami Jayachandran • Ashin Xavier • Ramakrishnan Lokanathan • Chelcy Johny • Unnimadhav Edanilath • Yedhukrishna K.V • Niranjana Kishan • Saswath Gopan
Set & Properties — BHANUVAJANAN • Art – SHOBHA MENON • Live Music — KISHORE NK & SUBRAHMANIAN • Sound – JEBIN JESMES • Costumes —REMA K NAIR • Direction Assistance – SHAIJU T HAMZA • Production Assistance – CHANGAMPUZHA SAMSKARIKA KENDRAM • Lighting— SRIKANTH CAMEO • Media Management – MADAN KOLAVIL • Music – BIJIBAL M • Text, Design & Direction - CHANDRADASAN
Production & Presentation – MAZHAVILLU, KOCHI, KERALA.