Narayanan Namboothiri's debut Kathakali performance at 64
Kottayam: Narayanan Namboothiri is all set for his debut Kathakali performance at the Ettumanoor temple on Tuesday. At the age of 64, this temple priest will perform the role of Sreekrishnan. His teacher, Kalamandhalam Bhagyanath, will perform the role of the Brahmin.
Narayanan Namboothiri opened up to Mathrubhumi regarding his long-time dream coming true while practicing at the ‘Natyamandalam’ Kathakali training centre in Kudamaloor.
I have been an avid Kathakali fan since childhood. For 55 years I wanted to learn Kathakali. Apart from taking part in raising the curtains for a Kathakali performance, I was never able to learn the art form.
The financial situation at home did not help me pursue my dream. So I kept inside my heart and enjoyed Kathakali performances during festivals. I would enjoy the performance and lose track of time but mostly would not understand the story.
However, I keenly observed the attire, mudra (pose) and each action during the Kathakali performances. Back then I used to tell myself, I would learn Kathakali one day. Then at the age of 62 I became a student of Kalamandalam Bhagyanath. He gave me confidence.
“We can achieve anything if we put our mind to it. But we must take effort. Everything is in the hands of God,” Kalamandhalam Bhagyanath told Narayanan Namboothiri.
Narayanan Namboothiri’s wife Sheela, their son Sreenath, who is an IT employee and daughter in law Sandra, who is a musician are supporting him to realise his dream.
Narayanan Namboothiri will make his Kathakali debut at Ettumanoor Mahadeva temple at 8 pm on Tuesday. ‘Santhanagopalam’ is the story. Mandavappilly Ittiirarissamenon has penned the script. Besides Narayanan Namboothiri, who will perform the role Sree Krishnan, Kalamandalam Kasinath (Arjunan), Kalamandalam Bhagyanath (Brahmanan) Master Ananthakrishnan (Brahmanan’s wife), Midhun Chandran (Sootikarmmini), Kalanilayam Sinu and Kalamandalam Rajesh Babu (song), Kidangur Rajesh (chenda) Kalanilayam Omanakuttan (Madhalam), Kalanilayan Saji and Kannan Aanikkad (Chutty/makeup) will be part of the performance.