Moments of Truth

That every day we face. And being honest about it!

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Location: Monroe Twp, New Jersey, United States

TeeBee for many, Manthru for some, Sunny for a few, Myna for selected, Suresh for record. Hailing from Thrissur of Kerala and now lives (read survives) in Monroe Twp, NJ with wife and daughter.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Skits and Hits

The first time I took pen to write a drama was when I was doing my 10th. The inspiration was because I was not selected in the main drama troop of the class for the youth festival. Obviously I could not have got selected for my acting skills and also because the only term as an actor for me was when I was in 3rd. But there were a set of friends who were also not satisfied at the selection process and when I talked about my idea, they encouraged me to go on. After all I was the undisputed class topper and they had huge belief in my abilities. Based on the winning name of previous year's best drama "Kazhuka Puranam", I wrote my first drama narrating the story of a saint getting tempted by the evils and named it "Naraka Puranam". The rehearsals went for a day or two and I was quick to realize that the story and the acting are not going to work. Much to the dismay of my classmates, I unilaterally pulled out and without the leader and director the drama did not went on to make it. Surprisingly, my brother who was also studying in 10th but in a different school took the script to his friends and presented it on stage. Though the drama did not receive any awards, I was happy that the time spent on it was not lost.

It took another six years for me to try something on stage again. It was the final semester of my bachelors at Govt. Engg. College, Thrissur. My class mate, friend and wellwisher Anto Jacob was planning to appear for fancy dress competition and he came up with this idea of portraying Aiswarya Rai, the Miss Universe of 1995. His dress, though not much, was the most simple but he looked great and my intuition told me that he is going to win the first prize (he got it indeed). On our way back from men's hostel to the stage, a five minute walking distance, one of my friend Vinod was asking me why I was not participating in any events. That question inspired me and I told him that I would like to present a skit, the subject was the issues faced by daughter-in-laws in their husband's homes mainly by husband's mother (in Malayalam, there is a word for it, Ammayiyammapporu. It makes me wonder whether this is unique to Indian culture or not). He promised me to find an actor by name Varghese who was doing his bachelors in Chemical Engineering. Along with him, myself and Anto would comprise the cast. With only three actors and a borrowed idea from a mimics parade (I take credit for applying it for the subject of competition), the skit was a huge success with Anto still in Aiswarya's dress in the daughter-in-law's role. I played the role of mother-in-law when Varghese played my son. I could see the judges laughing and almost assured the prize. Needless to say, it was awarded first prize. There were some reasons for it to win the prize. When everybody portrayed the mother-in-law as the cruel one for the suffering of the daughter-in-law, we turned the tables by presenting an indifferent and demanding daughter who forces the mother to break loose. And the theme was presented using the popular advertisement of a tea brand. Believe me, I would not have presented it if I knew that it won't be making headlines.

Booming with confidence, I moved forward to participate in another event named Invocation. This was a solo event where just five minutes before the event, the participants will be asked to draw one piece of paper on which will be name of a celebrity. It could be from movies, politics or sports. The participant has to talk like the celebrity for 3 minutes and answer question from the judges for 2 minutes. I wanted to get a movie star's name to try my mimicking abilities but got the name "Oommen Chandy" who is the chief minister of Kerala now. Based on my understanding of politics that prevailed in Kerala during that time, I managed to perform and answer some questions that was thrown at me. Although there were more than 10 participants, I secured a third place which was satisfying for some one who was about to finish his college days. Our participation and winning the prize was the talk of the day as nobody expected it. One of my friend who was from Electrical department came to me and told that he never thought that I would have the courage to participate in Invocation. I thought the same way too.

Since we won the first prize of the skit competition held under college level, we were given the opportunity to present skit during the inter collegiate competition of engineering colleges, Splash 95. Many colleges were participating and it was going to be held in our college. The subject was PTA (Parent Teachers Association). I could not get Varghese again but managed to get my other friend from Electrical department and along with Anto went for a shot at the competition. The idea again was mine laced with a popular TV advertisement (you see, it was a winning formula) and we went on to win the second prize.

Years have gone but I would still love to be back on stage. The creativity and satisfaction that comes with such programmes is something to be experienced. Better times were ahead and more on that later.


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