G. Krishanan’s ABIMANYA SUNDARI THIRUKALYAM, Director: D. Elumalai


Playwright: G. Krishanan

Director: D. Elumalai

Group: Sri Thanthoni Amman Therukkuthu Nadaga Sabha, Thiruvannamalai

Language: Tamil

Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play

Duryodhana’s son, Lakshmana Kumaran, is eligible to marriage and Sakuni suggests he may be married to the daughter of Dhurgapuri’s Lord  Krishna. Duryodhana agrees and goes to Dhurgapuri Darbar. Entering, Duryodhana asks Lord Krishna to marry his daughter to his son. But Krishna decided to first speak with his wife. Duryodhana agrees. Mangalakshmi, wife of Lord Krishna, listenes to Krishna, but reminds him that he has promised his daughter’s marriage to Arjun’s son. Lord Krishna says that as Arjun has lost almost all his land, we must reconsider the match. They finally decide to marry their daughter to Duryodhan’s son and announcement of the same intent is made. When their daughter, Sundari, hears this, she gets upset, and sends a message to Abhimanyu through Vayu Bhagvan that he should come immediately and marry her. Abhimanyu gets the message and straightaway sets out to stop the wedding.

Director’s Note

This play is dramatized from Mahabharata’s story of Abhimanya Sundari Thirukalyanam. It was performed in our rural villages. The audience would eagerly wait for Sundari’s entry. Whenever we performed this play, the Kattiya Karan (Narrator), makes jokes and adds humour to the whole play.

The Director

At the age of sixteen, after finishing his school, D. Elumalai underwent training with two Koothu teachers, Kishtappa Meshtri and Srinivasa Meshtri. He learnt Adavu and songs from them. Later he joined Purisai Kalaimamani Subramaniya Thambirar Therukoothu group as an actor. There he learnt Adavu from Kannappa Thambiran and Sambanthan in 1987-88. He founded the Sri Thanthoniamman Therukoothu Nadaga Sabha in the year 1997. He gave training to Thalai -K-kol, a modern theatre group in Pondichery and organised the performance of Nadu Koothan there. In 2006-2008, he got trained in Therukoothu at Pondichery University. He also conducted a 10 days’ workshop at National School of Drama’s Bangalore Centre. He is the chief trainer for Therukoothu. He got Kalai Nan Mani award from the Government of Tamil Nadu.

The Playwright

G. Krishnan has been writing for the last 30 years. His plays have been translated in German and French. He teaches Thabasu and Krishnan Doodhu to the village youths. Thakkayagam, Arjunan Thabasu, Lavakusha, Baratham, Sundari thirukalyam are some of his famous plays.

The Group

Sri Thanthoniamman Therukoothu Nadaga Sabha is the leading Tamil folk Theatre group that promotes the traditional folk art form of Therukoothu. It was established in 1985 by a Group of folk theatre enthusiasts who were involved in promoting Therukoothu in the districts of Thiruvannamalai, Kanchipuram, Chennai, Vellore, Dharumapuri, Pondicherry. They have performed in the National Theatre festival (19th BRM at New Delhi) and have also conducted a number of workshops with college students, foreign research scholars and school children.

Cast & Credits

On Stage: Ravichandran, Madhavan, Vijay, A. Ramakrishnan, M. Haridass, Ethiraj, E. Manikandan, Subramanian, Mukundan, Elavarasu, S. Rajesh, Venkatesan,

Harmonium: Seetharaman

Mirudangam: Krishnamoorthy

Mughaveenai: S. Chandiran

Lighting: E. Sukumar

Design & Props: E. Suresh

Translator & Coordinator: M. Manivanna

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *