Theatre and technology

இந்திரா பார்த்தசாரதி

I was eight- years- old when my parents took me to see a play called ‘Dasavataram’ by Nawab Rajamanikkam Pillai group at a specially raised stage in  Kumbakonam Town High Scahool play ground.  It was a Vaikunda Ekadesi day and in those days, the vaishnavite Hindus observed it rigourously by fasting and keeping awake the whole night. What better way there would be to keep awake than watching a play dealing with the avatars of Lord Vishnu? People really believed that adding entertainment to a religious observance is no sin. It became the part of the ritual.

Nawab Rajamanikkam Pillai had become a stage legend at that time. He only staged mythological and devotional plays. He was the only adult among his actors, the restof them were children.His argument was that once children become teen agers they develop bad habits and as such, were unfit for roles in religious plays…

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