This theatre group has combined Vikom Basheer's three classic short stories
Chennai-based theatre group Ekatha presents The Perfume of Life, a play based on Padma Shri Vaikom Muhammad Basheer’s short stories. Staging his debut project, Chennai-based KP Rajeev, director, says the story was written for nothing but a local community gathering. “I live in Anna Nagar and our community had organised an Onam gathering where I had directed this play just for that one evening. The play was well received for the story and the social message it conveyed. That is when the Rotary Club of Chennai Midcity (RCCM) approached me with the idea of taking this to a professional level and staging a proper theatre play,” says Rajeev, who is also an IT professional.
Rajeev states that the script for the play is an interpretation of Basheer’s three famous short stories — Premalekhanam (The Love Letter), Mucheettukalikkarante Makal (The Card Sharper’s Daughter) and Anavariyum Ponkurishum (Elephant Scooper and Golden Cross). “I have been reading his novels since my childhood. The baseline or the theme of these three stories is love and I have managed to combine their stories into one chapter and that is what Perfume of Life is all about. The script revolves around Keshavan Nair (Sunil Surendran) and Sarahma’s (Bhavya Trikha) love story.”
The 46-year-old Palakkad-born director says that he was particular about the feel of the play and hence has focused a lot on the costumes and the stage setup. “Even though the stories were originally written in Malayalam, I had to translate the dialogues in English. None of my actors are professional stage artistes and I had to train them to speak English with a Malayalam accent. Apart from this, we have used authentic costumes like the traditional Christian chatta and mundu (blouse and lungi), bell bottom pants and thattom (scarf),” he says.
At Museum Theatre on February 4 from 6 pm. Donor passes from INR 500 onwards.