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Wish of a story-teller



Kedamangalam Sadanandan... continuing his vocation.

At 81, Kedamangalam Sadanandan is not ready to bow down to the infirmities of his age. The master story-teller is still continuing his vocation. And his only wish now is to continue telling stories till the last breath.

The wish was expressed recently at Tas Auditorium, Aluva, where the veteran kathaprasangam artiste enthralled the audience at a programme organised by the Aluva Sangeetha Sabha which celebrates its Golden Jubilee in October. "I wish to close my eyes forever while standing before the audience, telling a story," Mr. Sadanandan said. He also rendered the touching lines from `Ramanan,' the legendary poem written by Changampuzha Krishna Pillai that he had presented as kathaprasangam on 3,476 stages. The lines that the hero Ramanan sings to his friend Madanan express the same sentiments that Mr. Sadanandan expressed to his audience. "I wish to close my eyes forever seeing you in front of me..."

Mr. Sadanandan was talking to the audience after presenting the kathaprasangam, `Vyasante Chiri,' (The Smile of Vyasa).

Mr. Sadanandan has completed 61 years on stage as a kathaprasangam artiste. He has presented kathaprasangam on more than 15,000 stages. "The public is the true guardians of the artiste," is his opinion. "Only the public can support and promote an artiste." It is the same public that has helped him to continue in the profession for such a long time, said Mr. Sadanandan. He said that he owned a tremendous amount of gratitude to the public that nurtured him for so long. "But, I can't express this in a single word like `thank you.' Do we turn back and say `thank you' to our mothers, once we have grown up?" he asked.

Recognition given by the public was the biggest award that any artiste could aspire for, said Mr. Sadanandan. Kerala was passing through a tumultuous social and cultural climate, he said. He expressed anguish at the chaos prevailing in society and called for a concerted effort by artistes and the intelligentsia for protecting society.

Aluva Municipal chairman M.O. John presented him a ponnada. Poet N.K. Desam also spoke.

Renu Ramanath

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