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Verses from the past

SARASWATHY NAGARAJAN

Writer P. Balachandran turns director with ‘Ivan Megharoopan,' which stars Prakash Bare in the lead role.


Kunhiraman Nair was the captain and master of his life.



Life of a poet: Prakash Bare in a still from ‘Ivan Megharoopan.'

The waves rush in to claim the beach but a group of people stoically go about their work notwithstanding their damp clothes. An elderly man leaning on an old-fashioned umbrella stands watching the waves of action that is incessantly being enacted on the sea.

An attractive woman in a pink sari walks toward him with a teasing smile on her face. As he continues watching nonchalantly, the lady in pink walks backwards into the sea, smiling and laughing. A huge wave comes crashing in…with a scream she rushes towards the beach.

Cinematographer Rajiv Ravi breaks into a smile at the commotion while one of the assistants on the sets runs to see if the woman, actor Shwetha Menon, wants help. She laughs them away and sportingly takes her place for another take of the scene for the film ‘Ivan Megharoopan.'

Poetic tale

The location is the picturesque beach behind Manaltheeram resort at Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram. The lengthening shadows and the overcast sky threaten to put a stop to the proceedings. Scenarist and writer P. Balachandran, who turns director with this film, watches the proceedings with anxiety writ large on his face.

“We have been having problems because of the rain and if the shoots are not done today, it will be difficult as Shwetha is leaving today,” he says.

But the elderly gentleman, who turns to be Prakash Bare, who is also producing the film, is unfazed. With a grin he says that it is a pleasure to be a part of such “good film ventures.”

‘Ivan Megharoopan,' based on the life of poet P. Kunhiraman Nair, has been scripted by Balachandran himself. His earlier films include the award winning ‘Punaradhivasam,' ‘Ulladakkam,' and ‘Pavithram.'

“This is a film I have always yearned to write and direct myself. Isn't there a director in every scenarist?” says Balachandran, perched precariously on a rock, one of the few dry spots on the beach.

He continues: “I doubt if any other poet in Kerala finds a mention in so many poems written by other poets. Kunhiraman Nair was the captain and master of his life. But the film is not about the poet, per se. It has been inspired by his life and writings. Prakash essays a character called K.P. Madhavan Nair. I feel this kind of a format gives me the artistic freedom to delve into the poet's life and free me from the constraint of having to make a historical.”

Shwetha Menon as a nurse

Shwetha plays Maya Maheshwari, a nurse, who looks after the poet towards the fag end of his life. “Maya reminds him of the women he was close to at different stages of his life. She is a lively woman who refuses to be in awe of the poet; she teases him and spars with him, all of which he enjoys,” explains Shwetha.

Balachandran explains that the poet's last days were spent in Thiruvananthapuram and eventually he was found dead in the now defunct C.P. Sathram, near the Railway Station.

The film is being shot in Ottapplam and in places around Thiruvananthapuram. It also stars Padmapriya, Remya Nambeesan and Jagathy Sreeumar. Lyrics by O.N.V. Kurup and Kavalam Narayana Panicker have been tuned by Sharreth.

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