Biggest Thiruvathira dance of all time
Age is just a number for Malathy G. Menon. At a time when most people her age are content playing with their grandchildren or quietly enjoying the sunset years of their life, Malathy is busy giving final touches to a mega event that may find a place in the Limca book of Records or even the Guinness Book, if everything falls into place.
Malathy is organising a mega event of the dance form Thiruvathira -called the Aathira Kulirnila -at the Durbar Hall Ground, which will be performed by around 3,000 women of all age groups.
The Thiruvathira dance follows a circular, pirouetting pattern accompanied by the clapping of hands around a nilavilakku placed in the centre, around which the women, dressed in traditional Kerala mundum neriayathu, perform.
Malathy's home is buzzing with activity and the melodious Thiruvathira song can be heard at a distance. The door opens to reveal women of various age groups swaying and dancing to the music being played on a tape recorder.
In their midst is the diminutive figure of the grey-haired Malathy, correcting a hand movement here or a hip movement there.
Malathy, herself a Thiruvathira expert, has performed at Kalotsavams and even in front of Pandit Nehru when he came to Bolgatty Palace in 1956 and runs the Parvanendu School of Thiruvathira in Kochi.
Speaking about the inspiration to take up such a mammoth task, Malathy says, “In 2012, I had organised a Thiruvathira performance comprising of 300 women, which was hugely successful and appreciated. So I thought of adding one more zero and making it 3,000 members this time. The practice for the same started in June and has been going on in batches in various districts in the State."
Malathy says that students from age 3 to 76 will participate in the mega event blurring all barriers of caste, creed, religion and even State boundaries. The participants include 10 students from Mumbai and one from Dubai.
The mammoth event is supported by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) and Collector Sheikh Pareed has been a big help in rendering assistance to this effort.
Talking about the ample support by DTPC, the Collector says, “We have made available the Durbar Hall Ground free of cost and are also trying to rope in foreigners to participate in the dance performance. The light and sound arrangements are being handled by the DTPC. The event will definitely be a shot in the arm for the tourism activities in the district."
Speaking about the efforts to enlist this in the Limca Book and the Guinness book, Malathy says, “I have a student Usha, who with the help of the Internet, contacted the Limca and Guinness authorities. We have registered the event and we have to keep three judges and send a CD to them with the complete list of participants. The rest is left to them to decide."
The hour long performance will be held this Saturday.