THIRUVANANTHPAURAM: At a Kalolsavam venue in Kozhikode a couple of years back, the ‘oppana’ competition was held up for over a hour as the performers had to wait endlessly for the "bride’s chair" to reach the stage.
The chair was there among the audience, held up in the air by two teachers, but the crowd was so huge and thick that they just could not move it towards the stage.
In comparison, the main venue on the night of the first day of the 56th School Kalolsavam was as profoundly silent as a chapel. There was virtually no one in the audience as mohiniyattom competition for high school girls was on.
The policeman posted on duty at the venue looked a relieved man. “It is so nice to see the venue so peaceful. There will be no law and order problem in such a place,” he said, yawning.
The general refrain is that folks here are too self-possessed. “By nine in the night parents will be tucking their children to bed for they have to get up before sunrise for tuitions,” said Shirley, the mother of a ‘kerala natanam’ participant from Kannur.
The other charge is that unlike in other places, folks in the capital are too elitist to descend on dust-filled venues and watch programmes right into the night.
But the venue at the VJT Hall, where bharatana-tyam competition was held, was packed.
“This is bad planning. Popular competitions like bharatantyam should have been conducted at larger venues like Putharikkandam Maidan,” said Dr Joseph Sebastian, the father of a participant....