Puranas helped Ananthu win title

via www.newindpress.com published on November 21, 2006

T’PURAM: Where dance floors decide the superstar in any event, ‘Puranams’ and poems bring home the title for a 12-year-old boy.

Ananthu S is far from bharatanatyam or Kuchipudi and has nothing to do with classical strings. Interestingly, it is the likes of patakom and Harikatha that won him the Kalaratnam title at Sree Vidyadhiraja Vidyalaya Kalolsavam 2006 recently.

Whether it is ‘Kannamma En Kuzhandai’, the much-loved verse of Subrahmania Bharati or ‘Oh Captain, My Captain’ by revolutionary poet Walt Whitman, Ananthu, a student of Vidyadhiraja School, Valiyavila, recites them all with equal ease and magnanimity. For those who have not heard of the Asura king Ravana’s sword, Chandrahasam, Ananthu’s patakom promises some amusing moments.

Patakom is the rendering of any Puranic episode in simple words. ‘‘My grandmother tells me stories from Puranas. My teachers at school also help me choose stories for Patakom,’’ says Ananthu.

The Kalolsavam had students from 30 schools under the Vidyadhiraja Samajam from all parts of the state, competing for the master title. While many of them perfected their dance steps and melody tunes, Ananthu polished his memory fibres to stack those poems and stories into his head.

‘‘I got first prize for nine items including monoact, Harikatha, recitations and group music. It was the encouragement from my parents and teachers that helped me get the title,’’ he says.

But his father humbly denies any parental support behind the boy’s leap. ‘‘It is his own efforts that have borne fruit. He has good taste in music, but we can’t afford to send him to any music classes. But he never complains and selects only those items that doesn’t cost us any burden,’’ says Ananthu’s father, Sreekumar who is a Technical Instructor at Nedumangad School.

Ananthu spares a slight smile over this and says, ‘‘I will learn music some day.’’ As of now, his music classes at school prepare him for the competitions. Other than music and stories, it’s cricket that this boy adores.

‘‘I love everybody in Indian team,’’ he says when quizzed about his favourite cricketer.

But computer is his favourite buddy. ‘‘I love to study computer. We are given training at school. But someday I want to take it up for my higher studies and own a computer,’’ says Ananthu. He may look small but the boy definitely owns some big thoughts.

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