73 year old legend performs Kathakali for 90 continuous days to entertain us. But we are so busy that we can't spend two hours to watch and 2 minutes to say 'Thank you Ashan?
Oh man, what a shame!
Today, we drove to Bridgwater (around 40 miles from Bristol) to watch yet another Kathakali performance by Padmashree Kalamandalam Gopi Ashan and his team. Today's show was called Hima Sundari. As the name suggests, it was an Indian adoption of Snow White. The show featured the lovely peacock which wasn't able to appear in Bristol due to limited green room space. School kids danced with the peacock that went close to the audience and received not only a few laughs and Namaskarams but also a few weird looks and sheepish smiles. The story was culturally apt for the largely British (non Indian) crowd. We were hoping to watch a performance based on a Hindu mythology. We believe that such traditional stories give more room for the performers to express themselves. Ashan's performance, especially in the last act, was very touching. Today he was not feeling well. But there wasn't a trace of his illness on stage! It is very clear who amongst us is young - both physically and mentally.
There were around 80 people, but just around 6 Indians (four of us + another Indian lady and her child) and only one Malayali (one and only Uday). And it was a free show!! Hasn't comedians joked enough about Indians flocking to free shows? What happened today?
We met Barbara, Vijay and Ashan himself and picked up a few memorabilia.
And what a night it was! Thanks to Rama - who had cooked a nice, hot and spicy pongal.
Perhaps Pongal was a fitting response to today's wet, windy and chilly weather. But is there one for NRI apathy towards the legend that has come to our doorstep?