Kathakali- Nizalkuthu

Posted: May 8, 2011 in Uncategorized
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THE STORY: Nizhalkuthu

Pandavas are ruling half the kingdom given to them peacefully. Desirous of destroying the Pandavas by any means, Duryodhana send a messenger to a Malayan who is expert in the art of magical rites to destroy enemies. The play starts with his return.
Scene: 1 – Duryodhana and the Messenger
The messenger informs Duryodhana that the Malayan will be arriving in two days time. With the idea of testing the Malayan, Duryodhana asks the messenger to bring Thrigartha to his presence.
Scene: 2 – Duryodhana and Thrigartha
Duryodhana asks Thrigartha to be at the gate when the Malayan arrives to test his powers.
Scene: 3 – Malayan, Malayathi and Manikantan
The Malayan is not aware of the purpose for which Duryodhana wants his presence, but cannot refuse to go. The Malayan sets out to the court of Duryodhana. The Malayan, Malayan and the whole family are devoted to the Pandavas, and the Malayathi asks the Malayan to pay their respects to Kunthidevi and the Pandavas on the way back.
Scene:4 – Malayan and Thrigarthan
Thrigarthan tries to prevent the Malayan from entering the palace, but with his powers the Malayan renders Thrigartha immobile. Having freed Thrigartha, the Malayan sets out to the presence of the king. He thinks it would be better to discard his dress as a forest dweller, and he assumes the dress of a mantravadi, a practicioner of magical rites.
Scene: 5 – Duryodhana and the Mantravadi
Duryodhana is happy to the sight of the mantravadi, and asks him to perform the ‘Nizhalkuthu’, by which after performance of the necessary pujas, the shadow of the Pandavas appears, and they can be killed by stabbing the shadows. The Malayan who is greatly devoted to the Pandavas tries every argument to get out of the awesome predicament. He asks for impossible articles like and elephant’s eggs, froth from the mouth of a tiger, etc. But Duryodhana is adamant and will not hear of any excuse. The puja starts, and a while later, the shadows appear. With a heavy heart, the mantravadi stabs the shadows and kills the Pandavas one by one. He falls down fainting. The king revives him and send him off with many gifts.
Scene: 6 – Malayan, Malayathi and Manikantan
Malayathi is anxiously waiting for the return of her husband who is already late. Malayan returns, a very dispirited and unhappy person. The Malayan tries every art he is capable of not to disclose the nature of the act he was forced to do. Finally he had to tell the truth. The malayathi is fury personified, and thinking of Kunthidevi, wailing for her dead children tears her own beloved son Manikantan in two.
Scene: 7 – Kunthi, Sri Krishna and Malayathi
Kunthi is wailing by the side of the bodies of the dead Pandavas. Sri Krishna arrives and tells her the Pandavas were in his protection and were not harmed in any way. The Malayathi, beyond herself with sorrow and fury rushes in, and is overjoyed when she sees that the Pandavas are safe. Sri Krishna assures her that Manikantan is also safe. The Malayathi praises Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna consoles everyone.

 May 28th, 6pm, Seva Sadan Hall, Malleshwaram,   

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  1. purnima says:

    Thanks to BCKA..we should have more of such performances and stories that are not often played out.

  2. Thank you Purnima. BCKA is doing a wonderful job and I hope they continue bringing excellent performances on stage. I personally enjoyed the Nizalkuthu very much.