I believe that one can experience pure joy when they are very young. At least I did! Perhaps that’s because we have a positive outlook towards life, we adore the people around us, we trust that things can get even better and we believe in a rosy future. We just love life!
Perhaps that’s one reason why some of our best memories are etched in our childhood. Even a small hotwheels car (toy) can excite us to no end!
Though I participated in a lot of competitions, lost many of them / won few of them, one victory would always remain in my minds forever. It was the most happiest moment in my life till now and perhaps will be, for a very long time.
I was studying in 3rd Standard back then. Luckily for me, my mother was working in the same school I studied for almost throughout my schooling. So, if she comes across some competitions in the notice board/ any other way, she would evaluate if I could participate in them and encouraged me if she thought I could.
Once there was a Mono-Acting competition being held for school students and the notice for the same had reached our school. Mono-Acting is like stage drama but one person acts in the role of multiple characters. For example, when the person speaks from the left hand side of the mike, its supposed to be one character and when they speak from the right hand side, its supposed to be another. The same person can perform more than two roles as well – Variation is the key.
Maybe because I was faking head-aches / fevers so well (to skip school), my mother thought that I could participate in this one! There is a Tamil Illakkiyam called ‘Silappadhikaram’ – This is the story of how Kannagi, the leading character gets justice for the wrong judgment given by the King of Madurai due to which her husband is killed.
I was supposed to enact the scene in which Kannagi goes to the Court (Darbar) and argues with the King as to why his judgment was wrong. The issue was, the script was in llakkiya Thamizh and not Nadaimurai Thamizh (Silappadhikaram, Madurai Kandam, Vazhakkurai Kadhai). The text was written before many centuries and was in poetic language – So it was incomprehensible.
At that age, I was very playful and did not want to take efforts to do serious things. I was not even ready to memorize normal dialogues, forget Illakkiya Thamizh! But my mother made me memorize two lines per day, and within a few days I had memorized the script.
It was after I went to the competition that I came to know that it was open for school students of any age. I was just in third standard, was competing with 9th Standard and 11th Standard students! But since I had prepared for many days and had already reached the venue, there was no option but to participate.
So I acted as Kannagi standing from one side and the King standing from the other side. Kannagi was angry, the King was authoritative in the beginning and sad/heart-broken in the end. Fortunately, at that age I did not have any stage fear – I acted casually.
There was one factor that was to my advantage – The incomprehensible poetic Illakkiya Thamizh that I was speaking on the stage. The Tamil professors who were judging the event, loved it! Others were rendering their dialogues in normal Tamil. Secondly, maybe they thought it was so gallant of me to participate against much senior competitors (I didn’t even know that till that day morning!)
Whatever, things went in my favor that day and I got the first prize!! When you are so young and win the first prize in a forum like this, the kind of joy you feel cannot be described in words. It should suffice to say that I was feeling more happier than what A R Rehman would have felt when he won the Oscars! 🙂
They even asked me to act my portion again, and the crowd gave a huge applause. I got a Silver medal and One Hundred rupees in cash. I remember putting that amount in Post office (Some patra) and it doubled in five years! These days, the interest rates in post office seem to have decreased!
The next day, I was asked to enact the same scene in my school assembly and my school principal re-gave that prize to me! Due to this, I had become some kind of an ‘elite’ student who was recognized (for a few days) where ever I went in school! Back then, I was pretty casual about it but now it has become one of the most cherished moments of my life!
The articles in this category – ‘My Autobiography’ are a part of my marketing efforts to promote my Auto-biography which I am going to write after 31 years (When I am 60 years old). It will come in the name of Destination Infinity – So, please buy it when it comes 🙂