CHENNAI:Waking up by 5 am, rushing to physics coaching class by 6, returning home, and dragging yourself to school, taking ‘n’ number of notes, jumping from math coaching to your ‘co-curricular’ training in the evening and finally ‘hitting the bed’ — sounds vaguely familiar? Most of us have experienced this kind of pressure while growing up, and KOKO, a Pantomime in Tamil, touched the base of this familiar issue — of parental pressure and the ‘sometimes unreasonable expectations’. Presented by Shraddha in association with MacTrics, a mime and body theatre group, this new production was recently staged at Narada Gana Sabha.
The pantomime began on a lighter vein — with Chikki (Vikas M), struggling to lay an egg, dodging obstacles and finally ending up at the door of three young men, Joe (Sidarth Varma), Joko (Naresh) and Raga (Sujay Kumar) who welcome Chikki into their lives, the narrative took a turn after the egg hatches. We were introduced to Koko (Subasree Mohan) the chick, the hero of the play.
Chikki being a concerned ‘mother’ hen, curbs all the play in KOKO’s life and enrolls her in various classes including a ‘Kokaraka Kungfu School’. The pressure she faced and whether KOKO succeded or succumbed, formed the rest of the narrative.
Talking to City Express, Sravanth, director of the pantomime said, “We are a group that goes to schools to take classes — almost in 16 places across Chennai, Coimbatore, Cuddalore and Bengaluru. We wanted to reach out to parents, teachers and the children and thought of a script that’s based on our system.”
But, the mistake is by both the parent and the child, he said. “Parents enroll them in multiple classes and after a point the child is unable to handle it and finally gives up. So this pantomime was a way of telling parents to slow down and for children to encourage them to do what they like,” he explained.
While the tiny-tots in the auditorium were full of giggles, claps and laughter, there were a few adults who said they felt ‘guilty’. Lakshminarayanan (65) who was with his son and grandson, confessed, “My son’s interest was to be a full-time artist but I wanted him to do engineering, and enrolled him in
many classes.” His son, said, “Yes, I wanted to become an artist, but my parents wanted me to do engineering and I ended up doing that. Though I am in a good position today, I still wish I could have done what I wanted to.”
So, what does the third generation of the family want to become? young Vishwa said: “I want to be a chef!”
Receiving mixed reviews, an elated Sravanth said, “It predominantly was for children, that’s why it involved a lot of jumping, dancing, and jokes. But the heart of it is in the message we wanted to convey.”
(For details, visit:www.mactrics.com)