When the result of ‘ottamthullal’ was announced it became a perfect climax for the tale of two brothers. The prizes went to Benny Sunny of Class VII and Basil Sunny of Class X of Irumbanam VHSE, who have crossed many a hurdle on their track to success.
Coming from a humble family, the boys struggled a lot and went out of their way to hone their skills, thanks to their uncle. “Having born in a traditional Christian family, there was little scope for learning art forms. We walked our way into the world of art only because of ‘Kochappa’, our father’s younger brother,” said Basil.
It’s a tale of struggle and dedication for the boys who won two coveted first prizes in Upper Primary and High School Boys sections, respectively, during the ongoing youth festival. They are yet to come to terms with the loss of their father who died about five years ago. Their mother who works in a textile showroom in the city finds it difficult to make both ends meet. Had it not been for the support from the church, they would not have had a home to call their own which of course, sports a row of prizes won by them. Moreover, their talents would not have seen light.
Their ‘Kochappa’, Jolly Mathew, is better known as ‘RLV Jolly Mathew’ in the artistic world. Jolly is one of the few dancers in Kerala who has many academic qualifications to his credit - ranging from an MA in bharatanatyam to BA in mohiniyattom to MA in Political Science and many others- and professional achievements. He owns the Swathi Thirunal Trust in Thiruvananthapuram and trains more than 500 students in dance and music.
“The boys were incredibly talented in many art forms, including bharatanatyam, Keralanadanam and mridangam. So I started training them in each art form and they kept winning prizes year after year. I am so happy that both of them won the prize this year too,” said Jolly Mathew.
However, it was not an easy task to win the prize, said the ‘Sunny’ brothers. “It was a tight contest. We were not sure of winning the first prize. However, we are happy that we won it,” said Basil.