First-of-its-kind melam contest for youths

Mela Mahathmyam, to be held on the Kodungallur Devi Temple premises on October 19 and 20, is a fresh concept while its competition aspect looks to add to the excitement.

Published: 12th October 2019 05:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2019 05:41 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: DRAWING confidence from the popularity many of the traditional temple percussions enjoy at the moment, a group of pundits are getting ready to raise the bar on performers and enthusiasts alike. Mela Mahathmyam, to be held on the Kodungallur Devi Temple premises on October 19 and 20, is a fresh concept while its competition aspect looks to add to the excitement.

Ten teams, each comprising 21 competitors in the 20-35 age group, will vie for honours by performing chenda melam of one-hour duration. The judging panel at the mela will decide the thala a team has to perform by drawing a lot when it takes the stage.

Interestingly, the much popular Panchari and Pandi versions have been excluded. The selected thalas are Dhruva, Chembada, Jhampa, Adantha and Anchadantha. The winning team will be presented with `50,000 and a memento.

“It’s a fact that while Panchari and Pandi are growing in popularity, other versions are getting sidelined. To be honest, there aren’t many stages to perform them and not much effort goes into mastering them either. Mela Mahathmyam is an effort to ensure the performers are thorough in all of them. The enthusiasts have the chance to get to know all thalas,” organising committee chief coordinator Sybin Thirunayathodu told TNIE.

Noted percussionist Mattannur Sankarankutty said: “That they will come to know about the thala in which they’ve to perform only on the stage makes it a really challenging task for the competitors. It means they’ll have to train hard and gain confidence before entering the stage.”

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