KOCHI: When the hands that paint walls started to script drama, the end result has turned out to be something much more colourful. Eldhose Yohannan, a painter from Valayanchirangara, Perumbavoor, is now a prominent scriptwriter and a drama director. He has scripted many Malayalam dramas, including ‘Aarachar’, ‘Jalianwala Baghil Ninnum Dheera Sandesham’, ‘Blood Brothers’ and ‘Mucheettukalikkarante Makal’, staged by Suvarna Theatres, Valayanchirangara, and is now working on his next project, titled ‘Mannu’ (Soil).
Eldhose won the ‘Best Script Writer’ three times. These were awarded by the Aluva Nobert Smaraka Kalasamithi in 2004, Kairali Atlas in 2005, and by a Kolkata-based Malayali Residents’ Association in 2006. Born and bought up in a poor family of farmers, Eldhose showed a keen interest in art and drama from his childhood days. However, once he completed his pre-degree from Nirmala College, Muvattupuzha, Eldhose turned to house painting for a livelihood.
So far, he has not received any professional coaching, except a workshop named ‘Meaningful Network for grassroots level theatre work’ under theatre person Jose Chiramal for eight years. He built up his skills by watching drama and skits constantly. Eldhose also did a lead role in ‘Udaram Nimitham’, a comedy-based drama.
Apart from painting, writing and direction, Eldhose has a skill in calligraphy. He has also directed a documentary on the ‘VN Keshava Pillai Memorial library’ titled ‘Oru Gramathinte Vilak’. Eldhose has published a book titled ‘Suvarnayude Nadakangal’, a collection of three dramas staged at Suvarna Theatres, among which he has written and directed one himself.
Eldhose says that he was introduced to drama through the Manakkapady Public Library, which used to sponsor small dramas. “Later I worked with the VN Keshavapilla Memorial library and got introduced to Suvarna Theatres, which is now the backbone of all the dramas written and directed by me,” he said.
Krishnankutty, Assistant Librarian at the Keshava Pillai Memorial library, said, “Even if he is living amidst a vast sea of difficulties, Eldhose enjoys what he does and puts his heart and soul into it. He never wanted to do anything by force but accepts the duty given to him, whatever it may be. Moreover, he prefers to make everything better standing behind, rather than coming in front. Eldhose had also worked in the background of dramas in which National Award winner Surabhi played a key role.”