THRISSUR: The electrifying tempo drummed up by the percussion maestros is a major draw to the hordes who flock to the venue of the Thrissur Pooram. Be it ‘pandimelam’ or panchavadyam’, the pooram lovers throng the extravaganza, just to immerse themselves in the pulsating rhythm.
For the percussion artists too, their career profile becomes complete only when they take part in the pooram due to its popularity and the participation of leading artists in the ‘melam’. As has been the case earlier, this year also four popular percussion maestros are leading the teams. Peruvanam Kuttan Marar will lead the ‘ilanjithara melam’- regarded as the single largest gathering of percussion artists - for Paramekkavu Bhagavathy which will be staged under the ilanji tree on the premises of Vadakkumnathan temple. “It has been a long association for Thrissur Pooram, that brought glory to us as percussion artists,” said a visibly excited Kuttan Marar.
Kongad Madhu, who will lead the ‘panchavadyam’ for ‘Madathil Varavu’ of Thiruvambady Bhagavathy, looks forward to performing the traditional way. The participation of maddalam exponent Cherpulassery Sivan is the lone change. “His participation will infuse more confidence as he is one of the most senior percussion artists,” said Madhu.
“Melam is not a one-man show. Rather it is a combined effort. Each and every artist who participate in it has a role to play. We look forward to a pooram with its charm and glory intact,” said Kizhakkoottu Aniyan Marar who will lead pandi melam for Paramekkavu Bhagavathy.
Parakkad Thankappan will lead the panchavadyam for Thiruvambady Bhagavathy. “Thrissur Pooram becomes the pooram only when it happens in Thrissur. I started participating in it as as a thimila artist for panchavadyam. For the past three years, I have been leading it, which is a blessing,” he said.The four maestros are unanimous in their view that the tastes of the audience which gather for the ‘melam’ or panchavadyam’ has changed over the years. “As the rhythm reaches its peak, people start dancing in tune with it. It was never there in the past,” they said.