November 9, 2016
Ernakulam: Malayalis rave about their culture and traditions, and drool over Malayali cuisine. But are they really good ambassadors of their language?
“In fact, how many Malayalis know the 52 Malayalam alphabets like the back of their hand?” asks Hari P Nair in his recent work ‘Ka Cha Ta Tha Pa’. Released on November 1, the date on which the state was formed in 1956, the short film is a pointer into the sensibilities of the new age Malayali who has forsaken his language and lost comfort in its rhythm and spell.
Dedicated to Kerala’s 60th year of formation, the work was produced by stand-up comedienne Ramesh Pisharody. Actor Fahadh Faasil released the film, which went viral within hours.
The film shot created in an outdoor classroom ambience has child artist Akshara Kishor and actor Dharmajan Bolgatty donning the roles of a teacher and student, but in a reversal of roles. Akshara is the teacher with the salt and pepper hair, a cane and a solemn look, while Dharmajan is the student in a uniform trying hard to get all his alphabets right.
According to the director, the ‘sreshta basha’ status bestowed on the Malayalam language requires it to be written and spoken in a flawless manner. He rues the fact that few youngsters are reading Malyalam literature.
The film is striking, though it has not much dialogue and music and verbal interpretation take front seat. A parakeet takes centre-stage sneering at the student each time he makes a silly mistake. Towards the end of the movie, actor Kavya Madhavan makes an appearance talking about the significance of our mother tongue.