My journey to witness the MalegaLali MadumagaLu !!

With lot of back and forth chat with MMM Face Book account holder Suresh Sir, I had reserved tickets 6 days before the play, for a small caravan of 10 seats(not the bus seat but the gallery seats), then +2 to become 12. Later came +3 to become 15 seats (often irritating Suresh Sir on the other side).
But all that happened at the end, was that I had to shamelessly chat back to Suresh Sir and say that I want to cancel all the 15 reservations that I had made because my uncle had booked and bought all 15 tickets.
My uncle had forethought that there would be a gush of audience as it was a weekend show, so as to be on the safer side he had bought all the tickets..

All set with the tickets and now was the day, all excited, our caravan had gathered at my uncles home at Nagarbhavi except Me !!
I had office and on the way to Nagarbhavi to my bad luck there was a huge traffic jam as the actual route was diverted. I had to reach Nagarbhavi with in 30mins but took nearly 1hr 30 mins.
Somehow I reached uncle’s home to see that all were ready at the gate as though they would just swoop me to Kalagrama.. I just rushed to the restroom, freshened myself n went to the kitchen gulped rice and manglorean fish curry .. yumm.. (though I was tempted to have fish pieces but just couldn’t as to eat fish one needs little more time..
There was hardly any time left for me to fish out the fish from the curry bowl )

All jam packed in a car and vroomed. Just waiting when will my destination hunger be quenched !! Within 10mins landed… Kalagrama ……
My uncle’s forethought was so very true… there was a flood of audience for the play.. we too rushed to occupy the seat to get the best view..

As we were approaching stage 1, (The Kere ranga) I was spellbound !!! the stage design was mesmerizing.. Huge open air, an exposed stage.. one side the kere (the lake) and the hanging bridge and on the other side a beautiful hut, areca-nut trees.. hmmm I could even smell the malnad’s wet land.. (the stage design took me into nostalgic state, as every summer holidays, malnad used to be my favorite holiday spot as my maternal grandparents used to stay in deep woods of Chkkamagalur).

Thankfully all we 15 got seat at a stretch. As I was trying to digest the pragmatism of the stage , a pleasant music played and the Jogis (hermits) come down to narrate the story and each character appears on the stage as though I’m witnessing true incidents in the woods of Malnad.. the leaches come down(I still feel yak when I see or hear about leaches, the way it stenches, sucks blood..oh!!), the dung beetles waww.. the minute essence of Malnad are portrayed so well.. as the play goes on Gutti , Thimmi my all time favorites Huliya, Aitaa n Pinchilu, Seregara, Subbanna Hegde, Thimmappa, all unique on their own..
As the stage 1 break struck and the audience start dispersing to the Stage 2 it looked as if there was a huge procession, a rally that was happening.. such a huge crowd moving all the way at one direction of stage-2 (Bayalu ranga).. !!

Even our caravan started moving along with the crowd as though our names were inscribed on the seats and nobody would dare to even touch those seats.. Reached stage 2 to our surprise had hardly any space to sit !! somehow each one managed to get seats here n there .. watched the play.. after a very green stage, the stage 2 looks in a low passé, looked dry… Asked my mind to cope up to the stage.. as the play started.. waw.. the stage was so well utilized.. the girls with the lamp at the back drop with a beautiful song .. the Bhoota kola (the bhoota’s attire accidentally got blazed. Audience were stunned for a moment. I really appreciate the artists presence of mind at that particular time.. he did not panic but just threw off the blazing attire and continued his acting, the play never stopped ! !!! (gifted are such actors) Unexpected appearance of Swami Vivekananda on the opposite direction of the stage..…. Each scene was very impacting..

Before the play would finish at stage 2; We few girls/ladies stepped out to attend the natures call.. Thanks to the nature, it called us at the right time.. there was nobody at rest rooms…
But as I attended the call and opened the restrooms door to step out, I was panicked ! A huge crowd of ladies, facing the rest room doors, felt all were gazing at me and would pounce on me at once as though I had cheated them in a Chit Fund.. Offf…
Somehow managed to slide away from the huge ladies crowd and started our voyage to stage-3 ..

Now that our caravan knew that if we move like that of a snail we would hardly find any place to sit, so we all rushing to stage 3- bamboo grooves (Bidiru ranga) .. We all got scattered.. thankfully I found my maa n my uncle.. and I could see few of our mates head in front. Somebody from there asked me,”wherez ur dad??” I just kept quite as though I did not hear them... (Now, tell me , my maa and me are not bothered where my dad was, why do these people have to !! Please don’t think that we are that cruel hearted, We being part of theater has made us independent in such situations. Especially when therez a play going on or therez a show of ours, we 3 do not bother to look for each other ! )
Bidiru ranga was wonderful experience, it appeared as though I was at a village-midst of a thick forest .. the scene of Anthakka shetty’s hotel, the death of kaveri, a few heart melting scenes..
As the night reached its pitch I could feel the cold breez kissing me.. And guess what , the kisses of the cold breez reminding of my dad…. Ask me why ! All my warm cloths were with my dad in his bag ! I tried to find him in the crowd but in vain ! so just like a drenched dog, I cuddled myself and sat back to watch the play.
As the scene got over at the stage 3, it was a patience test to the for the entire audience. People were at their tip toes to rush to the stage 4 (Honge ranga). All Helter-skelter between and I could notice an elderly person trying to tear open the Honge fence and pass through just to catch the seat ! Gosh !! isn’t that crazy (but I call him dumb ! how ruthlessly tore the fence, even without realizing the efforts and the aesthetics of the stage ! ) I mercilessly yelled at him not to do so. My maa pulled me back not to mess with that elder..
Luckily , my maa and I were together and rest all missing !
Oh noo… was my maa first word that came out as she sat down ! wondering what happened to her I too sat down to realize why was that yell was for… Right ! the poky floor. However you try to adjust your bum to find the better surface, it was all the same . Throughout the stage 4 with all the acupressure I could still concentrate on the play ! (never might have concentrated on my books)

The play had its final say, the union of 3 lovely pairs, missing of Huli, sensitive statements from Padri (the Father).
As the play ends with powerful and impacting statements , all the artist gathered and Basu uncle (the sole of the play-the director ) stared to talk about the efforts, the realism, the facts, efforts behind the play.. oh ! my ears were keen and alert, was stunning to hear him..

Mesmerized play it was, I was so impressed while I watched these characters come to life.
The director, Basu uncle was so successful in depicting the emotions of each character. Splendid acting by each character. The costumes and the properties used were very appropriate to the period and unique to each group of characters. Songs could have been live than recorded.
Stage design enhanced the realism of the show. Actors exploded into extraordinary athletic energy.. The open air gave artists all freedom to perform.
Hats off to all the cluster of artists involved.
As the crowd disappeared we, 15 members our caravan could find each other and met Basu uncle to exchange words of appreciation.
My dad and Basu uncle hugged each other .. waw ! heartwarming gesture it was.. ! 

-Kavya Achuth

Comment by K.Mutturaj Narayana
K Mutthuraj Narayana How Old are you Kavya!................... Sorry Don't Mistake me ........... your mature way of writing put me to ask this Q, Because today's Generation most of the people do not develop their writing skill... but you have a excellent one, I don't know who you are...... I don't know what you do,but still the way you have drafted this experience mad me to type these lines, and it shows the attachment you had with Malegalalli Madhu Magalu, Keep it up All the best and god bless You.......... ha I liked the nature call paragraph