LONDON Nov 23: This drama, titled Brotherhood, staged by the Sree Narayana Guru Mission, in the UK sends out a thumping message to the parents of the new generation kids who are trying to make their mark in the new world.
The drama depicts the life of kids today, who are caught in between their desire to set themselves free to realise themselves through their own experiences or lead a path that their parents have laid out for them. The battle of thoughts between the parents and the kids are not uncommon in a Malayalee family in the UK and thus "Brotherhood" becomes very relevant in the present times. Sree Narayana Guru's teachings are used through the drama to bridge the divide between parents and new generation children.
The journey for the ‘Brotherhood’ drama script started from the Guru Dharma discussion group of Sree Narayana Guru Mission Of The UK. A group of dedicated enthusiasts have been studying the book ‘The Word of the Guru' by Nataraja Guru for the last two years. Swami Tanmaya, Gurukulum, Varkala, ‘Skypes-in’ every week to give compassionate guidance on the book. The group are nearing the completion of this wonderful book.
The play, written both in English and Malayalam, is based on the fourth chapter of the book, called "Brotherhood", which contains actual dialogue by Sree Narayana Guru himself. The group agreed that the content of the play should contain extracts of Guru’s philosophy, whilst being set around a contemporary story. The essence of the drama is depicted in the relationship between families, different generations, cultures old and new. The drama is a humble attempt to convey an extract of the message by Sree Naryana Guru’s teachings, of deep wisdom, recorded over a hundred years ago. It’s real value transcends time, language and cultures. The play introduces to the younger audience, some of the philosophy through a subject matter still relevant today.
Saleena Sadasivan, the director of the drama, speaks to ukmalayalee.com in an exlcusive interview.
Scroll below to read the interview after watching the drama:
What is the relevance of this drama for the present generation UK Malayalees? Please explain?
The relevance of this drama for the present generation of UK Malayalyees is that language and communication between the different generations within the community has changed over the years. The younger feel more comfortable to exchange ideas in English while the older generation are keen to maintain the language and culture, within this gap the younger generation are losing a huge jewel of knowledge from such works of Sree Narayana Guru, Adi Sankara and others. Inner self analysis and subsequent ‘transformational change’ is relevant to individuals in conflict, irrespective of generation, culture, class or colour. The drama uses philosophy as a method of uniting the two perspectives in a modern story, while introducing Advaita Vedanta principles to a younger audience.
What was the idea behind having both English and Malayalam dialogues in the drama?
The play was originally written in English to attract the younger audience; it was modified later to include some Malayalam dialogue, primarily to show inclusiveness across all generations attending the event.
How was the response you had from the younger generation when you approached them to act in this drama?
During casting, upon reading the script, most young generation actors in the community showed keenness and enthusiasm to act in the play. Hence, it was relatively easier to find and confirm actors for the play.
Can you please provide us with the list of artistes who appeared in this drama.
Do you have any background in directing or scripting for any dramas or any involvement in literary works?
I have directed two others short plays for the International Women’s day celebrations held at the Sree Narayanna Guru mission, called The Response and The Wedding. Other than this I have been interested in drama and film, however busy working and family life.
Where are you from in London and where are you from back in Kerala?
I was brought up in East Ham, London, E6 ; now I live in South Woodford, London E18. My parents are from Trivandrum, Kerala.
Please say what you do and also a brief about your family.
I am currently a writer, of dramas and film scripts/screenplays. Previously I founded and successfully managed a firm specializing in Mediation services. Previous to this I worked as a relationship Counsellor for Relate.