Shaji N Karun
Cinematographer and director
Elements of Nature weave a canvas for Shaji N Karun, which he fills in along with his sensible interaction of mild and shade. His final function movie, Olu, was an ode to Nature.
Shaji feels the rain displays our temper, accentuating emotions of romance, concern, nervousness and melancholy. “It is life-giving, but it can also symbolise the end. In many ways, it is our interactions with the rain that makes each monsoon a boon or a bane. This year, as we go through a pandemic, I hope we have a benign monsoon that will not unleash its fury on us. But it again depends on how much we have interfered with Nature,” he says.
In Piravi, his first movie as director, the many moods of the rain is a leitmotif that acts as visible, aural and emotional set off all through the movie. It is a metaphor that symbolises the absence of the son, the agony of the father, the sense of timelessness, the uncertainty and the longing of a father to satisfy his son.
He says, “Even the dialogues had been related to the rain… It was the fixed presence of the rain that accentuated the lacking son’s presence in Piravi even when he was not there in a single shot. We shot in pouring rain in a July and there was not a single day when most of us, together with thespian Premji, weren’t soaked to the pores and skin. I didn’t need to use synthetic rain as there’s a sure mild that suffuses the environment throughout the monsoon and we had been capable of seize that in Piravi.”
VP Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan
This monsoon, hopes Padma Bhushan-awardee VP Dhananjayan, won’t be hazardous, however peaceable like the ones of his childhood. “With the pandemic around, We hope God will send a peaceful, calm and useful monsoon, the kind where we can make paper boats and float them in the water. One that will bring life back to normal.”
Over a telephone name from Chennai he says, “The rains and monsoon have always inspired mankind, but the artiste more than others.” The feted couple has celebrated the rains in three productions. The newest was Kumaransasn’s Karuna,choreographed for the poet’s centenary celebrations. “The production was on all the six seasons, but the rains were most elaborately expressed. The blowing winds, dancing trees, clashing clouds, the lightning and finally the downpour. It ends with the flowing river,We used western music for the piece,” says Dhananjayan.
JungleBook that was set to music by Pandit Vijayaraghav Rao and primarily based on ragam Meghranjini, showcased the dance of the peacocks earlier than the rains. “We were lucky to watch a dance by almost 100 peacocks against a backdrop of clashing clouds and thunder in Rajasthan,” remembers Dhananjayan.The couple choreographed and Ghanshyam – The Broken Branch, a social movie on drug abuse made in collaboration with Pandit Ravi Shankar . “He was keen to show the seasons and the rain was depicted the rains from the first drop. ,” he says.
The flood or the pandemic has not made the rains any much less fascinating for author Anees Salim.
“Let it rain when I die,” says creator Anees Salim, who typically footage his personal loss of life on a wet day. “It is a perfect day to die,” he says, over telephone from his house in Kochi.
Anees’ writing has been massively impressed by the rain — its sounds, its moods and the method it adjustments his world. He is inexplicably moved by it, “feeling everything but indifference”.
From evoking pleasure to despair and a complete spectrum of feelings, rains, for him, says the rains are additionally the good time to jot down. “I prefer it to the summer, any day.”
Anees significantly loves driving in the rain. “I like how it hits my car.” He provides that he loves travelling when it rains too.
The monsoon in Kerala is a shade extra romantic than it’s in different components of the nation, says the creator, whose works often carry a touch of a rain-drenched Kerala panorama. “There is an overtone of green here,” he says.“Look at the leaves the morning after a rainy day. All the dust is washed off and they appear brighter. These are the images that have stuck to my mind.”
What Hari Menon likes greatest about the rain is related to being a photographer — the colors, particularly the darkish, deep hue the sky blue acquires earlier than the rain.
“The pandemic has not changed or affected the way I feel about the monsoon,” he says. He provides, nonetheless, “It is not as fun as it used to be. Not only due to the obvious association with floods or the current situation, but also its nature — it soaks a person more. Now you need gear to protect the equipment. Water gets in everywhere. Earlier children enjoyed the rain, we don’t see much of that either.”
Hari says he savours the monsoon when he stays at Goa’s Latin quarter of Fontainhas in Panaji, with its vividly painted buildings. “The blue, yellow, green and red buildings are beautiful when they soak the rain,” Hari says.
His favorite locations to shoot in Kerala throughout the monsoon? “Bekal Fort (Kasaragod), Athirapally — the waterfalls transform with rain — as does Kuttanad in Alappuzha.”
“The monsoon in Kerala has been terrible for the last two years and now with the pandemic, we only hope the rains are beneficial,” says Baroda-based up to date visible artist Ok P Reji.
He remembers the customary arrival of the monsoon in Kerala on June 1 as a day when faculties reopened and remembers “running before the rain and running with the rain” as a toddler, together with the scent of moist earth.
Grey, inexperienced and brown dominate his monsoon-related work. “The grey of the sea and the sky, the green coconut trees and the colour of mud,” he says.
In the first version of the Kochi Muziris Biennale in 2012, Reji showcased ‘Thumpinkal Chathan,’ a narrative of a chathan (a legendary determine) who saved farmlands from extreme rains.
The pandemic has affected dansuese Priyadarsini Govind deeply, emotionally. “It has taught us that things can change in a second. That we can take nothing for granted. Therefore, the feel of rain on our body has an added beauty and romance,” she says.
The Bharatanatyam exponent says she has all the time responded to the idea of rain via dance. “The sound of rain inspires introspection and the fragrance of moist earth revives memories of a happy, innocent childhood. The imagery of the peacock and the cool spray of water somehow signifies a new beginning for me.”
Of the many rain metaphors that she has utilized in her work is a poem by Mahakavi Subbaramania Bharati that she likes to recall. “It looks at Krishna as a mother and the different elements of Nature as the toys he gives his children,” she says.
The pandemic-imposed lockdown has cleared the air and this time, the rains can be brighter, says veteran artist T Kaladharan. “The first rains this time will not be black like they used to be. I will use bright colours to paint them now. The environment has got purified.”
In the 90s, Kaladharan did a sequence of works impressed by the rains. Called ‘Mazha peyyunnu, Manju pozhiyunnu’, the works had been summary, capturing the intangible feelings the monsoon invoked in him. “I used dark colours, black and grey. Those works were sold quickly,” he says, including “I continued to do rain-inspired works for many years. But not anymore.”
(With inputs from Saraswathy Nagarajan, Priyadershini S, Shilpa Nair Anand, Anasuya Menon)