New play written
by P. Rajagopal in 1994
1 ½ to 2 hours
Hanne M. de Bruin, A. Palani
has as its theme the various aspects of 'veri', a Tamil word which
literally means "possession" or "madness". In the play, "possession" expresses
itself as desire for money, position, power, religious fanaticism, and,
more basically, food, drink and sex. All these forms of "madness" prevent
an equal sharing of material goods and impede living in harmony with each
other and with nature.
play features Kaliyugasuran, a shape-shifting demon, possessed by greed, who is an exponent of kali yuga (the present degenerate era in which
we live). He has four ministers. The protagonists of Kaliyugasuran are the
youthful queen Vempuli and her unsolicited advisor, Sinki, a wise and experienced
Lady of the Kuravar clan.
The play is
borne by the three Kattiyakkarans (=clowns), who represent the voices of
the common men and women. They provide a running commentary on the behaviour
and actions of the principal characters and guarantee a good laugh. Veriyattam
emphasizes the heroic mood (vira rasa) that is typical of Kattaikkuttu.
In addition, it showcases different aspects of Tamil village culture, such
as a religious procession in which a traditional Terukkuttu is being performed
and possession occurs, "Tiger dance" or Puliyattam and vigorous