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Published: August 9th 2012
It was 3.00pm standing at the ticket counter, awaiting the permission to visit the artists behind the stage. Listen to the pouring rain was not what I need this moment. I was worried my appoint with the actors will be rejected but they were kind enough to allow me to go in. The man told me to wait and he walked to the theatre. Twenty minutes later, he called and showed me the backstage.
I met Mr. Shiju Kumar. I could instantly recognize him without his make-up and pointed at him, “You are the hero with the green face”. He gave a great smile, we shook hands, chat awhile and he took me to the back stage to meet the other actors.
The changing room is small with all the costumes hanging on the wall, wigs, costume jewelries and their personal items, all the basics for an actor. There was this young man, sat on the floor, getting ready to do his own make-up, Mr. Ranjith the co-star of the show, portraying the female demon Lalitha or originally known as Nakkrathundi, who tried to seduced Jayantha (Son of Lord Indra) for lustful pleasures. But before the make-up,
he is actually a very nice young man. He is so talented in his make-up that took him three hours just to paint the face. Step by step he applies make-up, repeated strokes on his eye-brows to ensure the right curves, sharp pointed side-burns, drew around the eyes looking seductive and the red dot vibuthi that made Nakkrathundi more stunning, a real beauty. I like his face and eyes expressions. They have different moods that always made me wonder.
Mr. Shiju was helping his other colleague portraying Jayantha, had the make-up session on the stage itself. The actor has to lie down to enable Mr. Shiju to paint and paste the cardboard beard on the actor. All make-up items are made from natural ingredients. This make-up of Jayantha character is more tedious than Nakkrathundi. But they always have enough time before the show starts.
I came so close to these actors witnessing the art of make-up by individuals showed me how much commitment they had before every show begun. Now it is my commitment to write them in my travelblog. My heart always looked up to them, for they have become my friends the time when they gave
me this opportunity to have this personal photography session I will never forget.
The Kathakali Cultural Dance Show in Thekaddy, Kerala, India.
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