When curtains go up on Oru Sila Pala Nimidamum Pechum (a few moments and a talk) – a play directed by Geetha Kailasam – at Chennai on April 20, it would in a way be a rediscovery of perhaps long lost family tradition.
Before becoming a director of acclaim in Tamil cinema, K Balachander – Geetha’s father-in-law – had his roots in theatre. But despite being a writer and a storyteller, Oru Sila.. will be Geetha’s first attempt at theatre.
“With both of them not around (Balachander and his son/her husband Kailasam), I am kind of emotional about this play. This is also my first attempt,” Geetha says. But Geetha plans to dedicate the play to her memory of Balachander.
“I have watched him up-close, watched how he handles his films. I have always wanted to work with him and he was very encouraging. But when he was active, I was busy with production work at Min Bimbangal and then it was too late.”
Despite his busy schedules, Balachander always found time to read Geetha’s short stories and had appreciated her.
“He once made a note of it in a paper – that I write well. These things are so important for me now.”
Geetha Kailasam with the script
Oru Sila is about a young woman finding her voice. The protagonist Latha – played by Megha Rajan – is silent most of the times but her silences only mask turmoil within. She often struggles to express her anger, sympathy, humor, sadness the way she wants to. But by a stroke of some strange luck, she is presented with a possibility of freely expressing herself.
The one-and-half hour play is all about what happens next.
Having seen Balachander and Kailasam’s (also a producer) work from a close quarter, it is perhaps not surprising that Geetha chose theatre.
“I have seen how he (Balachander) would extract work till he was completely satisfied. No compromises on that. Kailasam was also a very meticulous worker. For several years now, I wanted to follow their footsteps and explore theatre.” But she also finds theatre very challenging. “I took up the challenge because I somehow felt only I could do justice to what I wrote. I just could not separate myself from the script.”
The director with cast members
But Geetha is also confident that her play will resonate with women of all ages. “The idea is precisely that. Women – of whatever age – can never express themselves without any inhibition. They will certainly strike a chord with Latha.”
Geetha is also keen to explore films. “I am passionate about writing in any form. So of course, I would love to work on film scripts too.”
The play will open at the Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai, at 6.45 pm on April 20.