Patholi Rookhu- Konkani Theatre


Say ‘Patholi’ , and eyes of  Konkani speakers will light up. But when stream of 19 young actors served ‘Patholi Rookhu” ( Patholi Tree ) to a jam-packed audience at Town Hall on Tuesday 12th of October, they lapped up this artistic, not culinary, offering with delight. This 75 minute Konkani drama is result of Vishwa Konkani childrens’   drama camp 2011 conducted by Vishwa Konkani Kendra over a period of ten days.

‘Patholi’ for the uninitiated is a sweet dumpling prepared in Konkani homes on Nagarapanchami.  A batter prepared out of soaked rice grains, grated coconut, beaten rice, Jiggery and pinch of salt is spread on turmeric leaves with stuffing made of grated coconut mixed with jiggery and cardamom and cooked. Served with a touch of ghee, the dumpling makes a great snacks and the aromas that wafts when the turmeric leaves are parted is mind boggling .

Trained by Jagan Pawar, actors left aromas of ‘Patholi’ lingering in minds of the audience. Bearing similarity to Indo-European Language dramas namely “The Girl and the Dumpling Tree” and “Fisher Boy and Devil”, “Patholi Rookhu” is story of ‘Vasu’, a young boy’s  desire to eat patholi and quest of an aging ‘Rakshini’ to taste this ‘young blood’ .

While the sharp-witted Vasu falls prey to the wiles of ‘Rakshini’, who appears before him first as a charming young woman and later as an old woman, the drama revolves round a group of cowherds led by their elder who rescues this boy initially. But the ‘Rakshini” as an old woman traps Vasu yet again. Denouement comes when ‘chelli’ (girl)  trapped similarly by ‘Rakshini’ and used by her as house-maid helps Vasu kill the she-demon.

‘Patholi Rukhu’ team has treated this Konkani folklore tale, normally told by grand mothers to their grand children with a refreshingly new verve. Costumes used in the drama transported the audience to rustic surroundings when story unfolds.

Guru Baliga has penned the story with Prakash Shenoy producing and scoring the music.

courtesy: Times Of India