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Toast to friendship

Toast to friendship – Parinatha – An ardent pursuit of love is danseuse Sharada Thampi and journalist Priya Raveendran’s maiden dance music collaboration.

Television journalist and documentary film maker Priya Raveendran and danseuse Sharada Thampi have been friends for close to three decades now. Their binding factor was the latter’s husband Sujith Nair who is also a journalist, in a leading vernacular daily. It was a casual conversation between the two friends that shaped in to Parinatha — An ardent pursuit of love, a dance music album, where they decided to rope in their musically talented friend, Lekshmi Benson. While Priya directed it, the concept, choreography and dance has obviously been portrayed by Sharada where its social media launch will be done by noted filmmaker Anjali Menon on Monday evening.

The two women personalities are much more than like friends, where they are like two extended families. During the weekends and occasional family parties, Sharada would don the role of a singer along with playback singer Lekshmi Benson, Idea Star Singer fame; together, they own a dance and music school in Kaudiar, Thiruvananthapuram. When the duo sings, the motley crowd of their friends goes in to rapt attention and many a time when Sharada sings, a dancer’s emotions could be seen in a flash. This led Priya and Sharada to conceive an idea of coming up with a dance music album. Lekshmi has composed the music of Parinatha, meaning complete or perfect, blending the padam, ‘Kanthanodu chennu melley…’ of Swathi Tirunal of the Travancore Kingdom who composed over 400 classical compositions in both Carnatic and Hindustani styles.

“The five minutes 30 seconds dance music album is an amalgamation of the old and the new styles. It is a small initiative to celebrate our friendship where we hope to create ripples in social media. It is being brought out by our banner Friendship Factory, which also symbolises our friendship,” says Priya, who has worked in various TV channels.

Recently, Priya has come up with a 25-minute documentary Ee Jeevithathinu Peru Sangeetham on Parassala B. Ponnammal, doyen of Carnatic music, which was well received. It was released by K. S. Chitra in the presence of the veteran Carnatic singer. Parinatha has been a family affair for Priya as it is her 18-year-old son Aman S. Dominic who has cranked the camera. Aman has shot Parinatha in his HD camera where he has come out with his mesmerising cinematography skills from Swathi Thirunal’s Kuthiramalika Palace, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Thuckalay, Golf Club, Azhimala and Poovar. Already proved his mettle with the short film Turn, Aman runs a YouTube channel Movie Monks Motion Pictures which has close to 5,000 subscribers. The little genius was just 17 when we worked as assistant director, perhaps the youngest in the Malayalam film industry, in S.S. Saiju’s Ira.

Except for Aman, Parinatha has otherwise been an all-woman project. The costumes have been designed by Reshmi Padma, a fashion designer, costumes are by Sonia Jose Gomez, accessories by Tiji Philip and promotions by Kavitha Niroop. Sharada says that in Swathi Tirunal padam, the heroine declares her total surrender in the love to the Lord. With a twinkle in the eye, the Bharatanatyam danseuse adds that the padam ’Kanthanodu chennu melley’ clearly captures the music, poetry and the life in it.

“The whole team who worked behind this initiative are a group of friends who came together on a single platform to share their skills. Here the heroine declares her total surrender of her love towards the Lord. The padam and the concept are a fine example of Madhurabhakti,” says Sharada with the poise of an unmatched danseuse.

When the women gang approached screen writer and film maker Anjali Menon, who had beaten the male bastion in the Malayalam film industry, she readily agreed to do the honours by launching it in the social media. Priya avers that Parinatha should motivate other filmmakers to come up with more women-centric short films and feature films that portray the essence of true friendships. Priya and her son Aman have already started the preliminary works for their next project — a documentary.

Toast to friendship

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