Sangeeta Nataka Academy theater hall in Trichur was teeming with a mammoth gathering like never before, on Monday to felicitate Jayaraj Warrier, the Caricaturist who paved a different way of stage satire following the foot steps of the late Thullal maestro Kunjan Nambiar. ‘Rajatha vasantham’ of Jayaraj Warrier was being celebrated there with all the pomp and splendour of a glamorus event, but in tune with the rich Kerala traditional track.
This may be the period of celebrating 25 years Silver or Rajatha Jubilee.From Mohan Lal, it started and passed on to M.G.Sreekumar, and now it was with Jayaraj Warrier whose maverick style of art has enchanted and enlightened the Keralites all over the world with wit and humor, remarkably different from simple mimicking.
Rajathavasantham, an event conducted by the people of Trichur, especially, the zealous friends circle, Jayaraj Warrier owns as his pride and aptitude, was rich with Padma award winners and patriarchs of different cultural zones. The theatre, the stage, background sceneries, the opening ceremony, the different procedures during the function …everything was laced with the richness of Kerala tradition. The audience were being welcomed by the very temple orchestra owned by Kerala, playing in the projector . In the opening ceremony, a group dance was performed which portrayed the diverse culture the country owns. It started with two conventionally clad men carrying a traditional palanquin (fashioned by Mr.Ravi Padinjare, the famous sculptor of Trichur and one among the friends circle of Mr.Warrier) was brought to the stage. Inside the palanquin there was a golden crown to adorn the King of Laughter. The event started with the sopana sangeetham, (temple song) of Ambalappuzha Sreekumar with the traditional edakka.
M.P.Surendran, Deputy Editor of Mathrubhoomi welcomed the rich personalities on and around the dais. He narrated the various stages through which Jayaraj Warrier has moulded this unique art of caricature. The function was presided over by none other than P.Jayachandran, the veteran singer who blew expressionism into the Malayalam romantic songs. Jayaraj-Jayachandran chemistry is a known bond to all Keralites who has an ear for music.
Inaugural function also was rich with the traditional Kerala set up. The big nilavilakku adorned with marigold garlands in the shape of an elephant’s caparison was lit by Dr.Sukumar Azhikodu, the fire brand speaker of Kerala. The unique style he keeps in his speeches made him the best orator, and his criticisms, be it to an individual or to an establishment, remains straight and open at any point. He said, whenever Jayaraj Warrier comes on the stage, a light is being created among and inside the audience. He also told about his slip of tongue with which he calls Jayaraj as Jayadeva Warrier, but was not wrong, as Jayadeva, the great poet who penned the Geetah Govindam was also open and harmless as Jayaraj Warrier, even if Mr.Warrier follows the pattern of Kunjan Nambiar, who was rude at times in his social satires.
Next turn was of Mr.M.T.Vasudevan Nair, the patriarch of Malayalam literature. Narrating Charlie Chaplin’s certain episodes; he praised Jayaraj Warrier as a social critic who makes the people laugh and simultaneously asks a lot of silent questions to them thus giving out a chance for introspection.
Padmashri C.K.Menon, an NRI entrepreneur and social activist, who practice service not by his words but by the deeds, felicitated Mr.Warrier for compiling literature and art so beautifully, to render a caricature image to Malayalam language and its culture.
Nedumudi Venu, veteran actor and a close friend of Jayraj Warrier, told that 25 years in artistic field is not a big thing to celebrate, but Jayaraj really deserved it as he remains to be unparalleled in his field. Mr.Venu narrated a lot of incidents he had with Mr.Warrier and praised his amazing talents to transform himself into various personalities, without losing the solid mannerisms the others possess. He also praised the Trichurians for nurturing talents like Jayaraj Warrier.
Mrs.K.P.A.C.Lalitha, while felicitating Jayaraj, requested the art lovers of Trichur to celebrate the 45th year of Nedumudi Venu. In fact, she was throwing jokes at the comments Mr.Venu made earlier. She also remarked Mr.Warrier as a Peter Pan who stands beyond the time.
Renowned percussionists Padmashri Mattannur Sankaran Kutty and Annamanada Parameswaran Marar were also felicitated Mr. Warrier.
Mr.Therambil Ramakrishnan,MLA of Trichur remarked Jayaraj Warrier as a one-man army who recharged the society that missed the laughs in the stress and strains of life.
Adding the traditional glory intervened in the events, Jaayaraj Warrier has given away ‘onappudava’(new clothing) to the eminent personalities whom he considered as his gurus. Another remarkable part was the presentation of ‘pattum valayum’(silk cloth and golden bangle), by M.T.Vasudevan Nair and Sukumar Azhikodu to Mr.Warrier. This is also an episode glued to the traditional Malayali culture.
Meanwhile, Mr.Warrier was honoured by Nedumudi Venu with the crown kept inside the palanquin. Thus it became the crowning ceremony of the King of Laughter. Mr.Warrier bowed to his Gurus and gifted them with golden betel and arecanut (thamboolam).It is also a traditional form of worshiping the venerable persons.
In his reply message, Jayaraj Warrier dedicated all his honours to his Malayali spectators who boosted him to get hold of the present position. He also inculcated the audience in his usual satirical style that, the event was organized by his friends circle and never a paid up one, as thought to be.
After the function, there was a special caricature show by Jayaraj Warrier, followed by a musical feast by an orchestral group led by P.Jayachandran, Kallara Gopan and Jyotsna.