In the last 10 years Kalaithaai has played silambam to raise awareness about environment and other social problems. Madheswaran says art cannot remain aloof from the society and its issues.

Many art forms in Tamilnadu has withered away because of the influence of cinema.

Many art forms in Tamilnadu has withered away because of the influence of cinema. The original forms of many arts has got diluted now. Madheswaran says it’s because of the artists themselves. If they fail to take pride in their own art, it gradually ceases to exist. 

What was seen as a sidekick entertainment complementing to kovil thiruvizha (temple festivals) is now a serious martial art which requires rigorous training for years to acquire mastery.

Kalaithaai has in the beginning played silambam as a sport in thiruvizha’s on the streets. but the treatment they were meted out with during these festivals were indifferent and insensitive to the passion they had for silambam as an art. at one point of time madheswaran said enough is enough and decided not to play on the streets anymore. What was seen as a sidekick entertainment complementing to kovil thiruvizha is now a serious martial art which requires rigorous training for years to acquire mastery.

 

Project Eyam is trying to engage people with oral history of people of Tamilnadu and  through the insights of both old and young to question the mainstream perceptions and explore how this could help bring a deeper understanding about our society’s past and present. Photography and Editing by Balamurali Krishnan