Kalaithaai has always been open to learn and adopt new styles in their art. Both boys and girls have time and again repeatedly shown passion towards learning new skills.
Kalaithaai has always been open to learn and adopt new styles in their art. Both boys and girls have time and again repeatedly shown passion towards learning new skills. There is a conscious inculcating of democratic approach in the team, which in turn encourages mutual learning and self discipline.
Sasi is the eldest son of Madheswaran. He has won numerous awards in various silambam competitions. After his engineering studies he continues teaching silambam and playing. His conviction is to pursue what he enjoys doing, he strongly believes corporate jobs are to make your mind dull. His aspiration is to start a school exclusively for teaching silambam and other native Tamil arts.
Dinesh is the nephew of Madheswaran. Though Dinesh has started as silambam player he has mastered other art forms like oyilaatam, kollattam, karakattam etc. he strongly believes parayaatam is the original art form of tamilnadu and is not caste specific. Dinesh’s aspiration is to develop kalaithaai as a research center for all the traditional tamil art forms. Dinesh has done his mechanical engineering. Dinesh pursues his own business of renting carts for transporting goods in erode.
Logesh is one of the finest silambam player in tamilnadu. He has won numerous awards both nationally and internationally. He is the sole representative of India for silambam in Asian games held in Malaysia. Initiated by his father at a very young age logesh became an expert silambam player by the age of 10yrs. He has been teaching silambam and instrumental to the idea of starting a silambam school. He works as a marine engineer and plans to work towards making kalaithaai an unique school for teaching tamil arts.
Ilango teaches silambam for the mentally challenged kids. He says ‘Teaching silambam to the special children has made him more matured and humble’. Ilango is a post graduate in commerce and runs his own business.
Athiyappan is one of the elder silambam player in kalaithaai team. He says that girls playing silambam should continue teaching and playing even after their marriage. he has his own business at erode.
Dhansekar has been playing with kalaithaai since his childhood days. he has won many competitions at the district and state level silambam competition. He teaches silambam in many schools in erode. he has finished his diploma in mechanical engineering.
Rajasekar is the manager of kalaithaai. He has been instrumental in keeping kalaithaai afloat for the last ten years. He is the man in charge for taking the children to competitions.
Kalaithaai has trained many girls from the community in Silambam. the girls feels strongly that being a silambam player has given them an identity in predominantly a male dominated society.
Kalaithaai has trained many girls from the community in silambam. the girls feels strongly that being a silambam player has given them an identity in predominantly a male dominated society. these girls perform as well as teach silambam at schools which not only earns them livelihood but make them independent.Though the girls at kalaithaai themselves want to continue learning and teaching silambam, they are not certain how they will be able to pursue after marriage.
Ramya is 12 years old. she has started playing silambam from the age of 4 Yrs. She is the most flamboyant player in the group. At this very young age she has won many awards. She is good at her studies too.
Her grandfather used to play silambam in the community festivals. Once a wealthy family, due to misfortunes tides have turned around. Her father is a daily wage labourer with drinking problem. Her mother works at a textile company and sustains her family.
Madheswaran says ‘he could well understand the tough times ramya faces at home with an alcoholic father. Since he himself has gone through that experience as an young boy. There is always an uncertainty about the father’s mood swing in the house after drinking. Wife beating and harassment becomes a nightmare to these kids. Somehow despite all these troubles at home Ramya comes every morning without fail for the practice. She could be easily one of the top silambam player in the state’.
Maha & Keerthi-
Maha and Keerthi are the talented duos of kalaithaai. both the sisters started learning at a very young age. They are the lead players in every kalaithaai performance. both are athletic and a well skilled silambam players. They are studying at 7th and 8th std.
Maha’s mother works at a clock showroom in erode and her father is an electrician. The children’s mother wants them to achieve what she couldn’t as a women. She believes girls have the innate ability to outperform boys. She wants her children to participate in every competition even if they end up losing the game. She says ‘Playing is more important than winning’. They have won so many awards earning accolades to kalaithaai.
Divya started playing silambam at the age of six, she is the niece of madheswaran. She is a lead player at kalaithaai.she is doing her graduation in commerce. She says being a silambam player gives her recognition in the community and the awards she has won for her school in silambam competitions earned her respect among her friends. She wants to be a physical training teacher.
Lavanya has started learning silambam from her 6th std. She is a lead player in kalaithaai’s performance. She also plays parai. She wants to become a chartered accountant and wants to earn a good salary working in a company.
Lavanya’s father is a daily wage labourer carrying goods for the transport companies in erode. He and madheswaran has been childhood friends and neighbours. He used to play silambam as a young person which is why he encouraged her daughter learning silambam. He hopes kalaithaai will support in his daughter’s career aspiration.
Padma has been learning silambam since she was 10year old. She is a lead player in every kalaithaai’s performance. She has learnt other art forms including oyilattam, kolattam and karakattam. She has won awards at state level silambam competition for her school. She is presently doing her graduation in commerce.
Her father is a worker at a local brick making company. He has been working there for the last 40 years starting as a child labourer. He has been supportive of her playing silambam since it will of help in her self protection. His dream is to to make padma a college graduate. He believes that kalaithaai will take care of his daughter’s college education.
Her aspiration is to become a Physical training teacher. She believes with her state level prizes she has a chance to get a PT teacher job at a government school.
Reflecting on her involvement with kalaithaai, she believes that definitely it has given her an identity in her community and among her friends.