Sometimes fiction in Cinema becomes a cause of reality. Here is a reverse situation – For M.T. Vasudevan Nair, one of his real life incidents created the concept of film `Neelathaamara’! Traditional belief that drives the theme of this film is an extraordinary flower. It blooms in a temple pond on offering a coin at the sacred step of this temple’s sanctum sanctorum. Seeing the place that nests this belief is an experience of a life time! Malamalkavu near Kuttippuram is special for the same. Ayyappa temple in this place is well known for Chengazhineerpoovu. People come here from far and near to receive God’s will on their lives through the blossoming of this legendary flower… Natives vouch till today the belief has not failed its devotees.
M.T’s ancestral home is near Malamalkavu. Long back while he was on a personal visit to the place a revered scholar Vaidyamadhom Nampoothiri came to see him. He told the trip was to pray for a chengazhineerpoovu needed for `Deva prasnam’ (a unique activity forecasting well being of presiding deity in a temple). M.T still remembers his amusement regarding the scholar’s faith. To plan an important pooja based on the availability of such a flower he thought, needed such solidity in belief!
When he planned the story of Kunjimalu, a naïve village maiden, M.T transformed the tradition of Chengazhineerpoovu into Neelathaamara that bloomed effortlessly into a refreshing creation! Though we are not shooting at the original temple and its pond in Malamalkavu nearby lanes and rural roads are our locations. The by-lanes are tiny nerves of village life… with coin like spots of sunlight falling on the non-tarred ground, shoe flower and other shrubs blossoming spontaneously at the sidewalks… In recent times these rural lanes have been picturised in full glow during Bhoothakkannadi of Lohithadas, and I happened to be its associate director. Meesa Madhavan and Pattalam had roads with the indigenous feel of Valluvanad. Organic presence of these walkways in Neelathaamara is celebrated with the warmth of footsteps of men and women who have simple but strong beliefs.
Stills : Hari Thirumala