This famous episode from the Mahābharata epic describes how it comes to a conflict between Bhῑma and Hanumān. Armed with a mace and bursting with strength and self confidence Bhῑma tears through the forest, looking for some precious Saugandhika flowers for his wife Pāṇcāli. Hanumān, the wise monkey god, wants to put the egotistical hero to the test. "Disguised" as an old monkey he lies down in his path and provokes Bhῑma by mocking and deriding him. Blinded by his anger, Bhῑma does not recognise the monkey king's ruse and he heaps scorn and threats upon him. Only when Hanumān reveals himself in his true size does Bhῑma shamefully realise his mistake.


The original Malayalam text is almost 1300 lines long and full of allusions and criticism of Kerala's society at the beginning of the 18th century. It was the first text written and performed - in the Śῑtankan Thuḷḷal style - by Kunchan Nambiar. Right to this very day it belongs among the standard repertoire of every Thuḷḷal dancer and is regularly performed at temple festivals. Because of its brilliant poetics, excerpts from the text are still being taught at all Keralese schools today. I have been performing the German version of this story since 2005.



Hartmut Schmidt

Harianu Harshita

Tel. +49 761-623 47
E-mail: info@thullal.com

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