My father loves Kathakali. It is a famous art form in Kerala. He used to take me to every temple to watch Kathakali. While watching it he will explain the story, names of the artist and so on. Kathakali was our common love. The stories of Kathakali happened to be my favorite bed time stories too. As I was saying he will tell me the names of his favorite artists. Kalamandalam Gopi is one among them. My father adores him. So do I. Whenever my father says, it’s Kalamandalam Gopi on the stage I will look him with curiosity and respect. I have only seen him wearing the heavy Kathakali costumes and make up. He is a brilliant Kathakali artist and even talking to him Consider as a great luck by Kathakali lovers. One day me and my father went to a temple in Ernakulam to watch Kathakali and after some time as usual seeking his permission I ran to ‘aniyara’ (place were Kathakali artists wear their costumes and make up). I always enjoyed watching them wearinag those heavy and colorful dresses. While I was watching them I saw an old person wearing shirt and lungi sitting on an arm chair alone. He saw me too. He called me to sit near him and I did. He asked me whether I love Kathakali. As a little talkative girl I always loved showing off my knowledge. I replied him that I love Kathakali and me and my father sing Kathakali songs very well. He made me sing few songs. I always enjoyed talking and this old man encouraged me by listening to my child talks. I said him that I have met Gopi Ashan once and we have talked. But I reality I haven’t. He smiled at my reply. He asked me where did I met Kalamandalam Gopi. Obviously I made up a whole new story but he looked like he believed me. After sometime my father came there searching for me and he was shocked to see me with this old man. The old man smiled at my father warmly and my father smiled back politely with a namasthe by folding hands. I said bye to that old man and he kissed on my cheek. My father asked me what we were talking. I replied him proudly that I was explaining Kathakali stories and sang songs for him. I also added that I talked him about Kalamandalam Gopi. With a beautiful smile my father said “kid you were talking to Kalamandalam Gopi”! St.Teresa's College, Ernakulam, Kerala.
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