How it would feel like to have a ‘Naarkkaali’ (four-legged chair) in your home? Every home has a Naarkkaali these days and it is no wonder. But it really would have been a wonder many years ago, when Mukkaalis (three-legged chairs) were a common site in every home. How would it feel for a house with only Mukkaali to have a Naarkkaali for the first time in the entire village?
The play ‘Naarkkaali’ revolves around a family that buys a Naarkkaali, replacing their Mukkaalis. The Kusubaani family, a typical middle class family consisting of a jobless father, a home maker mother, a mischievous daughter and an old grandmother, yearn to sit on the newly bought Naarkkaali. The Naarkkaali was initially bought to make life less miserable for the family members who were trying hard to sit without falling from the Mukkaalis they had earlier.
However, once the Naarkkaali is bought, they are unable to sit peacefully as “Who should sit?” fight keeps neither of them from sitting on the new Naarkkaali. Eventually, the an old man who passes away becomes the first person dead or alive to sit on the Naarkkaali and once it returns back home, the family members are scared as they fear that the ghost of the old man might still linger on the Naarkkaali. They eventually sit one after the other once an innocent villager sits on it.
Revolving around a very normal story, the play carries with it very deep sarcasm filled with the realities of a middle class family. Writer Ki. Ranganarayanan, from whose short story the play was based on, had portrayed the various elements of a middle class family including hunger, joblessness, romance and the excitements that small things bring to the family. The Director of the play L. Ramraj, Associate Professor of the Department of Tamil of PSG College of Arts and Science (CAS) and the artists from the Drama Club of the College brought out the story with their hilarious performance. Apart from the general storyline, various other issues including the political fight for power and women harassment were also portrayed in the play.
Talking at the end of the play, Professor Ramraj said that theatre should be used a weapon to talk the problems of the people. The play was organised by the popular Udalveli artists and 641 Cafe.