Balivijayam (Victory of Bali)
Balivijayam aattakatha, written by Kalloor Namboodiripad (1749-1824), is based on an episode from the Ramayana. He was a member of the court of Kochi Ruler, Veera Kerala Varma. Though he has written two more Kathakali playa, other then Bali Vijayam, only the latter found consistency on stage. This particular play has been choreographed by Senior Itteeri Panikkar in Kaplingadan style and later in both Kalladikodan and Kalluvazhi schooled.
The story opens with the mighty King Ravana revelling at the success of his son Meghanad who had earlier captured Indra, the king of Heaven, and brought him to Lanka. This is the humorous story of sweet revenge when Indra’s son Bali captures Ravana with some help from the cunning Sage Narada. This is a very popular play that offers great scope for an actor to portray his virtuosity in the role of Ravana.
Sage Narada visits King Ravana at his court. After the usual pleasantries Narada lets it slip to the boastful Ravana that though he has won over the whole world there is someone who gloats that he doesn’t care for the king and that he should be vanquished. Ravana immediately takes his famous Chandrahasa sword and asks Narada to show him the challenger. Narada says it is merely a monkey and that Ravana doesn’t need the sword to capture him. Narada leads Ravana to the seaside where Bali has come for his evening prayers. Bali notices Narada bringing the vanquisher of his father and decides to teach him a lesson. Ravana is frightened to see the gigantic Bali but at Narada’s behest tries to tie him up. In the process Ravana gets entangled in Bali’s tail whereupon Narada leaves after a good laugh. Bali finally looks back at Ravana and greets him with scorn. Ravana apologises and they part as friends.
Translated by Achuthan TK
Courtesy to Thiranottam for translation on special enactments.