Lavanasuravadham (Killing of Lavanasura)
Story Play (Attakkatha):
This story is based on Uttararamayana and is authored by Palakkattusseri Amritha Sasthrikal (1815-1877). Only scene 2, featuring the laundryman and his wife which is humorous and popular, and scenes 14, 17 and 18 are usually performed nowadays.
The story unfolds after Sreerama returns from exile and rules over Ayodhya. Having heard from his spies about gossip spreading among the populace about Sita staying alone in Ravana’s palace, Rama asks Lakshmana to take Sita to the forest and leave her there. Sage Valmiki finds the pregnant and wailing Sita and takes her to his hermitage. She gives birth to two boys Kusa and Lava. Sreerama deploys Shatrughna to escort the ceremonial horse around the world prior to his Ashwamedha yaga he was conducting. One day as Kusa and Lava were playing around in the forest they chance to see the ceremonial horse and decide to capture it. Shatrughna arrives on the scene and is defeated by Kusa and Lava. Sreerama deploys Hanuman to find out about the boys and the horse. Hanuman realises the boys are Sreerama’s sons and playfully surrenders to them. The boys tie up Hanuman and take him to their mother. Sita is surprised to see Hanuman in captivity and orders the boys to release him. She hears the story of the ceremonial horse and the Ashwamedha yaga from Hanuman. She asks her sons to release the horse to Hanuman.
Laundryman and his wife, Sita, Shatrughna,Sreerama, Kusa, Lava and Hanuman.
Translated by Achuthan TK