As she retired from the service after more than three decades, Latha’s co-workers gave her a surprise gift at the March 11 farewell party. The teachers, who knew of Latha’s love for Ravi Varma’s paintings, staged a performance disguised as characters in Ravi Varma’s works. . They hired professional film makeup artist Radhu and four assistants and presented with choreography and music on stage during the function.
Latha, who led the college’s arts club for nearly 24 years, has been at the forefront of college arts activities. So her colleagues wanted to give something artistic as a retirement present. The teachers recreated about 12 characters from paintings by Ravi Varma. It was all kept secret until the make-up teachers took the stage and surprised not only Latha but the students as well. Former students were also present for the retirement ceremony of their favorite teacher.
“Latha ma’am is an art-oriented person. We therefore thought of recreating the characters in the paintings with maximum perfection. At the beginning, we selected the paints and asked the makeup artist to be ready. The make-up work began around 6 a.m. on the day of the function. We are so happy that we were able to do this for her,” said Jisha John, a teacher who dressed up as Rani from Pudhukottai.
“My family has an artistic and political background. My mother K Soudamini was the daughter of freedom fighter and former minister K Ramakrishna Pillai. She was a very good painter, although she had no professional training. She was passionate about the paintings of Ravi Varma and reproduced almost all the paintings of the great painter. I also read a lot about him and became a fan. I have always told stories about Ravi Varma to my colleagues. But I never thought they would surprise me like this. It was an emotional moment for me. Nothing could have ever made me happier because it had to do with my mother that made me connect with art,” Latha said.
Other characters that were recreated were Nair Lady with ‘veena’ (Preeti Kumar), Kadambari (Jeena Ann Joseph), Shakuntala (Niveda Sebastian), Sairendri (Lakshmipriya Santhosh), Ahalya (Vinitha John), Milk Maid (Lissy Jose) , Maharashtrian Lady (Tanya Vivera), Lady with Fruit (Tessa Jose), Rani of Travancore (Athira Babu), Rani Chimnabai (Maria Teresa Chakkkunny) and Damayanti (Lakshmi Bharat). Also, video messages from former student-celebrities Ramya Nambeesan, Ranjini Jose, etc. were also screened.