The crowd cheering wildly..
A guild of students with talents galore..
Embellishment of the hall within prestigious walls..
Indeed, this is THRITHVA RANGA.
Three decades have passed since the inception of “Ranga Saba” which ultimately led to Thrithva Ranga. And yet, this annual event still manages to stand out as a unique extravagant night filled with sheer talent by the School Officers’ Guild (SOG) of Trinity College Kandy. December 4th was no different. Each year the SOG manages to reach newer heights and set a higher bar for the Thrithva Rangas to follow. The Guild that bridges the student body and the staff, to no one’s surprise, yet again managed to pull off quite a show.
Annually one of the main secrets guarded by the unity of the School Officers’ Guild is the theme for ‘TR’. The poster put up on the walls of Kandy is more of a superficial glance allowed to the public about it. A veiled puzzle, in which the viewer has to perceive as to what lay in store for him or her. One might look at it and think.. “well its one of the crowns from the Trinity College Crest it doesn’t contain any hint at all”.. but look closer… What do crowns represent? Which time period? This year, Thrithva Ranga unveiled its theme to be “Medieval Times”; to be more precise, ‘the fight for the crown’.
The journey begins with Prince Gamini (Darshana Udalagama) receiving a message through an “email” from his beloved Unmadachirtha (Shavindra Seneviratne) asking to meet her, while the messenger is trying to figure out how to actually decrypt this “message” by tilting the laptop. Upon understanding this message, King Gamini and his two guards (Danesh Perera and Naresh Perera) starts their journey strolling through the forest and suddenly halts to discuss about plans, “Plan A? Plan B?”. Once agreed, Prince Gamini goes through a transformation phase. *Dramatic Music* The crown stored securely and replaced with headphones, pedometer, and most importantly, shoes replaced with Nike Running shoes. The Prince after this sudden transformation, turns his stroll through the jungle to a jog through mountains to a tower where Princess Unmadachirtha lives. Prince Gamini attempts to throw his dagger to the topmost floor to climb up the tower, but for his surprise.. fails. The princess suddenly comes up behind the King and his guards to much surprise.
The crowd is then introduced to three family members of Prince Gamini, one of whom is planning to inherit the kingdom (as the Prince doesn’t have any sons yet). The eldest brother “Loku Ayya”(Lashan Senratne) introduces himself as the eldest brother. “No one interrupts me”.. then a person walks just in front of him. “Not even a crow flies above me”.. a crow sounds loudly in the background. Then the next brother, “Podi Ayya” (Sajith Thalgahagoda) who apparently studied at “Oxford”, Battaramula is introduced to the crowd. He is always walking around with an Oxford Dictionary speaking “Oxford” style English. Then the youngest brother “Podi Malli” (Naveen Diyakelinawela), who is swinging by in his swing and surprised by the camera, taps on the lens, trying to figure out what this mystical thing is and screams “Loku Ayya!!”. The youngest who bad mouths his siblings says: “Loku Ayya thinks he is such a big shot while the other thinks he is the smartest running around with book. Actually he is just acting smart. I am the best person to rule the Kingdom.” After talking for a while, he asks the cameraman to leave now since it is his playtime.
The three siblings meet up with Unmadachithra’s Mother (Steven De Alwis), Unmadachithra (Shavindra Seneviratne) and the Queen’s Servant (Praveen Yatigammana) to discuss about the news regarding the Princess giving birth to two children. The three siblings threaten the life out of the two newly borns. After the princess leaves the stage, her mother and their servant leaves the three siblings to plan to hunt down the two newborns and to kill them while the smarty-pants sibling who studied at “Oxford” suggests that he has “Dasa Maha Yodayo” at his command. The youngest questions: “Brother how many Dasa Maha Yodayo do you have?”. While the other siblings tease the youngest asking about the school he attended and he doesn’t know anything. The sibling who commands the “Dasa Maha Yodayo” proudly says there are five and they are like Mr. Trinity! The eldest asks “what happened to the other five?” The answer was that “three ran away with some female servants in the Kingdom while two left because the pay was low.” The eldest asks to bring in the so called “Dasa Maha Yodayo”, and then the “Oxford” sibling happily agrees and brings in the gang who is well quite far off. The “Dasa Maha Yodayo” was unraveled to be Nath Gunawardhane [Nandramitra], Modamed Abdullah, Chamal Mediwaka, Eransha Samarathunge and Dhanushka Somasinghe.
After an awkward moment of the redefining of what “Dasa Maha Yodayo” actually meant, the crowd is introduced to the Great Padula Padithuma (Pulasthi Barammane) his assistant, Habara (Shahim Singhalaxana) and his two students Bebha (Sanjaya Somasiri) and Abha (Yashod Jayasooriya). Habara breaks the news that the three siblings are trying to hunt down and kill the two sons of Prince Gamini. After hearing about the news, the Great Padula Padithuma panics while Abha and Bebha doesn’t have a clue as to the reason why Padula Padithuma is panicing. The Great Padula Padithuma rushes with his assistant and two students into his shrine. With Abha and Bebha confused, they ask for the reason why the Great Padula Padithuma is panicking and he tells a story about two sons who are born into a family where the other members are trying to kill them. He slowly explains that the father finally decides to banish his two sons to the Great Padula Padithuma. The duo still confused, and looks at each other when finally they light up with joy and screams, “Ayya!!” “Malli!” After the sudden reunion of two best friends as brothers, the Great Padula Padithuma warns about the danger ahead and suggests that they travel into the future. He also warns that “you may travel time but you may face greater dangers ahead”. Then, ironically, he forces them to travel through time. In his shrine, the Great Padula Padithuma prepares to cast spells on the duo to make them travel time to the future. In the middle of casting the spell, his phone rings and for obvious reasons puts the spell casting on hold and answers the phone call. Then Habara questions Padithuma if the spell casting was a success, then Padithuma replied back in a confused manner as he didn’t know the answer.
Then the drama fast forwards to the future. Abha was born into his father’s well reputed rich family with a servant to do each and everything for him. The crowd is then introduced probably to the most beloved character of the drama, General Aladeen. Aladeen (Charles De Zylva), the Dictator with women all around him arrives in a boat to Kandy and with his extravagant pose, he tries to gets onto the plank and falls straight into the water. All reputation, powerfulness and popularity just submerged in the water. All were wondering where Bebha was. While his brother is born into his birth father’s family, Bebha apparently was born as a beggar and he tries asking for food to no avail. He subsequently steals some money and runs to escape from the owner. As he escapes from the owner, he runs into Aladeen. Aladeen takes the purse from Beba and gives it to the owner, but this was not the the end. Aladeen takes Beba with him while he does his signature ‘throat cutting signal’ to kill the owner. Aladeen’s message after capturing Abha, “This is just how it should be …. always. No matter how hard you try, evil will triumph. No one can stop it. Money and power are the only things that matter in life, apart from that nothing else is important. The only way to survive today is to work only for yourself and embrace corruption. If you try to help others you’ll only end up ruining yourself. This is the way of the world.”
Times have changed, and the crowd was still anticipating what happened to the Trio who were trying to kill Bebha and Abha? They did still exist while the eldest and “Oxford” still the same, the youngest is a store owner slipping sand into rice bags. Even during this time, the trio is having property issues with Gamini. They are fighting over certain properties which Gamini is planning to give ownership to his son instead of them.
One of the most loved scenes of the drama was probably the classroom scene. This is the scene where Bebha and Abha meet again. At a classroom along with Abha and Bebha, there is another girl, Sika (Mohamed Inshaf) in a yellow colored T-Shirt, who is charmed by Abha for his brilliant mind. The teacher (Pulasthi Baramanne) arrives. When the teacher asked Abha: “You are my best student! Always first in class! Can you make a sentence starting with “Mama” and ending with “me”? “ Abha thinks and answers: “Mama kana asama Asmeee”. Teacher fires back with anger. The rest didn’t do much to help at all! A sudden phone call disrupts the class and the teacher runs away in a hurry.
While walking home, Bebha is again kidnapped by Aladeen and his people. To rescue Bebha, Abha swings into action. Abha gets into Aladeen’s mansion, and rescues Bebha. During the mission, the duo realizes that Aladeen is sleep walking, hits him and runs for their lives. Aladeen who shouts at them from the balcony of his mansion, says “I have money and power. I have everything.” Then while running away from Aladeen they run into the ‘trio’! Surprisingly, the duo escapes after much struggling. Abha along with Bebha goes home with his brother and explains the situation.
Gamini decides that his two sons should go to the best school of all. Time fasts forward to when the two sons enter College. They enter through a much familiar roadway entrance.. to Trinity College Kandy. Each day they are seen entering the college while Aladeen tries to kidnap them but he cannot get past the gate. He tries numerous times to get in, but each and every time fails miserably! The drama ends passing a powerful message why Trinity is unique and whats more important, its not money or power that the college is bound together with, but Brotherhood.
THE TAMIL DANCE
The Tamil Dance was performed this year by Mohamed Inshaf, Tushan Dharmasena, Charles Benedict, Dhanushan Gurunather, Mohamed Naziq, Johanne Ratwatte, Vaseegaran Prasanna, Yashod Jayasooriya and Ryle Madena. The Senior Prefect too joined his fellow members in the Tamil Dance (he was more of a man behind the mask). Notably, two of the dancers were still in their drama costumes.
THE ENGLISH DANCE
The English dance was choreographed by the creative Sanjaya Somasiri and performed by Sanjaya Somasiri, Halique Wadood, Sajith Thalgahagoda, Narsh Perera and Danesh Perera. It was observed both of these dances were well practiced and performed with much vigor and enthusiasm.
The crowd was welcomed into the evening by a performance of “Wise Man Said” by Ashan Perera and Johanne Ratwatte on piano. It was more of an introduction to the audience as to what laid in store for them. Also a musical performance of a Sinhala song “Yuwathiyakata Oba Adarei Nam” by Narendra Weerakoon was backed up by band players Rasika Katugaha, Malith Ratnayake, Eransha Samarathunge and Raditha Katugaha. The crowd was involved in an engaging performance. The rendition of a Hindi song was by Darshana Udalagama was backed up by Malith Ratnayake, Eransha Samarathunge, Damsith Karunaratne, Rasika Katugaha, Raditha Katugaha, Dayantha Elangasinghe, Naveen Diyakelinawela and Shenal Anandagoda on the instruments. The final performance was by Johanne Ratwatte and Shahim Singhalaxana was backed up by Damsith Karunaratne, Eransha Samarathung and Naveen Diyakelinawela on the band.
This year the Instrumental Blend (a performance merging Oriental and Western Music) was led by Raditha Katugaha. Merging two very different aspects to music, the Blend in the Thrithva Ranga has always been able to show the varied aesthetic sense of the scholars in the School Officers’ Guild. This year too, it was portrayed very well.
A MULTIFACETED EVENING
The Chief Guest this year was Suraj Mapa, who returned to the stage where his journey began and surprised the crowd when he performed a dance set to music with his partner onstage. Mrs. Kuruwita, the current Trinity College Librarian once summed up his story: “A young man was on acting like getting into a plane and flying off, and now he is a famous actor”. The compering during the evening was done by Inaam Niyas, Thisila Karunathilake and Mohamed Inshaaf.
At the end of the show, the School Officers’ Guild of Trinity College Kandy managed to pull of quite a unique night to be remembered by each and every risk they took. The Senior Prefect Ryle Madena’s coordination and tireless effort for organizing TR resulted in a great evening filled with class and entertainment. Sanjaya Somasiri, being a rugby player, actor, director, artist and a musician, was notably one of the reasons that made TR ’12 colourful and flamboyant. The artistically vivid and myriad colours used on the stage background was captivating throughout the show. The theme, costumes and videos were perfectly crafted for perfection. The creativity displayed shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as it runs in the Trinity Family, a legacy handed down from generation to generation. The recent edition of Thrithva Ranga indeed did depict how talented and strong the Trinity brotherhood actually is.
The curtains closed with the final message; “In life, there will always be people to hold us down and lead us in the wrong direction. But as long as our unity and brotherhood remain strong, we will be INVINCIBLE”.
Story : Tharindu Weerasooriya | Story Editing / Phrases : Yashwanth Dahanayake
Photographs: Ashwin Jayalath | Special Credits : Inaam Niyas and Kishin Silva
Photo Gallery: trinitylk.com/gallery
(Abridged version of this article appeared on The Island newspaper on Monday, 17th December, 2012)
Published 5 years ago by Tharindu Weerasooriya