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Yajjukam (dir. Aravindan) and in folk- dominated plays of Kavalam Narayana Panicker’s Thiruvarung (e.g. Avanevan Kadamba), before Adoor Gopalakrishnan cast him in Swayamvaram and Kodiyettam. His theatrical experience of stylised choreography, Kalaripayattu-derived footwork, complex incantatory speech and folk percussion patterns, provided him with unique skills to internalise the rhythm of a shot (cf. the raising of the circus tent scene in Thampu, or the tea-stall scene in Mani Kaul’s Satah Se Uthata Admi). Played several straight dramatic roles, e.g. as the government co-ordinator Mamachen in George’s Adaminte Variyellu, the drunk in Neram Pularumbol and the corrupt trade union leader in


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