ALL CREDITS GO TO SITA MAMI (FOR TAMIL DRAMA IN LONDON)- Post No.10,362

WRITTEN BY LONDON SWAMINATHAN

Post No. 10,362

Date uploaded in London – –   21 NOVEMBER  2021         

Contact – swami_48@yahoo.com

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge.

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.

tamilandvedas.com, swamiindology.blogspot.com

WHO IS SITA MAMI?

Mrs Sita Venkatraman is a well known figure in South Indian Circle in London; she held key posts in  associations such as South Indian Society and London Sath Sangam. Her husband Mr Venkatraman (of Air India) used to pick us up for Veda class in Sindhi Mandir on Sunday mornings.

 (Maamii- Aunty; Maamaa- Uncle in Tamil)

She has been teaching music, Tamil and scripting and directing dramas. She has many talents and still active at her ripe old age. But in this write up I want to highlight only her talents in Acting.

She was an inspiration for people like me. I acted in four dramas in London; all main roles!!!

In Pygmalion of Bernard Shaw, I was the professor and Famous Tamil actress Radhika was the flower vendor. It was a radio drama for the BBC adapted in Tamil by my boss Shankar in the BBC Tamil service Tamilosai. And Sita Mami also acted in that drama. We were all taken to Covent Garden in London and the BBC team took our photos and sent them to all Tamil News papers around the world.

25 years ago I acted as one of the three heroes in Humpty Dumpty and raised 2000 pounds for South Indian Society. (Please see the link below).

S I S DRAMA | Tamil and Vedas

https://tamilandvedas.com › tag › s-i-…

5 Nov 2019 — நானும் எனது நண்பர்களும் நடித்த ஹம்ப்டி டம்ப்டி (HUMPTY DUMPTY) நாடகம் பெரிய …

Following the tremendous success of it, we were asked to raise money for Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan in London. I acted in one more drama there and another 1500 pounds was raised. And others were skits.

On the Sri Lankan side Mr Balendra and my BBC friend Tarcisius were producing Tamil dramas. But for Tamil, Sita Mami is the only person who pioneered Tamil drama in London before the influx of Sri Lankan refugees

xxx

WHAT CREDITS?

So, all credits go to Sita Mami for acting and producing Tamil dramas when Tamil was a rare commodity in London. Tamils were rarer still and Tamil vegetables and Tamil food were the rarest of commodities 40 years ago.

xxx

Some time ago I met Sita Mami to get the history of Tamil drama and she gave me some pictures. She also wrote an article about her acting in my newspaper Vanavil/Rainbow in Tamil. It was in year 2000.

Mrs Sita Venkatraman and her Tamil friends started London Kalaik Kuzu (London Arts Group). Her article in my Tamil Magazine ‘Vaanavil’ gives the following details:

Mrs Sita Venkatraman, Mr Vedanarayanan, Ritu Sarmaji, Mr Kanthan, Mr Krishnaswami, Mr Sambamurthy, Mrs Jaya Srinivasan and a few others formed a drama group London Kalaik Kuzu and staged a drama during Deepavali at YMCA under the Chairmanship of Mathur Sri Krishnamurthy of Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan, London. Each one of the actor and actress spent his or her own money to stage the dramas in the beginning.

During next Deepavali and Pongal two more Tamil dramas were staged. They decided to stage at least two dramas every year and they did it for long.

Few of the dramas were based on Chennai Tamil dramas by famous people. They were adapted to suit the London audience and it was done with their permission.

The dramas Mami could remember now ( in 2000) are the following Tamil dramas:

Mangalam Jaya Mangalam, Thankik Kudithanam, Manam Our Kurangu, Samiyarin Mamiyar, Asaiyirukku Thozil Pann, Vilayattu Vinai Achu, Nallathor Veenai, Sari Gama Patha Nisa and Humpty Dumpty (by Giri)

Two of the dramas were done just to raise funds for Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan and London Murugan Temple. Birmingham Tamil Sangam and Brindavan Society invited them to stage these dramas as well.

In short, Sita Mami has been a force behind the Tamil Acting in Britain.

Here are the pictures:

The pictures haven’t got many details. I see only one caption dated 9th July 1983 titled Tamil Comedy ‘Saamiyaarin Maamiyar’ at Bhavan. (Literally translated  it would be ‘Mother in Law of an Ascetic’)

I heard from her that Mr Veda Narayanan, Mr Panchanathan, Mr Lakshmikanthan, Mr Murali Rao, Mrs Jayashri Srikanth and others acted with her in some of the dramas. She has always played a key role in every drama.

tags- Sita Mami, London ,Tamil Drama, London Kalaik Kuzu, Acting

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