When Chingam drapes the land in folds of paddy fields ripe with burnished rice, that weaves golden kasavu borders across the State, Amrita TV joins in the joyous celebrations with programmes swathed in the silk brocade of entertainment.
Uthradom, the first day of Onam on August 28th , begins with Paatin Pookalathil at
7.30 am when, suggestive of the days of yore, onappattu reverberates in the morning air, as contestants of Super Star the Ultimate come together to sing Onam songs. Akthalathile Ona Vishesham at 8.30am checks out how, cutting across party lines the men in white khadi celebrate onam, away from the public glare. In Veritta Onakazhchakal Amrita TV attempts to lighten the gloom in the lives of the unfortunate sections of the populace who are excluded from the festive revelry and in its 1st edition at 9.00am at the Poojappura Central Jail, Suraj Venjaramoodu comes out with a potpourri of songs, mimicry and jokes that bring a smile to those who had strayed on to the wrong side of the law. Block buster film Red Alert will go on air at 9.30 am . For the Malayalee, fast becoming a stranger to the flavours of his own festive cuisine, Ona Sadhya at 1.30 pm with Pazayidom Mohanan Namboothiri at the helm, re-introduces the Keralite to the wonders of his culinary heritage . Veendum Kannur a political thriller based in Kannur, follows at 2.00pm. Thumbapoom Pattu at 5.30 pm discovers the other side of the bubbly ,vivacious Nithya Menon who, in a reflective mood analyses the ups and downs of her journey so far in moviedom. Buoyed by the extraordinary success of Ordinary, Kunchako Boban discusses his ‘fruitful’ partnering with BijuMenon that is reaping a rich harvest at the box office and why negative shades will not dent his image in Pranayanila Pattu at 6.30 pm. 2 stalwarts of Malayalam playback , P.Jayachandran and Krishnachandran compare notes in Kasavinte Karayulla Melmundu at 7.00pm. Priyamani concedes that she gained an entry into Mollywood ‘no actress before her had’ -by being kicked by Mammootty in her very 1st scene of her debut movie Pranchiyettan and the Saint in Poonila Poombattu at 7.30pm . In Pattinte Pattudayada at 8.00pm Asha Bhosale who is a Goan by birth finds Kerala a ‘better Goa’ on her first visit to the State, but reproaches Malayalees for not giving her more playback opportunities. Renowned Director and Amrita TV’s Chief Creative Head Shyamaprasad engages Vidya Balan in a free-wheeling conversation at 8.30pm ‘Neermani pudava.’ Vidya in her trademark saree and red bindi presents a ‘charming picture’ as she recalls the initial qualms she suffered doing a Silk Smitha in Dirty Picture and how she shed her inhibitions as she slowly slipped into the skin of the oomph queen . In ‘Nadanathinte Ponppattu’ at 9.00pm Malayalam’s mega superstar Mohanlal steps into Amrita TV’s primetime space to regale viewers with glimpses of his varied Onam experiences .
On the most auspicious day of Onam, Thiruvonam on August 29th the well known ballad of ‘Mavali nadu vannedum’ and other songs sung by the contestants of Super Star the Ultimate rent the air in anticipation of the royal visit of Mahabali in Paatin Pookalathil at 7.30 am. Akthalathile Ona Vishesham at 8.30am features K.Mohanan. In Veritta Ona Kazhchakal at 9.00am at the Trivandrum Old Age Home, a visibly affected Shamna Kasim spends quality time with the inmates serving Ona Sadya to the forsaken souls, cast aside in the final chapters of their life .A slick crime thriller that packs intrigue, drama and suspense into every scene, Unnam starring Asif Ali, Rema Kallingal, Swetha Menon, unfolds at 9.30 am. Pazayidom Mohanan Namboothiri ladles up rare payasam like Elaneer Payasam , Muthu mani payasam etc from the larder of his recipes in Ona Sadhya at 1.30 pm. Bombay March 12 , a grimly realistic tale of victimization set against the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, with Mammooty and Roma in the lead fills the 2.00pm slot. Reema Kallingal the bolder –than- brass lass, as fearless in her views as in her choice of roles, gives uncensored opinions on her career, co-stars and cinema in Kaithapoom Pattu at 5.30pm. Melapperumayil at 6.30 pm features 2 legends, Jayaram a super star in Mollywood and Mattanur Sankarankutty, a chenda maestro who has drummed himself to the top of the percussion world. Music and laughter dominate the chat sessions between Sujatha Mohan, Unni Menon and their families at 7.00pm in Mizhiyezhuthiya Sankhu Pushpam as the playback stars who have crooned many duets before the microphone enliven the tète-à-tète with amusing anecdotes of the glitches, slips and goof ups that happen at the recording studios. In a frank and forthright talk on his professional and personal front, Prithviraj welcomes the New Wave Cinema lapping at the shores of Malayalam for the fresh technical talent it brings in its wake; wishes his audience will patronize his good roles and films whatever be their personal feelings towards him in Abhinayathinte Ponnilam Pattu at 7.30 pm. In Pattinte Pattudayada at 8.00pm ,Asha Bhosale has fond memories of her duets with Malayalam playback maestro Yesudas; recollects from the depths of her amazing memory, the songs she sang in the South Indian languages including her sole Malayalam number and hums a few bars of some of the best . Amrita TV’s Chief Creative Head Shyamaprasad engages Vidya Balan in a free-wheeling conversation in ‘Neermanippudava’ at 8.30pm as Vidya dwells on the typical Palakkadan Onam celebrations of her childhood which she sorely misses after shifting base to Mumbai and her outing in the historical epic fictional blockbuster movie ‘Urumi’. Banter and spontaneous witticisms rule the air waves when Dileep and Ramesh Pisharadi share screen space in Puraskarathinte Ponpattumayi at 9.00pm. Asked why Amitabh Bachan bowed his head to him , Dilleps rejoinder was that during an ad shoot Big B was required to hug him and since Dileep came up only to this midriff, the thespian was forced to bow down.
Avittom Specials on August 30 begin with Paatin Pookalathil at 7.30 am ,evoke the spirit of the fete through vanchippattu and other favourites. Akthalathile Ona Vishesham at 8.30am, spotlights Thiruvanchiyoor Radhakrishnan. A comedy drama which marks Dileep’s centenary outing with Karyasthan will hit the screens at 9.30am.Pazayidom Mohanan Namboothiri continues to fascinate with his savoury repertoire in Ona Sadhya at 1.30 pm. Mammootty’s superhit Best Actor will be telecast at 2.00pm. Ente Onam at 5.30 pm joins Narain, on the sets of Lal Jose’s Ayalum Janum Thammil where the refined actor does a quick retrospective of his starry evolution; his efforts at slipping out of his guy next door image to try on the mantle of super villain ‘Dragon’ in Mysskin’s Mukhamoodi. Bhavana finds herself the victim of merciless ribbing in Onam @Trivandrum Lodge at 6.30 pm when anchor Anoop Menon, Director VK Prakash join forces to pull her leg. In a rollicking interaction, Anoop ‘accuses’ Bhavana of making him the target of gossip columnists for his alleged hot vibes with Meghna Raj .Bosom buddies Gaythri and Jyothsna the playback queens of Mollywood come together in an animated, live wire dialogue at Sruthiyittu Neitha Kanjipuram Pattu at 7.00 pm in which Gayathri, discusses her ultimate goal of performing Hindusatani with western harmony and Jyothsna confesses she has recently turned into a movie buff because she finds the cheap popcorn that her husband buys at the shows, simply irresistible. Snatching a few private moments from his very public life, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy re-opens the dusty files of his childhood onam memories in Jananayakante Onam at 7.30. Satisfied with her innings so far , Samvritha Sunil in Paneneer Poom Pattu at 8.00pm looks ahead to her future, her imminent nuptials and career, post marriage. In the exuberance of the release of her 1st album Kavya Dalangal, Kavya Madhavan talks about her early poetical stirrings and first attempts at versification ,the response to the album ranging from appreciative to derisive, reveals for the 1st time the existence of a mysterious Rahul whom Kavya had never seen, but ‘has a liking for’ in Pachola Pattu at 8.30pm. The mood is one of nostalgia tinged with humour when thespians Innocent, Nedumudi Venu and Sreenivasan roll back time in Chiriyude Puliyilakkarakal at 9.00pm. Innocent recollects how on the sets of Vidaparayum Munpe, Prem Nasir asked David Kachapalli the Producer for a lungi and not being able to find one, David yanked it off a unit hand and placed the half clad man in a car out of sight. Not knowing the turn of events, Laxmi got into the car and Innocent has tears in his eyes at the memory of David on his knees before Lekshmi begging her not to tell Nasir that he had been given a ‘second hand’ lungi.
Chathyam day Onam specials gets off the ground with Paatin Pookalathil at 7.30 am. Vellappali Nateshan come on screen in Akathalathile Ona Vishesham at 8.30 am. Interview with the scion of the Travancore Royal family His Highness Marthanda Varma by Amrita TV CEO and Chief Editor Shri K.Gopalakrishnan in In Conversation with His Highness Shri Marthanda Varma is at 9.00am , in which His Highness expresses his reservations about displaying the priceless treasures from the Padmanabhaswamy Temple vaults in a museum, since it will be tantamount to deliberately inviting trouble. Ninnishtam Ennishtam 2 , a romantic drama comes on at 9.30am. Ona Sadhya rounds off its Onam exclusive preparations at 1.30 pm. Aaram Thamburan the iconic block buster, whose ‘dialogues have become part of film folklore, which has Mohanlal in the lead with Manju Warrier will be aired at 2.00pm.In Ente Onam at 5.30pm , Deepak Dev dispels the notion that jingles are child’s play and remembers his early years of frustration, of trying to dispose of his keyboard thrice and failing thrice and finally landing his big chance . In an off-the –beaten –track interview at 6.30pm in Malayala Tanimauylla Thamizhu Pattu , Rehman the heartthrob of an entire generation ruefully admits to having his teenage heart broken by the 1st flame of his life, a fellow student who rebuffed his advances. In Kaveri Poompattu at 7.00pm , the Kancheepuram clad Lekshmi Gopalaswamy listens to anchor and old friend Chitra Iyer in unblinking attention as she explains the practices and customs of Kerala’s ancient harvest festival and reveals her special fondness for Puliyinchi. Unni Mukundan who ponders over his attempts to attain stardom in Ela Veyilinte Kodi Mundu at 7.30pm is a firm advocate of love marriage; he is ready to love anyone willing to love him, though he is doubtful whether any girl will fall for his looks. The actor par excellence Manoj K Jayan in Thechipoom Pattu at 8.00pm places on record his indebtedness to master director Hariharan for his entry and subsequent success in films, for the immortal Kuttanhamburan who catapulted him to fame and whose every gesture, expression and look was enacted under Hariharan’s explicit instructions. Gorgeous actress singer Vasundhara Das stops by at a college campus 9.00pm in Neelambara Pattu ,where thrilled to see the Shakalaka baby in flesh and blood the students throng around her plying her with questions about her music .In Thanka Tamizhu Pattu at 9.30 pm the dimpled Prabhu narrates his experiences of working with the big guns of Malayalam and Tamil movies and confesses he is jittery while acting with his father, for in their first film together, Sivaji Ganeshan had slapped him in front of the entire unit because his acting was not up to the mark.
by Smitha Sivaji