Kakkarissi Natakam is an entertaining art form that relies on satire, comic timing, song and music to tell a variety of tales. From ancient legends of the Hindu deities, Lord Shiva and his consorts Goddess Ganga and Goddess Parvathi to social commentary on contemporary issues, it covers a wide range of topics in a jovial manner. This traditional artform has always been an important means to express the general mood of the times in way that the common man could relate to.
In most of its incarnations spread across Tamil Nadu and Kerala, one gets to see performers assume the form of Kakkalan and Kakkathi, a nomadic tribe of fortune tellers. Large crowds gather around them excitedly with instruments like harmonium, mridangam and ganchira adding to the frenzy. The artists have elaborate make-up on that accentuates the performance and breathes life into the characters.