Malayalam play ‘Palangal’, (bridges), an adaptation of the work of noted poet K Ayyappa Panicker. The play was staged as a part of Bharat Rang Mahotsav, a theatre festival organized by the National School of Drama in New Delhi.
Directed by D Reghoothaman and staged by Abhinaya theatres, Thiruvananthapuram, ‘Palangal’ depicted the events that surround the proposed construction of a bridge. In a way, the bridge was a metaphor for human relationships. The play was a sketch narrating the nexus between corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and contractors, and how money and muscle power take aam admi for a ride.
Venu studied medicine surgery before getting into IAS. In fact, he was an actor during his college days. But he was forced to discontinue his passion because of mounting work pressure. The actor in him resurfaced when he joined the culture department in the state of Kerala. In Central deputation, he worked as deputy secretary in the ministry of tourism and culture in 2003-04. Later, he was promoted to a director level post, deputy director general, in the ministry of tourism in New Delhi.
As tourism secretary in Kerala, Venu also initiated a programme under which a number of Kerala’s award-winning theatre directors performed plays in UK, South Korea, Japan and Russia.
Another IAS officer (of 1994 batch) Srivatsa Krishna sang “Vishnu Sahasranamam Mantra” in Dibakar Banerjee’s film “Shanghai”, released in June 2012. Interestingly, actor Abhay Deol in that movie plays the role of a Tamilian IAS officer!