Contemporary Heroines (2015) is the second part of Abul Kalam Azad’s ongoing series that draws its roots from the classical Tamil epic poetry Silappathikaram, which is believed to have been composed during the Sangam / Early historic period (3rd century BCE to 3rd century CE) by the Cera dynasty’s Prince-turned-Jain-poet Ilango Adigal. It is believed that Poet Ilango was staying in Trikkana Mathilakam (present Mathilakam Panchayath, Kerala) which was an important Jain Centre during the Sangam period while composing his epic. It must befrom here the poet derived the landscape and heroines, the legendary Kannaki and Matavi,and other characters of his poetry. ‘Contemporary Heroines,’ shot in the same region, tells the tales of the great women of our times, hidden among us and engaged in their ordinary lives, each leading a life rich in detail, struggles, woes, passion and happiness.
Rajini (37) is a housewife. She remembers hearing about Kannagi at the Kodungallur Bharani festival. The practice of 'theri pattu' (songs composed of expletives) addressing Kannagi raised questions in her. Later, she came to know more from her husband who is a Theyyam (folklore theatre) practitioner.