Aksharaslokam in Kerala

Aksharaslokam is a literary pastime.One person recites a sloka(a four-line stanza in a sanskrit metre). The next person recites another sloka starting with the first letter of its third line.The game continues like this.There can be any number of participants.If any participant fails to recite in the required letter he will be out of the game.Finally one person alone will remain in the field.He will be the winner.
Anushtup slokas are forbidden. Compositions in
sanskrit metres alone are allowed.Competitors are free to make their own slokas according to requirements.Even nimisha slokas(made within one minute)are acceptable. Slokas need satisfy only some minimum requirements regarding literary value, metric perfection, meaningfulness, grammar etc. All slokas which satisfy the minimum requirements will be accepted and considered to be equal. Variations in literary quality are not relevant in the game.
In ordinary competitions three failures will be allowed before a person is declared to be out.
But in strict competitions, only one failure is allowed.There are some special competitions in which a person will never be out.The number of failures will be counted for declaring the result.
In addition to ordinary competitions there are avatharana
(presentation)competitions also.In these literary value, beauty of presentation etc will also be considered and marks given.The competitor who secures the maximum number of marks will be the winner.
As a time saving measure ekakshara competitions are also conducted.One letter will be taken by lot and all the competitors asked to recite in it.Hard work and a lot of memory power are essential for winning ekakshara competitions.
There are still more varieties of competitions such as ekavrittha(one metre) vritthanuvrittha(metre after metre) ekakavi(one poet) ekagrangtha(one book) etc.Among ekagrantha competitions Narayaneeya competition is the most popular.
Music has no place in aksharasloka. However in avatharana competitions a melodious voice and some amount of musical talent will surely help the competitor to earn more marks. Hence avatharana competitions are beyond the reach of the common man.

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