Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vallathol Narayana Menon

World, My home (Lokame Tharavadu)

Vallathol, the great - A complete Biographical Documentary

Kerala Kalamandalam- the noble institute which made Kerala renowned in the world of art. Here arise the sounds of Kerala dances like kadhakali, thullal, mohinattam, koothu, koodiyattam...with its utter esprit.

Kerala Kalamandalm was born on the calm lap of Cheruthiruthi, where the river Nila flows by its second birth of river Mandakini.Now it got a deemed university rank and stands as a new golden spot at the top of world of arts, with out any blur to the diversion of eras.

Remember the famous two lines by him it gives a pith of national spirit and self esteem to the blood circulating through his nerves. Listen, its creator the founder of Kerala Kalamandalam the great poet Vallathol Narayana Menon! The male avatar of literal deity! The father of Malayalam renaissance. The poet who stated the art and custom are not two but same, the national poet.

How much colourful stories have to Vettathunadu told us. Vettathunadu has an amazing geographical structure.Poora river at north and river Nila at south, river to river, olden Samoothiri kingdom at east and Arabian Sea at west and at center Tirur-Ponnani River flowing calmly .It’s endless to say about vettathunadu. The origin of Mamankam. ………………………..and the native land of thousands who fought for freedom and sacrificed their lives.

The father of Malayalam language Thunjath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan,author of ‘Narayaneeya’ Melpathur Bhattathiri, astronomical scholar Thalakkulathu Bhattathiri,mathematician Kelallur Neelakanda somayaji, architect thirumangalath neelakandan musath,…………yes vettathunadu is very proud to give birth to these legends. Ayurvedic scholar Alathur nambimar, leader of massaging Changamapally gurukkal are some of them. The eldest of Vallathol home, Konthimenon, was the minister of the last king of Vettathunadu.

Vallathol Narayana Menon was born on 16th Oct, 1878 at one of the four units of Vallathol Tharavadu (base home) Kondayoor Bhavan, Chennara. His parents were Mallissery Damodharan Ilayath and Vallathol Kuttipparu amma .They called the boy as Kuttan.Pullooni varian parambil Kunhan Nair was drawn the first letter on his toungue at age of five. Then Mr. Mathulan Ramunni was his teacher and he was just as a monk.The teacher thought that his student would become a scholar in Ashtangahrdaya like him, that’s all, but Kuttan had given a gift from the God to chalk poems by birth, and Kuttan was enthusiastic to write poems. Later he studied the art of debating from Kaikulangara Raman Variyar and Parakkulam Shasthri, but Kuttan was not tempted to on this sort of lessons. He was just beginning to write poetries. At the age twelve Vallathol immobilized the mob with daze after the creation of kirathasathaka and Vyasavatharasathaka sitting under the shadow of the banyan tree near the temple. Both the two are amazing and his ever first works too.

The shadow of the banyan tree became a stage to narrate a lot of creations then. The temple proximities of Vettathunadu got holiness by the compositions of Vallathol, the great. Deity paeans, Enigma stuffing, poem letters…etc are became his subjects of poetries. His uncle was an aesthetic and was encouraging at all his poetry skills. Vallathol juxtaposed a literal group associating with the student of his uncle. And that Vallathol Company became a fortune to the Malayalam literature that time. This is then structured as Vallathol Prasthanam.

Vallathol formed a Parishakarabhivardhini Sabha at Pullooni near to Mangalam to born literal taste and modern ideas on youth by the leadership of him at Vallathol home. Quick poem making competitions, speech training programs are became the leisure time games of the villagers doing so Mangalam was becoming a literal village. On the leadership of the Sabha there formed a drama group. The old aged people are saying that Perunthiruthi kovilakam was also a stage to these activities.

By writing in Malayalam and Sanskrit Narayana Menon became a well known poet among the people of Vettathunadu. Karuthapara Damodharan Nambuthiri and Vellanassery Vasunni Mooss were often encouraged the younger poet Vallathol. Narayana Menon got a first prize in a poem making competition held at Calicut as the anniversary of Bhashaposhini-renowned Malayalam language publication- at the age fifteen. Then the name of Vallathol famed beyond the Vettathunadu.Punnassery Nambi and Kozhikode manavavikraman Ettan Thampuran were always encouraged the skillfulness of Vallathol.

Vallathol was married Chittazhi madhavi amma at 1902 after a strong love affaire. And there was starting a new era in the life the great poet .Chittazhi home is at Vadakkekadu in Vanneri, Old ponnani Taluk.

Although his wife was his uncle’s daughter n all the family members were strictly opposed the proposal due to lack of a permanent job. After all, jumping a lot of hurdles he won the girl. He felt some financial problems after the marriage. The only remuneration he got was from the newspaper by sending some literal work and it was very rare and was a few to count. He was teaching Sanskrit and consulting patients in ayurveda stream with out any fee. It was very intolerable to live at his birth place after the death of his mother and father at on August 1904, and his teacher Mathulan Ramunni Menon.

When the family property of his wife partitioned, His wife had got a house at Vanneri. The poet Vallathol transplanted to Vanneri. Nalappattu Narayanan Menon and Kuttikrishna marar were daily visitors there. Vallathol had a little touch with English literature that shows at his English translation of ‘Merchant of Venice’ of William Shakespeare as ‘Portia Vivaham’ .Nalappattu was the motivator to do such. Then those days he got an enquiry to become the manger of Kerala Kalpamudram Press. Poet received it with a thinking of nothing.

Vallathol started as the manager of Kerala kalpamudram press with an initial salary of thirty rupees per month. The new manager becomes very familiar with the co workers. Nice to look, garrulous to speak, and the age was 27.worked with enthusiastic manner become a pleasing spot among the people.

With in a short span his iterative connections broadly extended to Kodungallur Kunhikuttan thampuran, Appan Thampuran, Panthalam Kerala Varma, PV Krishna Variar, and Kundoor Narayana Menon and so on by living at Thrissur. His creations appeared with different surnames in publications like Kavana Koumudhi, Kavanodayam, Rasika Ranjini, Kerala Chinthamani .His surnames were ‘KK Press manager, Kondayoor Kuttan Menon, Mangalathu Nanu Ashan, VK Narayana Menon...etc. At last by the suggestion of Kundoor Narayana Menon his surname fixed as Vallathol.

In 1906, at Tirur Thunjanparampu called a meeting for erecting a monument for the father of Malayalam language, Thunjath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan .Vallathol tried his best for this achievement and took the duty of Ramanujan Monthly, and wrote a lot of poems praising the Ramanujan.

When the first lucky star of Vettathunadu wrote the ‘Adhyathmaramayana’ Then another star Vallathol dared to write the translate the ‘Valmeekiramayana .Vallathol owned the title Kerala Valmeeki by writing the ‘Valmeekiramayana’ with a span of twenty three months. His teacher Sri Kunhikuttan Thampuran had translated individually the ‘Mahabharatha’ with a span of three years.

To concentrate on poetry he retired the manager position from KK Press and turned to his locality. At that time there happened a big tragedy to his life!!! He suffered from a disease to nose and extended to ear. It stole his ability to hear the sounds. Yes Vallathol became deaf. His tragic stories rose as a deaf bewailing. Consulting Ayurvedha and English shows negative results.

At the age of thirty the deaf completely conquered him, but he didn’t be conquered and languished. He evoked the hearing to his sight and structured beautiful lyrical pictures. The scenarios of nature absorbed by the vision images.

He spent five years at Vanneri involving in literature and wrote ‘Chithrayagyam mahakavyam’, ‘vilasalathika’,’Banthananaya Anirudhan’,’oru kathu’.

In 1915, Vallathol returned to Thrissur and took the duty of the literature department of the Mangalodayam news paper. His Book criticism developed and become famous more at this time. The collection of criticism works recollected as the name of Grandhaviharam. To receive the editor position of Athmaposhini he located to Kunnamkulam. The owner of Athmaposhini became a fan of him then. His frequent encouraging put a seed in the mind of Vallathol to narrate ‘Magdhalanamariyam ‘.

In 1921 poet reached at Vanneri again. The tumult of Indian independence was rising that time. There indeed the significance of an atmosphere of affection among the various sorts of religious people. Poet grew as the diversion the era by recognizing the need the term.

Vallathol espoused the Gandhi as his teacher, and determined to give all his ability to the independence of the nation. He wrote a poem ‘Ente gurunadhan’ (my teacher) praising gandhiji.

For the victory of popularizing of Khadi dresses, abstaining toddy, detaining of foreign dresses…etc he wrote a lot of poems and he made a tide over the British.

In 1922, when Prince Wales visited india he decided to give an honor to the best distributers form the literature side and our great poet Vallathol was also selected to the honor, but he refused to receive it as it is sponsored by a British, and became a role model to Indians. When Gandhi visited Kerala for attending the ‘Vaikkam Sathyagraham’ Vallathol got a chance to view the father Indian democracy. Later in 1927 at Madrass and in 1928 at ht annual conference of Indian National Congress Vallathol met Gandhi again.

Vallathol vibrated his pen for Harijan (low level people) in association with Gandhi and there created a lot of poems, he said loudly that castle is a raised voice from the hell and some letters from Satan.

Vallathol worked for the equilibrium of various religions. He wrote some poems in the subject as ‘Magdhalanamariyam’, ‘jathakam thiruthi’, ‘Pamsusnanam’, ‘Bharathasthreekal tan bhavashudhi’.

It was the first time the states of poor people raised through Malayalam poems when Vallathol rounded his pen. Starvation which engulfed the main vein of the India was pictured very well by Vallathol Narayana Menon.

The main working space of Vallathol was at Vanneri. The literal discussions and tic tacks of the literates were a thrill to the common people of there. An old teacher Karthyani has some nostalgic memories still now.

When Vallathol was fully involved in poetry he had taken some time to view Kadhakali. He recognized that that art was gradually decaying from its land. He dreamed that Kadhakali would be elevated the roof of the world at favorable time. After the discussion with King Mukunda there made a determination to erect an institution to protect our Kerala arts. And there structured a committee, king mukunda as president and Vallathol as secretary. Kerala Kalamandalam thus registered headed at Calicut.

For getting the capital amount Vallathol bought a permission to sell lottery ticket from Sir CP. Seeing the self confidence of Vallathol the ruler sir CP described Vallathol as “a man to be underlined”. Vallathol captured an amount of seventy five thousands by selling the lottery tickets. In the 52nd birthday of Vallathol Nov 9, 1930 Kerala Kalamandalam started working in a leaf shed near the Kunnamkulam Kakkad Mahaganapathy Temple at Cheruthiruthi.

To supervise the structure works of Kalamandalam Vallathol displaced his family to Cheruthiruthi. On the very next year the works of the main building completed. Vallathol arranged a lot of foreign and national trips with Kadhakali dancers. He was totally immersed his life to complete the Kalamandalam. His trips were to Bombay, Burma, Singapore, Rangoon, Ahmadabad, Delhi, Kashi, and Allahabad Madras…etc When the team arrived at Kolkata Vallathol met with Rabendranatha Tagore, the author of National Anthem and conducted a Kadhakali show there. By knowing the worth of Kadhakali nationally and globally the Kalamandalam rose to fame.

In 1938 the sixtieth birthday and the anniversary of Kerala Kalamandalam was celebrated together. There gathered his children, grand children, and rest of all the family.

Director: Rifa Shalees Perunthiruthi_Chennara Tirur
Co Director: Shyam Krishnan Chennara Tirur
online Writing & Support :Ali Akbar MP Chennara Tirur