Friday, November 21, 2014


Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar  who was also known as Vaidyanatha Iyer was a legendary Carnatic Maestro hailed from Chembai of Palakkad  in Kerala.
He was born on September 1, 1896 to Carnatic Musician and Violinist Anantha Bhagavathar.Most of his family members and ancestors were well known musicians and his skill in this field was hereditary.
Chembai's first Guru was his father itself and he was given lessons in Carnatic music from the age of 3.His father was the recipient of an Award from Maharajah as 'Ghana Chakratanam' for his style of rendering concerts.
His debut concert was in 1907 at Ottappalam which received much accolades and appreciation and afterwards he conducted regular musical concerts at music festivals,Sabhas,etc and even at Madras Music Academy thereby earning name and prestige.Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar earned praise for his powerful voice and majestic singing style from the early stage of his career  itself.

Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar did not try to be confined as a court musician in the Maharajah's  Palace because he was not interested in it.
His empathy for his accompanists and disciples was well noted.He loved all his disciples without any discrimination of religion but looked upon their skill and love towards music.He had many students including K.J.Yesudas,Jayan and Vijayan of 'Jaya Vijaya', P.Leela,T.V.Gopalakrishnan etc. and always encouraged them by making them participate in his music concerts.

Chembai was an ardent devotee of Lord Guruvayoorappan.Once in his youth days he lost his charming voice and became unable to sing.He went to Guruvayoor temple and stayed there for a long period participating in all the 'Pooja rituals'.Lord Sree Krishna blessed him and thus he regained his voice.
He used to visit Guruvayoorappan when ever he had time and used to held music concert at the temple every year.
'Chembai Sangeetholsavam' (Music Festival) is held officially by Guruvayoor Devaswom at the temple premises every year in his honour.
'The Sri Guruvayoorappan Puraskaram' award by the Sree Krishna temple is instituted in Chembai's memory.
Well known musicians like 'Thrissur V.Ramachandran,Parassala Ponnammal,K.G.Jayan,Mavelikkara Velukkutty Nair,M.Balamuralikrishna,T.V.Gopalakrishnan' etc are some of the recipients of this prestigious Award.
Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar left this world to heavenly abode on 16th October, 1974.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


M.D.Valsamma is the second  Indian athlete to win an individual Gold Medal at the Asian Games  and  she is the first Indian woman to grab that medal on the Indian soil.
Menathoor Devasia Valsamma was born on 29 October 1960 in Kannur District of Kerala.She started to participate in sports while she was a school student itself.Valsamma came to the lime light when she won a gold medal for Kerala in 100 metres hurdles  at the Inter University Championship of 1979 when she was a student at Palakkad  Mercy College.
Later she became an employee of Southern Railways and received the coaching of A.K.Kutty.
At the interstate meet at Bangalore in 1981 she won five gold medals.That performance paved way for entry to the  National team in 1982.
At the  Asian Games in Indian soil she received Gold Medal in the 400 metres hurdles at Jawaharlal Stadium.After Kamaljit Sandhu , she became the second  woman athlete to win an Asian Games Gold Medal for India.
She won silver in 400 metres relay also.
She was given Arjuna Award in 1982 and Padma Shree in 1983.
She won gold in the 100 mt hurdles and a silver in the 400 mt hurdles in the National Games of 1985.
She participated and won in meets like Asian Track and field Meet in Delhi 
and sports meet at Moscow,SAF games in Islamabad etc.
At Beijing Asian Games  also she won silver medals.
In a career spanning fifteen years she took part in World cup meets in Havana,Tokyo,London,The Asian games 82,86,,SAF games etc
She was in the team of the women finals in  relay race at Olympics held at Los Angeles in 84
She received medals in  sports events at Tokyo,Jakarta,Seoul etc and also at South Asian Games.