Friday, February 27, 2015


Mankulam Vishnu Nampoothiri was a well talented and highly proficient Kathakali dancer/artist who performed this art form on numerous stages and also taught Kathakali to large number of aspirant disciples.
Mankulam Vishnu Nampoothiri was born in 1908 at Keerikkadu in Kayamkulam to Kathakali artist Kesavan Nampoothiri.He was trained initially by Guru Keerikadu Sankara Pillai.
He later got vigorous training in Kathakali dance from exponents like Thottam Sankaran Nampoothiri,Kurichi Kunjan Panicker and Chennithala Kochu Pillai.
Thus he became well versed in the 'Thekkan Chitta' which is the southern style of Kathakali dancing.
Mankulam Vishnu Nampoothiri performed with highly efficient artists like
Guru Chengannur,Haripad Ramakrishna Pillai,Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair,Chennithala Chellappan Pillai,Kudamaloor Karunakaran Nair etc etc.
In 1960 he formed a Kathakali training Institute at Keerikadu, his native place in the name 'Samastha Kerala Kathakali Vidyalayam' and trained students.
Later he joined 'Margi' at Thiruvananthapuram and he was the first Kathakali Guru there.Many of his disciples became well famous Kathakali artists.
During the initial stage of his career he used to enact female characters like 'Damayanthi'.He was one of the Kathakali artist who could enact any type of characters and got appreciation for characters like 'Krishna.Arjuna,Nala,Keechaka,Duryodhana,Ravana,Rukmangada' etc.
He was one of the actors who got accolades for the most appropriate expressions and gestures used.'Bhavabhinaya' and 'mudras' used to be   perfect for Mankulam Vishnu Nampoothiri for all his characters always.
Vishnu Nampoothiri liked to enact as Lord Krishna and the viewers also especially

 enjoyed his character as Krishna in all plays.
His contributions to the revival of this art form will be always remembered.
Mankulam Vishnu Nampoothiri left this world in the year 1981.

Friday, February 20, 2015


C.O.Anto was a popular singer who sang large number of Drama songs and Film songs in Malayalam  and captured the hearts of millions of music lovers.He gave soul and life to many  of the songs  which creates a nostalgic feeling when still heard..He has sung only few solos when compared to other great singers of that period, but he could  make possible  many of his songs immortal by his unique powerful voice.
He sang only 178 film songs in 160 films and sung many drama songs also  which all became extremely popular.
C.O.Anto was born at Kochi and he came to be known  a singer by singing a song for the professional drama 'Doctor' and the music director was Devarajan.
He sang beautiful and enchanting solo songs for stage plays and also duets along with famous singers like K.P.A.C.Sulochana.C.O.Anto also sang many songs for the prestigious drama troupe K.P.A.C.
His entry to film field as a playback singer was with the film 'Kadalamma' in 1963.He rose to fame by the song 'Veedinu Ponmani Vilakku Nee, tharavadinu nidhi nee Kudumbini' which he sang for  the film 'Kudumbini' in 1964.Music director for that song was L.P.R.Varma and that song became an instant hit and still loved by all.Many other singers used to sing that song in music stage shows like 'Ganamela' but usually they fails to create the soothing effect and the 'feel'  as created in the original by C.O.Anto.
The 'feel and expressions' C.O.Anto gave to the lines of the lyrics were magical such that the listeners could also experience the thoughts of the lyricist in a distinguished manner.
When the legend singer K.P.Udayabhanu formed the music group under the title'Old is Gold' and conducted musical shows, large crowds gathered to listen to their favorite songs from the throats of those legends  and C.O.Anto who was one among the singers  used to get much accolades.The main  others in the group 'Old is Gold' were 'Kamukara Purushothaman, P.Leela,K.P.A.C.Sulochana,Suseela Devi'

When C.O.Anto sings the song 'Kunnathoru Kavundu, Kavinakathoru Maramundu Marathil niraye Poovundu, Poo Parikkan Porunno' the listener could feel and see in imagination the grove and a tree with full of flowers and their  mind would be ready to pluck the flowers as said in those lines.
When we hear the song 'Madhurikkum Ormakale,Malarmanchal kondu varoo,Kondu Pokoo njangale aa manchuvattil manchuvattil' our mind also unknowingly travels on the palanquin to the cool shades of the mango tree.He transferred all the sweetness of that lines in his expressive voice.
The magical effects he gave to such songs are wonderful.
He sung many songs along with other famous singers like K.J.Yesudas,Jayachandran,M.G.Sreekumar,Unni Menon,Krishnachandran, etc.
His songs like 'Kakka karumbukale' which he sung for the film 'Ezhu Rathrikal' in 1968 and the song 'Paappi Appacha' which he sung with Ambili for the film 'Mayiladum Kunnu' in 1972 earned great popularity.
The famous song 'Oro Thulli Chorayil Ninnum' was sung along with Yesudas for the film 'Mooladhanam'.
C.O.Anto left this world on February 24, 2001.
Some of the films  as a playback singer are:-
Ezhu Rathrikal
Padunna Puzha
Love in Kerala
Asura Vithu
Cross Belt
Mayiladum Kunnu
Raju Rahim
Sathyavan Savithri
Priyamulla Sophia
Maravil Thirivu Sookshikkuka
Arikkari Ammu
Surumayitta Kannukal

Friday, February 13, 2015


'Adoor Gopalakrishnan' is an Internationally acclaimed Film director who has received large number of awards and accolades.He is regarded as one of the finest film director  of India.He is an excellent script writer and and has produced films  also.He has directed large number of documentary films which all illustrated the subject concerned precisely well.He directed eleven feature films and all of them received National and International acclaim.All his feature films were screened at many International film festivals.He received seven International prestigious awards.He is recipient of National awards sixteen times and Kerala State Film Awards seventeen times.By the release of his first feature film 'Swayamvaram' in 1972 which was manifested in a realistic  manner, the  outlook of the audience also changed dramatically.A large sector of the audience loved films which are called as 'art films' and many other brilliant film directors like G.Aravindan.P.A.Becker,K.G.George,Pavithran,Raveendran etc directed excellent films in realistic manner  which were all well received by the audience and grabbed National and International awards also.
'Adoor Gopalakrishnan' was born at Adoor in Kerala  on 3rd July 1941 to parents Madhavan Unnithan and Gauri Kunjamma.After passing B.A.Degree course in Economics he worked for a small period and then joined at Pune Film and Television Institute for Direction and Script writing course.
He established 'Chitralekha Film Society' and 'Chalachitra Sahakarana Sangham' with the help of his friends which was also   a unique idea at that period.
His debut feature film was 'Swayamvaram' in 1972 in which popular stars  Madhu and Sharada acted in main roles.The realistic film was a new experience for the audience and the serious approach of cinema by the director was liked by a large sector which paved way for many other films by other directors in this genre.Swayamvaram received  National award as Best film and Adoor Gopalakrishnan received Best Director award.Sharada received National award as Best Actress.National award as Best Cinematographer was given to 'Mankada Ravivarma'.
Mankada Ravi Varma was a Cinematographer of caliber who associated with Adoor Gopalakrishan for nine feature films out of the eleven films he directed.
Up to the film 'Nizhalkuthu' Ravi Varma  was his favorite cameraman.He could differentiate the exact details described in the script  and could give superb results as wished by the director.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan associated with 'Bharat Gopi' in many films.'Gopi' became 'Bharat Gopi' by getting the Best Actor National Award for Adoor Gopalakrishnan's film 'Kodiyettam'.
'Elipathayam' was a highly acclaimed film which received Award from London Film festival and British Film Institute.Actor 'Karamana Janardhanan Nair' received accolades as the protagonist of this film.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan utilized the acting skill of Superstar Mammootty for his films 'Mathilukal,Vidheyan and Anantharam'.
'Mathilukal' was based on a novel written by 'Vaikom Mohammad Basheer'.The heroine of the film is not visualized but only dialogues can be heard.Mammootty got National award as Best actor for this film and also for 'Vidheyan' another film of Adoor Gopalakrishnan in 1993.
In the film 'Anantharam' in 1987 he cast mainstream actors like 'Mammootty,Shobhana,Asokan,Sudheesh,Bahadur,Kaviyoor Ponnamma' etc.It won National Award as Best director for Adoor Gopalakrishnan.
In his film 'Katha Purushan' popular actors like 'Narendra Prasad,Urmila Unni,Babu Nampoothiri' etc also acted.Mainstream actors  acted in his film 'Naalu Pennungal' and presented excellent acting skill.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan received Padmashri Award from Government of India in 1984 and 'Padma Vibhushan' in 2006.He was given 'Dada Saheb Phalke Award' the highest Cinema Award in 2004.
He directed well defined documentary films about many subjects.Documentary films made about Kathakali exponents 'Guru Chengannur,Kalamandalam Gopi,Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair' earned appreciation.
He made well acclaimed documentaries about 'Krishnattam', and about Dance of the Enchantress' etc.At National level his non feature film 'Chola Heritage' received special Jury award.His book on cinema 'Cinemanubhavam' also received award.
He served as National film Award committee member, and member of Jury at many International film festivals.He worked as the  head of National film Development Corporation. He worked as Director of Pune Film and Television Institute also.
Filmography of Feature Films

Naalu Pennungal
Oru Pennum Randanum 

Friday, February 6, 2015


Changampuzha Krishna Pillai was a romantic poet of Kerala who wrote in Malayalam several fantastic and beautiful poetic texts which received much acclaim from the readers.He got the title 'Mahakavi'(Epic Poet) without writing any epic poems as per the required norms because of the beauty of his poems and the popularity they achieved.'Ramanan', an elegy he wrote as a poetic play published in 1936 sold more than 100,000 copies and reprinted many editions till today which is a record in Malayalam language.
'Mahakavi Changampuzha Krishna Pillai' is familiar to all Kerala people by the word 'Changampuzha' itself and he was born at Edapally near Kochi in Ernakulam District on October 11, 1911.His college education was carried out at Ernakulam and in Trivandrum.He started to write poetry from childhood and he had to study his own poetry book when he was a  B.A.(Hons) student at Trivandrum University College.
Changampuzha went to Chennai and and joined at Law College but he could not finish the course because of financial difficulties.For a short period he worked as a clerk at 'Pune' and  later at Kochi.Afterwards he joined at 'Mangalodayam Press' , a publication house at Thrissur.Many of his poetry works were during this period.He got married and became father of three children.
Changampuzha had a close friend 'Edapally Raghavan Pillai' who was his companion from childhood and he also wrote poems and earned name and fame as a poet in his youthful days itself.His demise at the early age of 25 was unbearable for Changampuzha.In his grief and sorrow he wrote the poem 'Ramanan' which is an allegedly story about his friend Edapally Raghavan Pillai.The poetic drama in versus caught the attention of the masses immediately and the people were attracted to its descriptions and beauty of lines.Many people used to memorize the lines from that text.Even though the poem uses simple language which anybody knowing basic Malayalam could understand, the fascinating and amazing  beauty of the lines he created is unparalleled.He depicted the hero of 'Ramanan' as a youthful shepherd.His romance with a girl of a well to do family is the theme of 'Ramanan'.
'Ramanan' was selected as a theme for 'Katha Prasangam'(Musical story telling) by Kathaprasangam exponent 'Kedamangalam Sadanandan' and he performed it on large number of stages before huge crowds while

Changampuzha was alive.
In 1967 Ramanan was selected as the theme for a Malayalam film and released in the same title in which Prem Nazir and Sheela acted in main roles.Madhu,Usha Kumari,Ramu Kariat,Manavalan Joseph' etc also acted in that film and the songs of the  film are still very popular.
Professor Mundaserry Master who served as the first Vice Chancellor of Cochin University, and was a Minister in the state, was very much impressed by 'Ramanan' and he wrote introductory note for its 15th reprint as an appreciation.
Changampuzha got infected by Tuberculosis and was bed ridden for a small period.He passed away on 17th June 1948 at the age of 36.On his tomb some of the lines from his poem 'Spandikkunna Asthimadam' has been inscribed which in short means that on pleasant moon lit  nights filled with the aroma of wild flowers, we can still hear the loving  heart beats  inside the tomb.
The poet was very much fascinated by nature's beauty and he describes a Village scene of Kerala as 'Where ever we look around , we could see blossomed trees only, Even if a slight breeze passes  by, showering of flowers follows'.
At one instance the poet has an inner sight  'Possessing a sincere heart was the cause of his failure'  stated as the lines of a poem.
Some of his works are 'Bashpanjali,Vazhakkula,Manaswini,Divyageetham,Yavanika,Spandikkunna Asthimadam,Udyanalakshi,Padunna Pisachu' which are all poetry books and a novel 'Kalithozhy'.