Monday, March 28, 2016


T.N.Gopakumar was a well noted Journalist,Writer,TV Programme producer and presenter,Film director,TV Serial Director and so on.He earned much appreciation, respect and love from TV viewers for the Asianet Channel's weekly programme 'Kannadi' which he produced,directed and anchored  for about twenty years.That programme earned tremendous mass appeal and completed more than 600 episodes successfully.
T.N.Gopakumar was born at Sucheendram in 1957 as the son of P.Neelakanta Sharma and L.Thankamma.His father was a religious Vedic Scholar and a 'Sthanikar' of Sucheendram Temple.Gopakumar had his schooling at Sucheendram and Nagercoil.He studied at Institute of English,Kerala University for B.A. and M.A.course.After journalism course he joined 'Indian Express Newspaper'  as a Journalist.Later he worked with Newspapers and Periodicals such as 'Mathrubhumi,News Time,India Today,Statesman,Independent' and so on.He was popularly known as T.N.G.
While he was working with BBC at Delhi, he was invited to join the newly formed TV Channel, Asianet.He was News Editor in Chief at 'Asianet' and also handled the weekly news based programme 'Kannadi' very efficiently.
'Kannadi' earned much mass appeal which reviewed relevant main news of a week and also handled the problems of the poor and suppressed sectors of the society.Several poor needy destitute people with none to turn to for help or support including widows,old aged people,chronic Patients,Orphans etc got help from 'Kannadi' to get back to the track of life.Broad

minded viewers with helping hands from India and abroad donated to 'Kannadi' to help the genuine needy people as per his request.
By the programme 'Kannadi' he helped to resolve many grievances of   individuals and public which were brought to the attention of the authorities concerned and got fast proper action for them.
The unique masculine voice and presentation style of 'Kannadi' by T.N.Gopakumar was very much loved by all viewers and he was much appreciated and received much accolades.
T.N.G. was also author of about fifteen books including 'A Collection of Short Stories,Novels,Travelogues,Political reviews,Autobiography etc.Some of his books are 'Sucheendram Rekhakal,Soodran,Koodaram,Dilli,Volgo Tharangangal' etc.His Autobiography titled 'Sucheendram Rekhakal' got Kerala Sahithya Academy award in 1998 and for a travelogue book 'Volgo Thanrangangal' also he received Kerala Sahithya Academy Award.A novel 'Palum Pazhavum' is being published in a Malayalam weekly at present.
He directed a TV serial by name 'Verukal' and a Malayalam film 'Jeevan Masai'.Nedumudi Venu, Kavyamadhavan,Vijayaraghavan,Sreevidya,V.K.Sreeraman,Manu Varma,M.R.Gopakumar  etc  were the actors of the film.
T.N.Gopakumar passed away on 30th January 2016 at the age of 58.
His wife is Heather Gopakumar and they have two daughters, Gayathri and Kaveri. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mrinalini Sarabhai

Mrinalini Sarabhai was a distinguished Indian Classical Dance exponent who trained several thousand aspirant students in various dance forms like Bhartanatyam,Mohiniyattam,Kuchipudi,Kathakali,Manipuri etc.She earned much fame and prestige for these dance forms by performing marvelously at many Indian Cities and in many foreign countries also.This accomplished dancer and choreographer was a writer also who published many novels,plays and stories for children as well as books about dance forms.
Mrinalini Sarabhai was a member of 'Palakkad Ottappalam Aanakkara Vadakkethu family' of Kerala.Her father Dr.Swaminathan was a well known advocate who practiced at Chennai and her mother Ammu Swaminathan was a social activist,Indian Freedom fighter and later member of the Indian  Parliament.Captain Lakshmi who worked along with Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army in the Indian Freedom movement was her sister.

Mrinalini had the ambition to become an expert dancer from her childhood itself.After finishing her school studies, she got training in Western classical dance from Switzerland.After returning to India she joined 'Shantiniketan' at Calcutta and became a favorite disciple of Rabindranath Tagore.While studying there she manifested the main roles of all dance dramas of Rabindranath Tagore.She later  also got opportunity to get trained at American Academy of Dramatic Arts for a short period.After returning to India she underwent ' Bharatanatyam Classical dance training from 'Guru' Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai and Kathakali from 'Guru' Thakazhy Kunchu Kurup.She also learnt  some other classical dance varieties and became and became an exponent by her humble dedication and hard work.She used to say that dance was her life and breath.

In 1942 she got married to Dr.Vikram Sarabhai , father of Indian Space program.
In the year 1946 she started the 'Darpana Academy of Performing Arts' an Institute for training students mainly  in classical dance forms  at Ahmedabad in Gujarat in a very beautiful, enchanting location on the banks of a river.She trained numerous students in various classical dance forms,performed her graceful dances and dance dramas at numerous stages in India and abroad,Choreographed more than 300 dance dramas and was always deeply involved and dedicated for the upheaval of all art forms.
She also served as the Chairman of the Gujarat State Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporation Ltd.
She was given Padma Shree from Government of India in 1965 and she received Padma Bhushan from Government of India in 1992.
She was also recipient of 'Pravasi Kalaratna Award' from Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Academy.She also received awards for Kathakali, and many other National and International awards for Classical dance.
Her daughter Mallika Sarabhai is a renowned and accomplished Classical dancer.
Mrinalini Sarabhai

passed away on 21st January 2016 at Ahmedabad at the age of 97.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Margi Sathi

Margi Sathi was an exponent of the well renowned Classical art form of Kerala  'Koodiyattam' which is a combined form of Dance and Drama.She was also an accomplished performer of 'Nagiarkoothu' which is also an ancient classical art form of Kerala which is performed by females only.
Koodiyattam is believed to be  originated in Kerala and has a heritage of more than 2000 years.This art form was performed only in temples where  'Koothambalam', a separate building for enacting this dance drama were built.Koodiyattam  and art forms such as  'Koothu' and 'Nangiarkoothu' were performed only in 'Koothambalam' which are there in many   temple premises up to 1950 but these art forms are allowed outside the temple premises at present.
 In India, Koodiyattam is the only ancient classical  dance-drama art form that follows the rules of the ancient text 'Natya Sasthram' till today.Mani Madhava Chakyar, a maestro of Koodiyattam took courage to take this art form outside temple premises and performed in many places in India and abroad.Koodiyattam received International recognition when UNESCO proclaimed it as a "masterpiece of Oral and intangible heritage of humanity" in the year 2001.
Margi Sathi was also present at Paris  at the UNESCO Headquarters on that  occasion and along with her Guru and  troupe performed Koodiyattam there.

Margi Sathi was born to parents Subramanyan Embranthiri and Parvathy Antharjanam in 1965 at Cheruthuruthi in Thrissur.She learnt 'Koodiyattam' from Kerala Kalamandalam  from the age of 11 and that course extended for 8 years.At the prestigious Kerala Kalamandalam Institute, her 'Gurus' for Koodiyattam course were 'Painkulam Rama Chakyar,Mani Madhava Chakyar and Ammannur Madhava Chakyar' who were all brilliant experts in this art form.
After  completion of the course she got married to Subramanyan Potti who was an exponent of  percussion instruments 'Edakka and Mizhavu' which are used for Koodiyattam,Koothu and Nangiar Koothu.Edakka is also played during pooja rituals in temples.After her marriage she moved to Thiruvananthapuram, the native place of her husband.
At Trivandrum she joined 'Margi  Dance Institute' where Koodiyattam,Koothu,Namgiar Koothu,Kathakali and some other dance forms are taught and  she got well trained in 'Nangiar Koothu'.Padmashri.P.K.Nambiar was her main Guru at Margi for 'Nangiarkoothu'.
She performed  Nangiarkoothu on many stages and also enacted female characters for Koodiyattam and became  famous as 'Margi Sathi' by adding the epithet 'Margi' with her name.
At the institute  'Margi' she also contributed and assisted  Dr.K.Ayyappa Panikkar and D.Appukuttan Nair for certain contemporary  changes of the dance-drama 'Koodiyattam'  and also for its  upheaval.
She wrote 'Sreerama Charitham,Seethayanam and Bhaktha Meera' for enactment in Nangiarkoothu.
She acted in the Malayalam  movie 'Nottam' in 2005 which has a theme based on Nangiarkoothu.The director of that film  'Sasi Paravoor' requested   Margi Sathi to act  as the heroine and she accepted it.During the shooting of this film her husband died of an electric shock.Margi Sathi appeared in a few other films of directors such as 'M.P.Sukumaran Nair,P.Balachandran' and so on  later.
Kerala Government gave her the post as Koodiyattam teacher at Kerala Kalamandalam in the year 2005.
Margi Sathi received awards and recognition

 such as  Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Academy Award,Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture,Kaladarpanam Award,Thunchan Smaraka Samithi Award,Natyaratnam Puraskaram and many more.

She passed away on Dec 1, 2015 at the age of 50.