Dr C. P. Unnikrishnan – Scholar, Kathakali Exponent

Scholar, Kathakali artist, choreographer, educationist, gadget geek – these are only some of the several ways one could describe Dr C. P. Unnikrishnan. Born in Ernakulam and with strong roots in Palakkad and Kozhikode, Dr Unnikrishnan is an alumnus of the Wilson College, Mumbai. After obtaining a doctorate in human physiology, everyone expected him to follow the path of research. But the pull of Kathakali, the mesmerising dance form unique to Kerala, was too strong and Dr Unnikrishnan returned home to follow his passion. Edited excerpts from a long conversation: Veena Narayan: Please share some childhood memories. Dr C. P. … Continue reading Dr C. P. Unnikrishnan – Scholar, Kathakali Exponent

Exponent Extraordinaire

Kalarippayattu, the martial arts form unique to Kerala has always been part of its folklore. Thus we get to know of colourful masters who performed great deeds of valour and showed unimaginable skill. One such master of martial arts was Kallanthattil Gurukkal. It’s interesting how we rarely get to know the name of the particular individual. Here Kallanthattil is the family name and Gurukkal, the title given to him. But, what was his given name? No one knows. It has been lost in the folds of time. For the sake of narrative convenience, let’s call him Unni, a very common … Continue reading Exponent Extraordinaire

The Good Doctor and the Labourer Who Made Him Cry

Aryan Narayana Mooss was a famous Ayurvedic physician who lived in Kerala more than a century ago. Read the first part of the story here. One day, Mooss was sitting on an armchair on the veranda of the southern wing of his house. A poor mappilla labourer came in through the gatehouse and approached Mooss. But when he reached the middle of the courtyard, he sat down and couldn’t move. “My lord, I can’t stand,” he said piteously and continued to sit there on the courtyard that had been flattened smooth, and swept clean. “Tell me what ails you,” said … Continue reading The Good Doctor and the Labourer Who Made Him Cry

Bhima and the Runaway Forests

Bhima and his friend Mannathu Panikkar sat down to have lunch when the king’s messenger came in with an urgent message. (Read part one of the story here.) “Please read out the king’s message,” said Bhima politely. “But sir, you’re having lunch,” the messenger hesitated. “That’s okay. You said it was urgent. So lunch can wait,” said Bhima. “The neighbouring kingdom has sent a huge army to attack our land. Please help.” The messenger read out.   The Poonjaar army was battle ready but they would be outnumbered easily. Panikkar and Bhima immediately rushed out. When they reached outside it … Continue reading Bhima and the Runaway Forests