Men of Letters | Kasargod

The Kuttamath Kunniyar family in Cheruvathoor had given birth to many poets. The first of this galaxy of Kuttamath scholars was Kunhunni Kurup (1813 – 1885). He was a talented astrologer and Sanskrit scholar. The most important of his works are Devi Mahathmyam, Kapotha Sandesham and Vyasolpathi. Kuttamath Cheriya Rama Kurup (1847 – 1906) was a dramatist, poet, grammarian and Ayurvedic physician of considerable merit. He has composed several Sanskrit works such as Subhadrapaharanam, Rukmini Swayamvaram and Sita Swayamvaram. His Sarva Garala Prdmochanam is a comprehensive work on Visha Vaidyam (Toxicology). Among his Malayalam works may be mentioned Kesivadham, Kamsavadham, Sri Ramavatharams and three Thullal poems, viz.,Krishnavatharam, Poothanamoksham and Ahalyamoksham.

Kuttamath Kunhi Kelu Kurup (1863 – 1915) distinguished himself as a composer of Thullal poems, the most important of which are Kharavadham, Seemanthini Swayamvaram, Sita Swayamvaram, Kuchelagopalam, sankaracharya Charitham and Radhamadhavam. He has also organised a Thullal Kaliyogam of his own to popularize Ottamthullal.

Kuttamath Kunhambu Kurup (1855 – 1911) was a great sanskrit scholar and ayurvedic physician. Among his works are a poem called Kirthibhooshana Charitham and three dramas, viz., Vaidarbhi Vasudevam, Ushanirudham and Amsumathidharmaguptam.

The most distinguished of the Kuttamath scholars is Kunhi Krishn aKurup (1881 – 1944), who is also known as Mahakavi Kuttamath. He is the author of several important works in Malayalam. The earliest of his literary composition is a poem called Kaliyamardanam. He has composed a few dramas such as Devayani Charitham, Balagopalam, Nachiketas, Dhruvamadhavam, Harischandra Charitham, etc. and several devotional works like Sri Ramakrishnan Gita and Mukambikapuranam Kilipattu. He has also composed an Attakatha in Malayalam titled Balagopalam.

P.Kunhiraman Nair, another famous poet of Kerala, hailed from Bellikoth near Kanhangad. T.Ubaid, the cultural leader of Kasaragod, was born at Thalankara. Proficient in Malayalam and Kannada, T.Ubaid translated many Malayalam literary pieces into Kannada and vice-versa. He was also researcher in Mopla songs.

Rashtrakavi, M.Govinda Pai of Manjeswar, is Kerala’s contribution to Kannada language and literature. Poet, art critic and literature researcher, M.Govinda Pai (1883 – 1963) who has enriched Kannada literature and poetry by his famous works, was conferred the title of poet laureate by the erstwhile Government of madras, along with Mahakavi Vallathol. He excelled himself as a poet, nationalist, historian, dramatist and linguist. Gommata Jinastuti was the first published work of Govinda Pai. Govinda Pai also introduced the sonnet form in Kannada.

His Gilivindu, which literally means “ a bunch of parrots”, contains some rare and beautiful gems of kannada poetry. Govinda Pai also enriched Kannada learning with his historical studies and research. He was an authority on the chronology and history of Tulunad. Govinda Pai was also a prolific prose writer. His earliest composition in prose was Srikrishna Charita (1909), which provides for remarkable reading. His best works written in blank verse, viz., Golgotha (the last days of Christ, published in 1937), Vaishakhi (the last days of Budha,published in 1946) and Hebberalu (The Thumb, the story of Ekalavya retold, published in 1946) have won for Govinda Pai a lasting place in the gallery of the greatest poets of Kannada literature. These works also testify to his universal outlook as well as to his deep compassion for the poor and the downtrodden.

Sri Parthisuba, the great exponent of Yakshgana, weas believed to have lived at Kumbala near Kasaragod. Sri. T.S Thirumumbu, a revolutionary poet, was also a leader of the agrarian movement.
The colourful and ritualistic folk arts like Theyyam and Thirayattam are performed here. Yakshagana, a colourful dance drama, originally of Karnataka is also popularly performed here, and that too, some times in Malayalam.


Quotable Quotes:

“Everyone has talent.
What is rare is the courage to follow
your talent to where it may lead you.