The powerful identity in this living people with a powerful writing skill, this will motive and give a inspiration do something good in life of every common man. Father was P. The child was named "Govindan", a very common name meaning "Lord Krishna". Being "Nair" by caste Govindan was subjected to the matriarchal custom which was prevalent amongst Nairs. The Karanavar was expected to manage the property and meet the needs of the sister and her children. But the system had degenerated and neglect of the nephews by the Karanavars had become rampant.
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His works include 19 books and over poems in 10 anthologies, 6 books of plays and a collection of essays. Born in a village, Kuttippuram, in Kerala India on December 23, Father was P. The child was named "Govindan", a very common name meaning "Lord Krishna".
Being "Nair" by caste Govindan was subjected to the matriarchal custom which was prevalent amongst Nairs. The Karanavar was expected to manage the property and meet the needs of the sister and her children. But the system had degenerated and neglect of the nephews by the Karanavars had become rampant. Edasseri Tharavad had fallen to hard days on account of poverty.
His mother ardently wished to admit him to the High School, but she did not have the means. Faced with the harshness of poverty the son thought only how to take up a paying job so that he could earn sufficient income to save his mother from the pangs of hunger. There was to be no pay during apprenticeship, just a dole to keep body and soul together! At Alappuza, he managed to give tuition and could save Rs. Edasseri entrusted the princely amount of Rs.
But, as fate would have it, the mother was not lucky to receive the amount , for she was by then stricken with small pox and breathed her last on the day previous to the day the man arrived at Kuttippuram. Edasseri never recovered from this sense of unredeemed debt. His inconsolable sadness later found expression in the poem "Bimbisarante Edayan Shepherd of King Bimbisara ". After working as a clerical apprentice under Sankarettan for ten months, Edasseri joined Vakil M. Krishna Menon as a resident assistant clerk.
During this period he came in contact with Manjoor Parameswaran Pillai, another vakil clerk by profession in Alappuza and a highly erudite person. The duo was in fact madly in love with literature paying more attention to literary discussions and reading to the neglect of their office work. This trait obviously did not make them any dearer to the vakils under whom they were working. Once the friends went up to the Pier of Alappuza to receive a copy of "Malayala Manorama" in which the celebrated poem "Kochu Seetha The Little Seetha " was being published in serial.
So much was their eagerness to read the poem that they altogether forgot about the clients waiting for them in their offices! The employers did not take to their love of poetry kindly which according to them was nothing more than an "obsession with titillation"! Edasseri did not dispute his employer, but had to remain humble. As a result he had to be secretive about his literary activities and ensure that it did not in any way interfere with the long hours of office work.
At the end of seven years when he decided to return to Kuttippuram, Edasseri was not very confident professionally. During Edasseri worked as clerk under vakil Thalasseri Kunhirama Menon in Kozhikode, a town 65 k. Those days it was very common amongst the youth to seek employment in Malaysia and Singapore. Edasseri also decided to go to Singapore and arranged with a person who was to shortly arrive from Singapore to take him.
He left his job in Kozhikode and returned to Kuttippuram. But unfortunately for Edasseri, the person did not leave the shore of Singapore, but died in that alien land. Rama Menon. It is important to note that those days literary activities did not pay in financial terms. His close association with the common folks in the course of his profession did help deep understanding of man and brought realism and variety to his writings.
This association with people of Ponani made him dear to the people who loved and respected him as Govindan Nair, the person -not the poet- who was always there by their side to solve their problems. Edasseri married Edakkandi Janaki Amma in mid-January, The grooms were already known to each other as Mr.
Raghavan Nair, a lover of literature and maternal uncle of Janaki Amma used to lovingly invite Edasseri to his residence where the two had met. Edasseri started writing poems at the early age of twelve although it is inconceivable that there existed a congenial environment in the Tharavad to nurture this talent. Nevertheless, his mother used to recite Ramayana daily and his sister used to tell mythological stories to him and these two indeed stroked the poetic talent in him.
Yet another influence was Sankunni Menon the Malayalam teacher in the Primary school who used to recite poetry in great style and in melodious tune. Edasseri had his formal education till eighth class and it was with his own efforts he learned both English and Sanscrit.
In this endeavour both Nalappat Narayana Menon a well known poet of the time, reverently referred to as Nalappadan and Kuttikrishna Marar a scholar and literary critic helped Edasseri. Personal Beliefs Although believer of God, Edasseri did not evince interest in visiting temples.
He was not a Sakteya follower of Sakti cult as many believed him to be. In fact Edasseri had intense desire to complete a long poem reposing his self to Sri Krishna, but he could not make it. Ironically, the poet who echoed celebrations of temple festivities and folklore in his famous poems "Poothapattu A song on Pootham " and "Kavilepattu Song in the Divine Grove " did not relish festivals and particularly in the later part of his life the poet did not evince interest in temple festivals.
The poet articulates his position by showing his preference to limit personal faith to individual rituals. Possibly the poet had a vision of a secular India where development of scientific temper and social justice were the issues that should be engaging the attention of youth with the role of temples and organised religion retracting to the backdrop and certainly not a priority in the agenda of nation building. He was involved in distribution of "Swatantra Bharatam Free India " an underground news paper of the freedom fighters.
He considered another ardent follower of Gandhiji, Kelappan, as his leader. But for Kelappan, Edasseri was dear friend. It was at the initiative of Edasseri, "Krishnapanikkar Smaraka Vayanasala A reading room to commemorate Krishna Panikkar was estabilshed at Ponani in the memory of Krishna Panikkar, a freedom fighter, who lost his life suffering torture in the British jail.
The Reading Room soon turned into the intellectual and political nerve centre of Ponani. It was a regular meeting place of intellectuals like V. Bhattathiripad, Kuttikrishna Marar, Edasseri, P. Kuttikrishnan Uroob , E. Narayanan, Kadavanad Kuttikrishnan and Akkitham. Edasseri was disappointed by the post-independence political climate. His conscience did not allow him to be actively supporting any political party.
But, on moments when I have to touch upon hunger and lovelessness - the facts of life which had eternally nagged me - I find that godly humility and respect towards philosophical doctrines leave me in a jiffy. In the poems of the author who swears by Gandhiji, there lie scattered ideas which challenge Gandhism and belief in God. Although I have been a follower of Gandhiji and not studied Marxian doctrine, the poems which were only reflecting the objective social reality were adopted by the communists as a part of their propaganda.
But I should be grateful that this position of benign neglect by the political parties really helped the life to be free from various botheration hindering creativity. Edasseri believes that it was his drama "Koottukrishi Co-operative Farming " which actually introduced him and his poetry to the sensitive readers. Further, Edasseri was sanctioned an annual grant of Rs.
Edasseri earned considerable popularity, respect and love of people around him. Edasseri never pardoned himself and never dotted on his own children excessively. But this apparent strictness verging on harshness did not stand in the way of forgiving others for their faults. Thus there was the incident of his friend misappropriating public money because of severe family problems and about to be arrested and sent to jail.
Edasseri owned up the moral responsibility, arranged money by mortgaging the house to save his friend from being sent to jail. There is also a story of Edasseri on his way to his office being followed without his knowledge by a lady teacher on her way to school being afraid of wayside Romeos passing lewd comments, as she felt confident that the youth never could misbehave when Edasseri was around.
Edasseri was bold and never minced words when confronted with the wealthy people showing disinclination to public activities. There were also occasions when the poet on his way to buy medicine for his own ailing son, donating the money to a poor man who did not have money to buy rice for his family to cook for the day.
Edasseri remained active till end of his life. He was indisposed for a couple of days before his death but did not allow it to come in the way of his duties.
The spell of indisposition put an abrupt end to his life when on October 16, he suffered a massive heart attack at his breakfast table. His wife and young daughter were with him when the end came.
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Edasseri Govindan Nair
This article is supported by the arts and entertainment work group. Untitled[ edit ] The life and works of Edasseri Govindan Nair have assumed greater socio-literary significance after his death. Readers of Malayalam poetry now go back to him with renewed interest; critics recognize him as one of the most important poets of Malayalam. On the one hand, his works attempt to truthfully reflect the untold effects of socio-economic changes which metamorphosed the life of Kerala in the second and third quarters of this century; on the other, they also try to critically redefine - with an inimitable mix of anxiety, irony, humour and objectivity - its changed priorities and concerns. Steeped at once in the local mythological tradition as well as the pressures of modernisation, his poems also represent the ambivalent reaction of a Third World poet of his time. Spread as they are almost equally in the pre and post Independence eras his writings offer eternally valid commentaries on the Gandhian politics with notes of approval, admiration and dissent, evaluate the beginnings of socialist awareness in Kerala and analyse the pitfalls in the short term political strategies and long term economic policies of the Nehruvian era. And long before ecology and environmental pollution were heard of in this state of Kerala, Edasseri has internationalised the impending problem and prophesied the inevitable doom.