Saturday, November 5, 2011


വൈലോപ്പിള്ളിശ്രീധര മേനോന്‍ 

Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon (11 May 1911 – 22 December 1985) was a renowned Indian poet of Kerala. He was born on 11 May 1911 in Kaloor in the Ernakulum district .After taking his bachelor’s degree in science he took B.T. and joined as teacher in government service in 1931.
He started writing under the pen name 'Sree' and his very first collection 'Kannikkoythu' (Maiden Harvest), which came out in 1947, attracted the attention of critics by its innovative style free from the clutches of the Romantic tradition. He was associated with Samastha Kerala Sahithya Parishath the biggest forum for Malayalam writers at that time, for more than 10 years. He represented Kerala in the national poets' meetings held at Delhi (1951 and 1969) and  Bangalore (1965). In 1970 he toured the Soviet Union. He was the first President of  Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham,a forum of progressive writers led by leftist intellectuals and artists.He is considered by literary historians as one of the major voices in Malayalam poetry who marked the transition from the Romantic to the modern era. A scientific insight into the historical roots of social evolution and a deeper understanding of the psychological undercurrents of the human mind characterise his poetry. His mastery of the medium is evident in all his poems both lyrical and narrative. He died on December 22, 1985 and his body was cremated on the banks of river Bharathappuzha (also called 'Nila “'Mampazham was  his popular poem
A little boy while playing in the courtyard in front of his house casually plucked a bunch bearing tender mangoes from the mango tree which was a young one bearing fruits for the first time. He happily took it to his mother and showed. Seeing this his mother scolded him saying that he should be beaten for this naughty action like destroying the sprouting young mangoes. She added that it was he who was to go and collect those mango fruits when they are grown and start falling down. The child did not expect this reaction from his mother, hence he felt so bad and replied that he would not be coming to collect the ripe mangoes when it fell down. This statement of the child became true. He died by the time the mango fruits started falling down. Mother, though picked the fallen mangoes, could not eat them. She, with broken heart, took them and placed on the tomb of the boy.

The above story touches the heart of everybody who read the small poem, Mampazham, written by Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon. Vyloppilly was a great poet who contributed to the Malayalam literature. He was born at Kaloor, Ernakulam on 11th May 1911 to Cheranellur Kochukuttan Kartha and Nanikuttyamma. After completing his school education he joined Maharaja's College, Ernakulam. H did his degree in zoology and then joined a school as a science teacher. At the degree class the poet Kuttippurath Kesavan Nair was his teacher, who recognised Vyloppilli's talents and encouraged writing poems. He got encouragements from one of his friends U.K.Kumaran, who also was a poet. Later he earned B.T. Degree, a must for becoming a full time High School teacher. His name got recognised by winning the first prize in poem writing competition conducted by the Samastha Kerala Sahitya Parishat in the year 1931. He developed relationship with the Sahitya Parishat and worked for it more than ten years. He was honoured by giving the title 'Sahitya Nipunan' for his contributions to the Malayalam literature. He has to his credit eleven collections of poems, which include Kannikoithu (1947), Sreerekha (1950), Vithum Kaikkottum (1956), Onappattukar (1952), Kuruvikal (1961), Kaipavallari (1963), Katalkakkakal (1958), Vita (1970) and Makarakoithu (1980). He has also written a drama, 'Rishya Sringanum Alexandarum'. The three poems, namely, 'Mampazham', 'Sahyante Makan' and 'Panthangal' included in the first collection, 'Kannikoithu' attracted the attention of everybody who loved Malayalam language and the poet Vyloppilli got established in their minds. He wrote poems for children also. Pachakuthira, Minnaminnu and Kunnimanikal are collections of such poems. In 1965 Kerala Sahitya Academy Award was given to his work, Kaipavallari. Later in 1969 he got the Sovietland Nehru Award. In the year 1972 he got Kendra Sahitya Academy award and also the Odakkuzhal Award. Vyloppilli's 'Makarakoithu received Sahitya Academy Silver Jubilee Award (1981) and Vayalar Award (1981). In 1970 he visited soviet Union. He retired as Head Master in the year 1966 and continued his lonely stay at Thrissur until death in the year 1986 (December 22). This is his centenary year.
    Vyloppilli had his own views about everything. His writings showed typical creative qualities which took the readers to the heights of feelings. Sometimes he was taken as a poet of manliness. He never preached for a particular theory. A duel approach was there in everything. He was spiritual as well as materialistic. Rational thinking was there in him parallel to piety nature. He believed in faith though came out, sometimes, with scientific thinking. He stood for industrialization though he worried about the environmental issues. He was romantic but argued for physical entities. He wanted social wellness, but was not against individual freedom. Thus in all aspects he was having this dual thinking.
Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan houses the personal belongings of the great Malayalam poet, the late Vyloppilly Sreedhara Menon. The art gallery and Museum block has a Sangeetha Nritha Museum,which showcases the evolution, practices and systems of traditional music and dance, a library with an extensive collection of books, periodicals and other reference materials on Kerala’s culture and a classroom where creative interactions and training sessions on art and culture are held.
The Kal Mandapam is an elegant structure set in stone and functions as a unique open air venue for the staging of vibrant folk art forms. The Ranga Mandapam, ideal for cultural gatherings and cultural shows with a seating capacity of nearly 2000 people, has provision for video projection. The Nritha Mandapam, where the dance performances are staged is built in stone with rich artworkSeminars and Conferences are conducted in the conference hall of the Research & Documentation Block with a seating capacity of 500pax. Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan also houses cultural and digital archives documenting all the nuances of Kerala’s cultural landscape and a digital studio with state of the art technology.
Cultural Digital Archives designed to function as the first of its kind digital archives in India, the digital archive at the first floor aims to document all the nuances of Kerala’s cultural landscape.

                                                                                                Prof. John Kurakar

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