Vayalar's grand daughter, Meenakshy, has been selected by the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nadaka Mandram to perform at their venues
Vayalar Rama Varma's grand daughter loves reciting her famous grandfather's poems, which won laurels for that at youth festivals, but what she does best is not writing verses like him, but dance. Meenakshy S. Krishnan, who has eyes like her name, got recognition from a traditional stronghold of the arts, like the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nadaka Mandram. She got the selection this year.
“We get four stages to perform, as part of this recognition and last month, I performed at Pollachi, near Coimbatore, as part of the programmes of the Pollachi Tamizhisai Sangham,” says Meenakshy. She got good reviews for that and is now gearing up for more shows.
She has been learning Bharathanatyam (only Bharathanatyam, stresses her mother, Sindhu, who is the celebrated bard's daughter) under the tutelage of Sunil Nellayi for the last 11 years. She is learning vocal music and veena also so as to gain a firmer foothold on dance and to understand its finer nuances better.
When you wonder aloud whether Meenakshy has time for all this, she has a ready answer: “I never go for tuitions in any subject, so I have plenty of time for my passion that is dance.” And she has done very well in studies too. Meenakshy has just finished her Class X, getting 4 ‘A pluses' and two ‘A's from Carmel Higher Secondary School, Chalakkudy.
“I feel it is enough if we pay attention in class,” she explains. Reading is a hobby and taking up literature, ‘Malayalam literature', she emphasises, is her aim.
She does not deny that it could be the influence of her grandfather's poems and lyrics.
“I listen to all my grandfather's songs and I know most of them,” she says. Dressed in a long skirt (paavada) and blouse, which she says is her favourite attire, Meenakshy has a penchant for the traditional, in manners, clothes and tastes.
Her ‘arangettam' was at Melpathur Auditorium, Guruvayur, at age 10. Other notable performances have been for Swaralaya, Palakkad and at the temples in Malliyur, Ettumanur and Ernakulam Siva Temple.
To be a good Bharathanatyam dancer is her aim, and she feels her present guru, Sunil Nallayi, can help her attain this dream. No, cinema does not figure in her future scheme of things, she clarifies. Her father, Krishna Kumar and mother Sindhu give her ample support, and she is their only daughter.