Accolades K.P. Arivanandam will be honoured by Kartik Fine Arts with the Lifetime Achievement Award.S. Shivpprasadh

Literature enslaved Kumbalingam Pazhaniswamy from a very young age. The boy wrote lyrics, skits and acted in plays. Love for the arts compelled him as a boy of 11 to join the troupe of M.R. Radha. Earlier, a poem he had written and recited at a literary meeting in Gudiyatham earned him the sobriquet Arivanandam from none other than C.N. Annadurai and the name stuck.

A voracious reader (wherever the drama troupe camped, the first place Arivanandam would look for was a library), Arivanandam’s pen has continued to create hundreds of poems and songs apart from scripting stage plays.

Impressive act

Arivanandam, who hailed from a poor Kannada speaking weaver family, endeared himself to Radha, who was impressed by the boy’s delivery of dialogue. His performance as Angadhan impressed Radha so much so that the veteran made him his personal prompter.

Tamil dailies printed all his poems. He remembers the full page Thamizh Kodi devoted to ten of his poems under the title,

‘Thamizhan Tiruppalli Ezhuchi’ (1962). Religion, meanwhile became another favourite subject and Arivanandam presented lectures on various subjects. His discourses on Kanda Puranam and Villiputhurarin Mahabharatam, both spanning 108 weeks at Kandakottam were well-attended and written about. He regaled audiences in Malaysia with his lectures organised by Tamil associations. Arivanandam cherishes the appointment as poet laureate of Kundrathur Tirunageswarar temple. “It is a dream come true,” he says. At the world book fair last year, he was honoured by the South Indian Book Sellers and Publishers for his contribution to theatre.

Arivanandam’s repertoire

R.S. Manohar’s Indrajit, Parasuraman, Narakasuran, Durvasar, Tirunavukkarasar, Varaguna Pandiyan, ‘Heron’ Ramsamy’s Kavadi Thanda Idumban, Ambaiyin Sabatham, Rani Mangamma, Velu Nachiyar (all three for Devi Kalaikoodam) amd D. Balasundaram’s Sri Narasimhar, Om Sivasakti, Ragu-Ketu and Soorasamharam.

Adiparasakti, Vinayakar Vijayam, Deivakuzhandaigal, Bhairavi, Agamum Puramum, Kaalabjairavar, Swamiye Saranam Aiyappa and Bhakta Vijayam are some of his works for the small screen.