Focus Kavya Bhoopadathile Kovalam, which releases on February 28 is on the lives and works of the Kovalam Brothers

Kovalam is a tourist spot that is famous for its beach. History is the last thing on the mind of tourists who flock to Kovalam for its sandy beach. Few know that close to the city’s Light House Beach is a monument dedicated to two 15th century poets from Kovalam – Ayyippilla Asan and Ayyanappilla Asan – better known as the Kovalam Brothers. While Ayyippilla composed the Ramayana Pattu , Ayyanappilla wrote the Bharatham Pattu .

The monument, Kovalam Poets Monument and Durga Chamundi Temple, is protected by the Kerala Government Archaeological Department.

“Everyone knows of Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan but few have heard of the Kovalam Brothers. That is why we have made a documentary on the brothers. The aim is to bring to fore their lives and their works,” say Venu Muttacaud and Anilkumar P.Y.

The documentary titled Kavya Bhoopadathile Kovalam (Kovalam: The Poetic Land), starts with a group of students fighting over whether the Kovalam Brothers really exist. Their professor, Ajith Kumar (Head of the Malayalam Department at Mahatma Gandhi College) breaks up the argument and takes them on a trip to Kovalam. There they meet Gomathi Amma, who is perhaps the sole person who can recite the poems written by her forefathers in the lyrical lilt set by the brothers. She tells them the story of the two brothers. The brothers are enacted by Arnold William and Saju Payurumood in the documentary. The documentary also contains bytes of poet O.N.V. Kurup and N.P. Unni, former Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sankaracharya, University of Sanskrit, Kalady.

“Legend has it that Ayyippilla got his poetic skills eating a plantain fruit sage Aswathama gave him,” says Venu.

The story of the two brothers says Anilkumar, has been recorded in a book by P.K. Narayana Pillai called Kerala Sahithya Charitham . “Dr. Pillai read about the brothers in a book by Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer. He was fascinated and went on a research spree. The Kovalam Brothers wrote their poems on palm leaves. The poems were written in a curious mix of Tamil and Malayalam and followed the rules of composition of the pattu genre (songs). These leaves were with different members of the Kovalam Brothers’ family. Dr. Pillai took the effort to track each leaf down. Our documentary also pays tribute to Dr. Narayana’s efforts,” says Anilkumar.

The 33-minute-long documentary, which has been scripted by Venu and directed by Anilkumar, will be released on February 28 at Nila Theatre, Kairali Theatre Complex, at 9 a.m.

Anilkumar and Venu have earlier worked together on documentaries titled Sorrow of Velayani , Socialist Life and (+ve) Frames . The short film, which has been produced by the Kerala State Cultural Department and Kovalam Poets Memorial Committee, is released under the banner of Focus Media Creations.

Liza George

Dr. Narayana who read about the brothers in a book by Ulloor

S. Parameswara Iyer

was fascinated by the brothers and went on a research spree

Anilkumar P.Y.

Our documentary also pays tribute to Dr. Narayana’s efforts

Venu Muttacaud