Ignatius Pereira

KOLLAM: G. Devarajan has close relationship with Kollam. Apart from being born at Paravur in Kollam district, some of the important milestones in Devarajan's life took place when he was living in Kollam town.

After walking out of the Kerala People's Arts Club, following some differences, he shifted to Kollam and got associated with the Indian Dance Academy (IDA) of Kalamandalam Gangadharan based at Kadappakada in Kollam. It was during this period that he composed the overture ``Sal kala devithan...'' for the IDA and it had won him widespread acclaim.

Love affair

It was during this association with the IDA that he met and fell in love with Perunna Leelamani. She was playing the lead role for IDA's ``Prema Shilpi.'' Devarajan and Leelamani got married at Saradamadom Temple in Kollam and the couple settled at Pattathanam.

Soon Devarajan got associated with the Kollam-based drama company of the late O. Madhavan, Kalidasa Kala Kendram. He composed the overture, ``Vaika Gandharva Gayaka... ,'' for that company. Even today all dramas of Kalidasa Kala Kendram begins with the same overture.

A familiar face

He was also a familiar face at the Kadappakada Sports Club and Reading Room. While in Kollam, he used to go to the club regularly and through that had a lot of close friends and acquaintances at Kadappakada.

In his honour, the club had organised a ``Devaraga Sandhya.'' Devarajan stayed in Kollam for three days to be present for the programme.

During those three days, in spite of ill health, he had taken the trouble to call on his old Kadappakada friends, his friends recalled.