Bringing alive memories of a Sanskrit poet

Mangottasseri Krishnan Namboodiripad passed away in 1981 but is still remembered with reverence by Sanskrit lovers. For, Krishnan Namboodiripad left behind a rich body of poetic works in Sanskrit.

Proof of his popularity, though limited to the dwindling tribe of Sanskrit lovers, was publication of ‘Kavyanjali,' a collection of his poems, at Gandhi Park in Payyannur in February.

‘Kavyanjali' is the fruit of two years of sincere efforts made by K.H. Subramanian, one the poet's many admirers,” Mukundan Mangotri, Krishnan Namboodiripad's son, said in Kozhikode.

The function at Payyannur was one of the few occasions when the literary world was reminded about Krishnan Namboodiripad and his literary contributions.

For the best part of his life, Krishnan, educated in Gurukula system, remained relatively unknown. He lived like a recluse confined to his ‘illam,' as houses of Namboodiri's are known, in Karikad in Malappuram district.

Mukundan, who now lives in Karikkad, Manjeri, recalls his father had even shied away from an invitation to receive a literary prize because the venue of the award -function was four km away.

Though almost an unknown figure in his own State, Krishnan Namboodiripad's Sanskrit poems won encomiums in some other parts of the country. His poems found a place in Samskrita Pratibha, a Kendra Sahitya Akademi publication, and ‘Sagarika,' published by Sagar University.

Krishnan Namboodirpad's literary works and worth as a Sanskrit writer would have faded out of public memory but for the efforts of his son, Mukundan, and his admirers who believe the poet has not received the recognition he deserved.

Those who have read his poems hold him in high esteem. The former Vice-Chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam K.G. Paulose, for example, has included Krishnan Namboodipad's articles as lessons in a book published under the title ‘Lakhu Samskritam.' Publications like ‘Students' Voice,' published from Manjeri, continue to publish his articles.

‘Kavyanjali', edited by Dr. Subramanyan and published recently by Kannur–based Kairali Books features Nambooripad's short and long poems and articles on the poet and his poems by S. Vasudevan and Subramanian.

Mukundan believes in the none too distant future, his father's worth as a Sanskrit writer would be recognised by all true lovers of literature. Krishnan Nambooripad had translated Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali into Sanskrit under the title ‘Bhavagitanjali.'

Mukundan's next project is to publish this work, properly annotated and in Malayalam. “I do not think finding a publisher is not going to be difficult,” says Mukundan.

R. Madhavan Nair

‘Kavyanjali' features Krishnan Nambooripad's short and long poems and articles on him.

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