G. Sankara Kurup (1901-1978), widely known as 'G' in Kerala, the recipient of the first Jnan-pith Award for his collection of poems 'Otak-kuzhal' (The Flute), was a celebrated Malayalam poet with social commitment. His poetic calibre and philosophy, attracted the Indian mind, transcending the limitations and barriers of the regional languages. `G' is spiritual; yet the feet of his thought and inspiration are firmly planted on earth. Devotional ecstacies gain an energetic tempo and assertion in his later poems such as Visvadarsanam (The Vision of Universe), which won the Akademi Award in 1963. " 'G' in poetics was what Nehru was in politics".
Prof. M. Leelavathi, the recipient of various honours including Sahitya Akademi Award for her Kavitadhwani, is a well-known critic in Malayalam. She has published more than 15 books in Malayalam comprising those of criticism, biography, essays and translations. In this small monograph she gives a reliable assessment of the works of G. Sankara Kurup, and evaluates his contribution to Malayalam literature for the benefit of non-Malayalee readers.
A poet is born ; not made. In the same way a literary tradition also is born ; not deliberately created by a set of people with conscious effort. History of Malayalam Poetry is a story that extends to less than a millennium. In the very beginning, a synthesis of two traditions had taken place—The Dravidian tradi-tion of Song and the Aryan tradition of Sanskrit poetry. Folk songs and the literary genre ' Pattu ' (Literally songs) belonged to the first and the other, Manipravala (literally a literary dialect which is a hybrid product of synthesis of the language of the region and Sanskrit) belonged to the second. The hybrid character of Malayalam Language and Literature has been, years ago, meta-phorically described as blending of two rivers, Ganga and Yamuna. The metaphor is, even now, applicable to Malayalam poetry especially in its dictional aspect. The inner character of the two streams of poetry, i.e. Pattu and Manipravala, had a marked difference in the beginning. The extemporaneous folk-songs, as they do everywhere, expressed the emotions of the common folk, their hopes, fears, prayers, desires and sorrows, in the simple colloquial dialects of the day. The literary genre Pattu ' was in itself the product of an earlier union of two heritages. Stories from Itihasas ' and Puranas were the themes in Pattu ', in general. But the vocabulary had to be purely ' Dravidian ' in the earliest stage. The compounding in that respect also was effected very soon, despite a negligible amount of hesitation and apprehensions on the part of the authors, as to how it would be received by the common people, during the initial stages. In the Maniprav Ala tradition, the early phase exhibited shallow upper class predilections, whereas, the heroic and devotional sublimity had been upheld by Pattu literature. In due course of time, a synthesis in this aspect also occured. By the 16th-17th centuries, the period of our greatest poet, Ezhuttacchan, spiritual leader and reformist, Pattu' literature had fully imbibed the Manipravala diction. In the subsequent period, Manipravala reciprocated, imbibing the sublime tradition of Pattu. Thus the hiatus between the two gradually decreased, and an unceremonious fusion eventually ensued without any consciously planned endeavour towards it.
An unconscious affinity for the sublime, the mystic, the spiritual and the devotional aspects of life, is a dissolved mineral content in the stream of poetry of Ezhuttacchan and his contemporaries in the 16th-17th century ; of Kumaran Asan and some others in the beginning of this century ; of G. Sankara Kurup and a few others in the subsequent period. This and the lyrical element are the continuation of Pattu tradition. The dictional characteristics of Manipravala have the story of a similar lineage. A culmi- of the synthesis of the two also coincided with the Romanic revolution that occured in the wake of this century. Manipravala in its simple or complex form, according to relevance, and the Dravidian musical heritage melted together to form an alloy to be used in vehicles of aviation to the Romantic heights. It is this elevation that we witness in G. Sankara Kurup's poetry. Simplicity and lyricism of Dravidian tradition is retained ; The manipravala legacy is maintained whenever certain emotional intellectual aura can be thus easily attained.
In diction, cultural heritage, thought-content, sentiments, imagery, and imaginative concepts G's poetry has, in general, an Indian character. This makes it comparatively easy to translate the poems into other Indian Languages. Sankara Acharya from Kerala, ascended the Sarvajna Peetha, not on the strength of his knowledge alone ; but because he could express his knowledge and his new philosophy in a language common to the intellectuals all over India, in those days. Similarly, G was honoured with the first Jnana Peetha Award, not merely on the strength of his poetic calibre and philosophy but because the common cultural heritage in his poetry, appealed to the Indian mind transcending the limitations and barriers of the regional languages. He has contributed his mite for the revival of the old ' Indian character ' of our national literature.
In the following pages, a humble attempt is made to tell the thrilling story of the rise of an individual from the state of a regional obscure bard to tl-e heights of glory as a national poet. The adventures, response to. challenges and the victory are all the more exciting as they belong to a self-made individual. But the most inspiring of all is the fact that to understand the ' Big Heart ' pulsating within G's poetry is to live in unison with the dynamic response of one of the finest minds of our time, to the events, past and present, and to the dreams and aspirations regarding future of mankind in general, and the suffering humanity, in particular.
Item Code: NAQ559 Author: M. Leelavathi Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 1990 Publisher: Sahitya Akademi Language: English Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch Pages: 92 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.1 Kg