Saturday, Feb 15, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
Office-bearers of the Premji Trust, who organised the function, had made special efforts to ensure that the function was devoid of its usual formalities. Even the selection of the venue under the canopy of the huge trees on the campus of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi had been made with this consideration. The soothing Santoor recital of Hari Alamkode that invoked many nostalgic images of cultural history of human society on many occasions had set the mood of the programme. The accompaniment provided by Phillip Francis added to the grace of the recital.
Apparently inspired by the mood of the silent introspection, Prof. Pillai read one of his poems `Prarthikkunnuvenkil Ingine' (`If one were to pray, it must be like this') which also had many nostalgic images of the innocent happiness of a village to the advent of the microphone and at the same time reminding the subsequent cruel transformations in society.
The writer, Neelan, recalled the days when life in Thrissur was true to the experience of living in the cultural capital of the city. Those were the days when the writers, painters, theatre and film activists, and those engaged in all forms of creative activity felt a oneness and warmth of human relationships. The houses of people like Prof. Pillai and the renowned poets like the late Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon and Attur Ravi Varma were then the meeting points of creative personalities from various fields. Even the artists and critics from outside the State like Maya Thanberg and Ashish Rajadhyaksha had all been coming to these houses on many occasions. Those were the days when the creative personalities had been free from the stifling clutches of their ego and selfish interests.
"But Thrissur is like a drained up river now. We all know that there is no point in lamenting about the loss of those days. But there is a pleasure in remembering about those days,'' Mr. Neelan said.
P.N. Das and C. Rajendran also spoke on the occasion. Arya Antharjanam, wife of Premji, presented a plaque to Prof. Pillai at the function.
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