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Lawyer pursuing poetry

"Poetry is born only from conflict."

Anil Panachooran

Anil Panachooran, a lawyer by profession, shares his poetic perceptions with Sangeeth Kurian.

He is a lawyer who survives on the royalty he earns from poetry. Anil Panachooran, executive member of the Kayamkulam Bar Association, is blunt when he says his savings as a lawyer in the last three years is just Rs.7,000.

"By profession I may be a lawyer. But for livelihood I depend on poetry," says Mr. Panachooran, whose poem `Anathan' was used by filmmaker Jayaraj in his `Makalkku' (To My Daughter). The film tells the story of a mentally deranged woman, played by Shobhana, who wanders the street and her child taken care of by a doctor, played by Suresh Gopi. Mr. Panachooran along with Kaithapram Damodaran Nambootiri scored the lyrics for the film. The theme of the film, based on a story written by news photographer Rajan Poduval, also had a striking similarity to the content of `Anathan,' written way back in 1991.

"My poem is also about a mentally deranged woman who wanders the street after delivering her child on a public road," says Mr. Panachooran. He wrote the poem inspired by an experience he had as an eighth class student at Kayamkulam. "I happened to see a mentally ill middle-aged woman giving birth to a baby on the street. She was bleeding and writhing with birth pangs and there was no one to help. The gory image remained etched on my mind until it came out as a poem." `Anaadhan,' along with four other poems focussing on contemporary issues and human emotions such as romance, frustration and loneliness, was brought out as a cassette in 1994.

While many people find an inherent contradiction in being a lawyer and a poet at the same time, as the former entails a love of logic and the latter a dedication to dreaminess, Mr. Panachooran is perfectly at ease with both the worlds. "The fact that I am practising as an independent lawyer gives me ample time to spend on poetry. Moreover, art is a by-product of conflict. Poetry is born only from conflict," Mr. Panachooran observes.

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