Follow Up

A nostalgic song to steal the show

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016,20:23 IST By metrovaartha A A A

“Innaleyude varaveena murukki
Innin eenaminakki…
Dr. Aryambika is indeed lucky to pen these lines for the 56 th Kerala school kalotsavam. This song is selected as the welcome song of the Kalotsavam. Ramesh Narayanan, known as Ustad of Hindustani music is the composer of this beautiful lyrics enriched with the fragrance of nostalgia.
School Arts Festival of Kerala known as Kerala school kalotsavam is an annual event conducted by the state government of Kerala, featuring several art competitions for high school and higher secondary school students of Kerala syllabus. The festival was started in 1956 at Ernakulam SRV High School.
This year’s Kalotsavam is going to take place in the capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram. The coming seven days, the royal city will be in a festive mood.
Aryambika is the Sanskrit teacher in Government Upper Primary School, Poovarani, Pala. The inaugural ceremony of the Kalotsavam starts with this welcome song. When this song is sung by 56 music teachers of the different schools in the city,  56 children match footsteps along with the song.
“This, ofcourse will be one of the precious moments in life”, says Aryambika.  Her house itself has a rhythm of music. Her father, the late Edanadu K.N. Viswanathan Nair, was an expert in ‘Akshara Slokam’. It is a traditional way of Sloka chanting, a poetic entertainment developed in the Malayalam language.  It is in a classical format with strict rules on the meter of quatrains called slokas or mukthaka.
As an inherited gift from her father, she too naturally got attached to the world of music. She had got the chance to write the title song for the programme ‘Sutharya Keralam’. Now, she is blessed to pen the lyrics for the Kalotsavam. M.S. Jaya, the education director was approaching her to write the welcome song.
When we ask about the transformation of a teenager, who received lots of prizes in Kalotsavam to a lyricist for the same Kalotsavam, Aryambika, just smiles and says, “It is by the blessings of all, my parents, teachers”.
She had attained the second prize for ‘Kavyakeli’, in Kerala school kalolsavam, in 1996, held in Kottayam. She was crowned by ‘Kalathilakam’ in three times. When she was doing her Pre degree, Degree and Post graduation in Sree Sankara University, Kalady, again, attained ‘Kalathilakam’ crown by participating in ‘Kavyakeli’ and story writing. “It was not mandatory to participate in dance programmes to get ‘Kalathilakam’, in those days”, says teacher.
She took M.Phil in Sanskrit literature from Sree Sankara College, Kalady. “My father is my ever role model. From him, I learned to recite poems and none other than him, who encouraged me to walk through the literary world. What I was, what I am and what I ought to be, of course, I owe to my father”, says Aryambika.
Her mother and sister are Sanskrit teachers. So she opted Sanskrit as her subject. Her sister Annapoorna Devi is an associate professor in Sanskrit, in Thiruvananthapuram Women’s college. Adjacent to her house, there is a study centre for Akshara Slokam, named ‘Akshara Sloka Rangam’ started by her father.  Now it is run by she and her mother, along with old disciples Anakha, Athira, Jayalakshmi. Many come to learn Sloka and poem recitation.
She is the recipient of Kendra Sahitya Academy Youth Award for her anthology of 30 poems,  ‘Thonniya Poloru Puzha’ last year.  Her first anthology, ‘Mannankattayum, Kariyilayum’ , too received acknowledgment and gained Ayyappa Panikkar and Vyloppilly awards. Her husband is Sreedas. One son, Sreenandan, a UKG student.