Poets are mysterious, they hide a sea of emotions in a single word. But though he appears in no mood to hide his feelings behind a cloud of poetry, Girish Puliyoor still mystifies you. The reason why we sat talking at the lush green lawns of Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan was to unravel this face which belongs to that of a poet the whole world knows and of an Ayurvedic medic that few have got to know.
Girish Puliyoor, poet, lyricist, TV anchor and commentator, also has Ayurveda in his veins. Born into the Puliyoor ‘vaidya’ family tracing its roots back to two centuries, steeped in the traditional medical practice, Girish simply could not resist the pull. When his father, Ayurvedic physician L.Sreedharan Nair breathed his last, he left it upon his son to infuse life into the family tradition.
Now, almost 10 years after he took up the mantle of Puliyoor Herbal Centre at Panaikode, near Nedumangad, Girish has turned an entrepreneur who best knows his selling points.
But on this day, it was to Girish Puliyoor’s new venture in writing that we steered our talks to. It is the best a physician-poet could think of. Girish has compiled his memories of being born and brought up in a family following Ayurveda, of learning by watching his father at work, of getting to know the Nature and its inhabitants around, of calling each plant by its name and realising its goodness and of all those times when poetry and Ayurveda dug its nail deep into his being. The work titled ‘Ore Oru Adhyayam’ (Only One Chapter) would soon be out which is also his first step to an autobiography.
“If I don’t put it down now, I might forget them. For, my village is fast changing, my house has undergone changes, the aesthetics of Malayalis has changed and the society
itself is changing. New things are coming like a tide into our lives. I thought it’s time I put down the first 15 years of my life which are also my first encounters with Ayurveda,’’ Girish reasons.
The man is nurturing hopes to start a treatment centre in the city where he could take his product- a medicated herbal hair oil- to more people.
At the Nedumangad centre he has a manufacturing unit which has two Ayurveda doctors, pharmacists and workers who make the oil as per demand.
Of late, Girish has started packing six bottles together instead of selling loose bottles.
“The theory is however hard you may try, there would be changes when you make a product one day and the next day. The proportion might change. So, we pack the oil made on a single day into six bottles for the user to get better results,’’ Girish says.
The oil is made out of 18 herbs and Girish could tell you the name of each one and its qualities. In fact, he can tell you the good things of ‘chembarathy’ and ‘muringayila’ in the same pace as he recites a poem. The good thing about Ayurveda is that you get to know the plants by its identity, he says.
Then why did he not choose his father’s profession and become a physician? “For that you have to be available at one place for the patients. I lead a wayward life. I roam about, I travel, I do many things with my time. I am holding on to Ayurveda because there are efforts to tamper with its goodness, to market it for the sole purpose of money. I want to do my bit to preserve its purity,’’ Girish rues.
This coming from a man who has penned lyrics for 60 Malayalam serials, including the hits like ‘Peythozhiyathe’ and ‘Ente Manasa Putri’, leaves one baffled. Currently, four serials are on air whose title songs have been written by him.
He is a familiar face in major channels, either judging the reality show participants or reciting poems to audience. He has six poetry collections to his credit and a short story for children.
He lives at Gourishapattom in the city with wife Smitha Murali, the daughter of Left leader and theatre person Pirappancode Murali, and daughter Akshara. When asked, if one could get his oil from other shops, Girish yells ‘No’.
“It’s like Ayyappan’s
‘aravana’, you have to go to Sabarimala to get hold of it,’’ he bursts out into a laugh.
Girish can be reached at puliyoorherbalcentre@
gmail.com or ring up 9447388170.