THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: If your Malayalam is not good, it only means that your linguistic skills have not been used to their full potential, and do not in any way contribute to a better fluency in English, K Jayakumar, Vice-Chancellor of Malayalam University, has said. He was speaking at the release of Gopikrishnan Kottoor’s book ‘Nectar of the Gods - King Marthanda Varma and Devasahayam’ at the Press Club here on Wednesday.
Applauding the chaste English employed by the author, the poet and former Chief Secretary said that writers like Gopikrishnan enrich Indian writing in English. He underscored the need to ensure proficiency both in English and Malayalam among our students. “For a writer, using English that is coloured by the influence of one’s mother tongue is like trying to escape the gravitational pull of the earth. Gopikrishnan has achieved this laudable feat,” he said.
‘Nectar of the Gods’ is Gopikrishnan’s twelfth book and is a play based on the little-known history of the execution of the Nair noble Devasahayam for converting to Christianity under the influence of the the Dutch naval commander Eustachius De Lannoy. Kottoor, a senior Reserve Bank officer, is the author of the book of poems ‘Vrindavan -The Coloured Yolk of Love’ and several other poetry collections and novels. He also founded and edited the poetry quarterly ‘Poetry Chain’ and currently edits the online poetry magazine undergroundflowers.com.
RBI regional director Nirmal Chand received the first copy of the book. S Adikesavan, Chief General Manager, SBT, shared his memories about growing up in Puliyoor Kurichi, where the play is set and which houses historically significant structures like the Udayagiri Fort and tomb of De Lannoy who was in the service of Marthanda Varma after being defeated by the king in the Battle of Colachel. C K Thomas, Deputy Director of Doordarshan Kendra, Thrissur, and Devi Prasad, General Manager, SBT, also spoke. The visual adaptation of two scenes from the play, shot by the author himself, was screened after the release.