KOCHI: Well-known kathakali artist and percussionist Kalamandalam Kesavan, 73, died here following a heart attack on Saturday. Kesavan, who had been suffering from diabetes and renal diseases for some time now, was admitted to a private hospital in Kochi on Thursday. The end came at 5 am. He is survived by wife Parvathy, daughter Sudha and sons Suresh and Sasidharan.
The body was later shifted to his house at Elamakkara and then to the Changampuzha Park for the public to pay their respects. He was cremated at the Edappally crematorium in the evening with full state honours. The pyre was lit by Kesavan’s eldest son Suresh.
A multi-faceted personality, Kesavan had essayed roles in films, including ‘Kathanayakan’ and ‘Vanaprastham,’ and penned poems and written short plays for kathakali. He had also contributed for the uplift of kathakali sangeetham.
He had been working at the FACT’s Kathakali School here as chenda master for over 20 years.
People from all walks of life paid their last respects to Kesavan. They included Opposition leader Oommen Chandy, Fisheries Minister S Sarma and KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, K Chandran Pillai MP, K Babu MLA, Kalamandalam Deemed Cultural University Vice- Chancellor Prof K G Paulose, kathakali artists Kalamandalam Gopi, Kalamandalam Sugandhi, cine artists Sai Kumar, Bindu Panicker and Urmila Unni, script writer John Paul, Kalady Sanskrit University former Vice- Chancellor K S Radhakrishnan, Desabhimani Resident Editor P Rajeev and poet Chemmanam Chacko.
In a condolence message, Fisheries Minister S Sarma said Kesavan had secured a place for himself in percussion arts. Script writer John Paul said that Kesavan excelled in acting and was keen to study more about films. Kalamandalam Sugandhi said Kesavan was a guiding spirit for her in her profession.