Poet Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri, who received the Padma Shri this year, was felicitated at his residence at Thycaud on Thursday.
The function was organised by the ‘Anyonyam’ cultural forum. The poet said that he was relieved that the Padma Shri was conferred upon him both for his poetry and his talent as a teacher.
The Padma Shri continues to be a source of surprise as poets such as VyloppillI Sreedhara Menon, Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri and P Kunhiraman Nair have not received a Padma Shri.
Also, he did not rate himself as a good poet, Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri said. But he considered himself to be a good teacher, a profession which he enjoyed.
The writing of poetry, he said, was also a part of teaching, he said.
When When Prof Rajalakshmi recited ‘Dalai Lamayum Thumbiyum’, a poem by Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri, on the occasion, he recalled how he had organised meetings on the plight of Tibetans, a people who were forced to live in exile.
He also recalled his meeting with the Dalai Lama who, he said, was a living Buddha.
Lyricists Sreekumaran Thampi and Gireesh Puliyoor, former chief secretary C P Nair, journalist and writer C Rahim and Saritha Varma were among those present.