Dr PK Warrier: A healer, a guru and an art lover

Dr P K Warrier had interwoven kathakali with ayurveda and promoted it as tradition of Kerala. He always encouraged talents

Published: 11th July 2021 05:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th July 2021 05:47 AM   |  A+A-

Dr PK Warrier

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Dr PK Warrier, who popularised Kerala’s traditional mode of ayurveda treatment, was also a writer and an admirer of classical art forms. He played a key role in popularising Kathakali. Though PSV Natyasangham, the centre for kathakali training and performance, was  founded by Vaidyaratnam P S Warrier, it flourished under the patronage of P K Warrier.

The Natyasangham has grown into a centre of national repute thanks to the efforts of P K Warrier. The Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala organises monthly kathakali performances at the Viswambhara Moorthy temple located next to the hospital which provides an opportunity to the patients undergoing treatment at the hospital to refresh their minds.

Renowned kathakali artists like Pattikkanthodi Ravunni Menon and Guru Kunchu Kurup had trained students at PSV Natyasangham and almost all leading artists in Kerala have associated with it. There were instances where foreigners who visit Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Sala got fascinated by kathakali and arranged performances in their countries. Artists from PSV Natyasangham have performed in countries like Germany, France, Switzerland, China, Korea and Indonesia. 

“Dr P K Warrier had a great passion for kathakali and he used to keenly watch our performance at Viswambhara Moorthy temple. I was introduced to him as a child and he used to personally enquire about our health. The PSV Natyasangham has nurtured many talented kathakali artists and his patronage helped many talented artists,” said kathakali maestro Kalamandalam Gopi.

Dr PK Warrier always encouraged talented artists. I have performed at Viswambhara Moorthy temple many times and he keenly watched my performance. He used to give suggestions for the annual ayurvedic massage of kathakali artists,” said veteran kathakali artist Nelliyodu Vasudevan Namboothiri.

Dr Warrier had told us that Kottakkal Arya Viadya Sala will encourage kathakali till it exists, said kathakali singer Kottakkal Madhu. “He was a visionary and used to give us advice on maintaining good health. PSV Natyasangham has played a key role in popularising kathakali. The Arya Vaidya Sala has played a key role in popularising kathakali as many people who arrive at Kottakkal for treatment get fascinated with the art and invite us to their country,” he said.There are around 40 kathakali artists at PSV Natyasangham who have been benefited by the patronage given by Arya Vaidya Sala. Dr Warrier used to present dresses to artists on the occasion of Onam and many artists, including Kalamandalam Gopi, considered it an honour to receive the Onapudava from him. 

Kathakali performances are held at Viswambhara Moorthy temple every month and during festival days like Onam, Vishu, Pooja festival and Ashtami Rohini, the birthday of Lord Krishna. Besides there will be kathakali performances on five days during the temple festival. He had interwoven kathakali with ayurveda and promoted it as the tradition of Kerala.

Dr P K Warrier had made an eye donation declaration 12 years ago and soon after his death both his eyes were taken on Saturday. A medical team from Comtrust Eye Hospital, Kozhikode, collected the corneas of his eyes. “In 2009 he was admitted to Comtrust Hospital for cataract surgery. It was during that time he signed the eye donation form,” said Dr Nisha Vasanth, senior consultant at the hospital. The eyes have to be taken within six hours of death and the team reached Kottakkal long before the stipulated time. A hospital staffer remembered that while returning after surgery from Comtrust, Warrier gave a beautiful gift to the then medical director Dr Leila Mohan. “It was a golden locket with picture of Lord Krishna embedded on it, “ said the hospital staffer. 

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