INSTANT POET – KODUNGALLUR KUNJUKUTTAN THAMPURAN

During the feudal days, knowedge of Latin and Greek was the criterion for recognising a gentleman, as a learned man. English was not considred a language. There was much opposition to translating bible into English.

Almost a similar approach was noticeable in India. Here Samskrutam was the language of the elite.  All dicussions and philosophical debates were in that language, including poetry, drama etc. The poet who first wrote his poetry in Malayalam was rediculed as a half poet! Malaayala had no grammar even. It was just a dialect. More than half of its words were borrowed from Tamil. When, the writers began using it, they added Samskrutam words liberally. Today, it is a mixture of both. English phrases were blindly translated into Samskrutised Malayalam. Konakam, a piece of cloth used as cover to hide private parts, became coupeenam.
Kodungallur Kunjukuttan Thampuran (K.T.), a close friend of my maternal grandfather, who was very intelligent and took interest in literature and arts, from whom I must have inherited  something in this direction, translated the whole MAHABHARATAM into simple Malayalam sans Samskrutam words. I strongly recommend this book to every Keralite, as our great epic is not only the greatest anti-war propaganda, but it is a source of wisdom.

They say, there is nothing that is not found in this book.
There is an anecdot about how K.T. was doing his translation.
Hearing about this great venture, the populr poet Vallathol, who established  Kalamandalam, at Cheruthuruti, Shoranur, near Bharatapuzha, went to see him. K.T., who was concentrating on a thick volume and dictating to three men well versed in the art of hearing, retaining in memory a whole stanza and writing down at lightning speed, as there is no short hand in my language. Vallathol thought he was dictating what he had already written in the book. When he came close, his surprise knew no bounds to see that K.T. WAS INDEED CONCENTATING ON THE SAMSKRUTAM TEXT AND DICTATING THE MALAYALAM VERSION !
As he cannot wait even for a moment, he engaged three men. He took no time in doing the tranlation into Malayalam. If his writers forgot something and wanted K.T. TO REPEAT A PARTIULAR STANZA, HE WOLD SAY A NEW  ONE !
Now, if some one is able to perform such a feat, he will find a mention in the guinnes BOOK OF RECORDS

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