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Edasseri Govindan Nair : ウィキペディア英語版
Edasseri Govindan Nair

Edasseri Govindan Nair ((マラヤーラム語:ഇടശ്ശേരി ഗോവിന്ദൻ നായർ); 23 December 1906 – 16 October 1974) was a prominent Indian poet from Kerala who wrote in his native Malayalam tongue. His works include 19 books and over 300 poems in 10 anthologies, 6 books of plays and a collection of essays.
Born on Kuttippuram, in Malappuram District in Kerala (India) on 23 December 1906. Father was P. Krishna Kurup and mother Edasseri Kalathil Kunjukutty Amma. The child was named "Govindan", a very common name meaning "Lord Krishna".
"Edasseri Kalathil" is the name of Tharavad or ancestral home. Being "Nair" by caste Govindan was subjected to the matriarchal custom which was prevalent amongst Nairs. The custom placed mother's eldest brother as head of family or "Karanavar" and in a position of economic power and decision making in the family. The Karanavar was expected to manage the property and meet the needs of the sister and her children. But the system had degenerated and neglect of the nephews by the Karanavars had become rampant. Edasseri Tharavad had fallen to hard days on account of poverty. Govindan received hardly any support from the Tharavad and the sad demise of his father in 1921 brought Govindan's education to an abrupt end at primary level itself. His mother ardently wished to admit him to the High School, but she did not have the means.
Faced with the harshness of poverty the son thought only how to take up a paying job so that he could earn sufficient income to save his mother from the pangs of hunger. With this aim in mind he went to the town of Alappuza with his cousin called Sankarettan. There was to be no pay during apprenticeship, just a dole to keep body and soul together!
At Alappuza, he managed to give tuition and could save Rs. 2/- when an acquaintance from the home village, Kuttippuram, happened to visit Alappuza. Edasseri entrusted the princely amount of Rs. 2/- to him for buying a blanket for his mother. But, as fate would have it, the mother was not lucky to receive the amount, for she was by then stricken with smallpox and died on the day previous to the day the man arrived at Kuttippuram. Edasseri never recovered from this sense of unredeemed debt. His inconsolable sadness later found expression in the poem "Bimbisarante Edayan (Shepherd of King Bimbisara)".
After working as a clerical apprentice under Sankarettan for ten months, Edasseri joined M. Krishna Menon as a resident assistant clerk. During this period he came in contact with Manjoor Parameswaran Pillai in Alappuza and a highly erudite person. Thus far Edaseri's literary world was confined to a few works of Ezhuthachan (considered as father of Malayalam poetry- Adhyatma Ramayanam being his masterpiece), Cherusseri, Kunjan Nambiyar, Venmani poets, Naduvam and Vallathol. Association with Manjoor greatly enlarged Edasseri's capacity to appreciate good literature. The duo was in fact madly in love with literature paying more attention to literary discussions and reading to the neglect of their office work. This trait obviously did not make them any dearer to those under whom they were working. Once the friends went up to the Pier of Alappuza to receive a copy of "Malayala Manorama" in which the celebrated poem "Kochu Seetha (The Little Seetha)" was being published in serial. So much was their eagerness to read the poem that they altogether forgot about the clients waiting for them in their offices! The employers did not take to their love of poetry kindly which according to them was nothing more than an "obsession with titillation"! Edasseri did not dispute his employer, but had to remain humble. As a result he had to be secretive about his literary activities and ensure that it did not in any way interfere with the long hours of office work. At the end of seven years when he decided to return to Kuttippuram, Edasseri was not very confident professionally. As for Manjoor, he never overcame poverty so much so that in the later years when on occasions he visited Edasseri, despite his own unenviable finances the latter would secretly place some cash in his friend's pocket without the knowledge even of his wife.
During 1929–30 ''Edasseri'' worked under Thalasseri Kunhirama Menon in Kozhikode, a town 65 k.m north of Kuttippuram. Those days it was very common amongst the youth to seek employment in Malaysia and Singapore. Edasseri also decided to go to Singapore and arranged with a person who was to shortly arrive from Singapore to take him. He left his job in Kozhikode and returned to Kuttippuram. But unfortunately for Edasseri, the person did not leave the shore of Singapore, but died in that alien land. Unemployed and no prospect of migrating overseas, Edasseri tried his hand as an informal advocate in Panchayat courts, but found that being a clerk was far better and settled for that in a small town Ponani 15 k.m west of Kuttippuram. By 1934 he had accepted being a clerk as his formal vocation and worked under Rama Menon. It is important to note that those days literary activities did not pay in financial terms. We thus find Edasseri always torn between the office which was his livelihood and literary activities which was indeed his life's mission. His close association with the common folks in the course of his profession did help deep understanding of man and brought realism and variety to his writings. This association with people of Ponani made him dear to the people who loved and respected him as Govindan Nair, the person -not the poet- who was always there by their side to solve their problems.
Edasseri married Edakkandi Janaki Amma in mid-January 1938. The grooms were already known to each other as Mr. Raghavan Nair, a lover of literature and maternal uncle of Janaki Amma used to lovingly invite Edasseri to his residence where the two had met. In Edasseri's words: "This bride must have been created by Brahma -the creator- specially for me, a girl simple and madly in love with verses, so much so that she did not find it odd to copy in the same note book the Keertans of Sankaracharya (the metaphysical) and also the translation of verses that I had scribbled from "Pushpabana Vilasam" (a work of sensual romance); only because both were in verse!" This simple girl remained the eternal inspiration to Edasseri in poetry and a source of immense confidence.
Edasseri started writing poems at the early age of twelve although it is inconceivable that there existed a congenial environment in the Tharavad to nurture this talent. Nevertheless, his mother used to recite Ramayana daily and his sister used to tell mythological stories to him and these two indeed stroked the poetic talent in him. Yet another influence was Sankunni Menon the Malayalam teacher in the Primary school who used to recite poetry in great style and in melodious tune.
Edasseri had his formal education till eighth class and it was with his own efforts he learned both English and Sanscrit. In this endeavour both Nalappat Narayana Menon (a well known poet of the time, reverently referred to as Nalappadan) and Kuttikrishna Marar (a scholar and literary critic) helped Edasseri.

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