Vijay Poolakkal 

A Writer's Notebook

 A Writer's Cradle

My immediate elder brother Jayaraj was my inspiration for writing short stories. Jayaraj used to write detective stories and suspense thrillers, some of which were published in the Malayalam weekly "Janayugam".  We had a handwritten 'monthly' magazine too, where we attempted our earlier literary skills. This magazine was circulated amongst our friends at the Tea Estate. Interestingly, our magazine was read by children and adults alike. We had tremendous following.

As we grew up, my brother discontinued this passion on joining Merchant Navy. I moved to Calcutta. Bengal has a rich heritage in literature, and I soon found myself spending my evenings and holidays discussing novels, short stories and poetry at a small literary circle.  My friends would criticize my writings, debate on my view points, suggest modifications in my stories and if found crap, simply toss them into waste paper basket. They helped my confidence grow. 

After I returned to Kerala, it was Dr K Sasi, my best friend and colleague who encouraged me to continue my literary pursuit.  Ever since, he would first read my short stories or novel, correct them, suggest modifications, before I send them for publication.  I am indeed greatly indebted to him.

Theyyam

The Theyyam or Teyyaattam of the erstwhile North Malabar area in Kerala is unique among the ritual dances of South India.  Teyyattam literally means the dance of God, Teyyam being a corrupt form of the word Daivam or God.  The performer in Teyyattam impersonates the popular deity and dances to the tune of the resounding music and the rhythmic beating of a number of drums accompanied by clarion and a large number of cymbals.  The dance is staged primarily in Kali Temples and the performers are usually belong to a particular tribe or caste. 

Read about such rituals in the novel "Taravad - An Ancestral Story". Sample chapters can be read at https://vijaypnair.webs.com/Sample_Chapters_Taravad2.docx

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