My Strength

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Curse Less Blessing

A casual conversation with a friend of mine on why animals can't speak made me recollect at once a story narrated by my grandmother in my childhood. Yamraj, the god of death was at the doorstep of a person to take him from the earth. As the man was having his supper, he waited outside the house as it is unfair to take a person while having food. The cow which belonged to the house owner gave a message to him that Yamraj is waiting outside and he shouldn't stop having supper so that he can escape from his clutches. Yamraj became very angry and cursed the cow: "From today, you will be dumb.". From that day, all the animals became dumb.

Not one, our history is replete with instances of CURSE changing the course of life. The Bhagavat and the whole family story of Lord Krishna starts with a curse on King Parikshit by a saint and ends with a curse on Krishna by Gandhari. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana will give you at every point an incident of curse. We can't imagine what course these stories would have taken without CURSE. You will be surprised to find that CURSE played a more vital role in changing lives than blessings.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

An Unsung sacrifice...... A reading of Thomas Campbell's LORD ULLIN 'S DAUGHTER

The poem LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER by Campbell is taught an d read or taught to be read as a tragic ballad of a couple who meet death in the raging sea due to an uncomp romising father who disapproves their rela tionship. His realisatio n cost of his daughter 's life.The focus in rea ding this poem has al ways been seen to be on two areas-one,the loss of life of the inno cent girl and her lover,the consequent sympathy for them and the indignation towards authority;tw o,the realisation of a father who fails to be human and the coloss al loss he incurs.The poem starts when the chieftain with his beloved request the boatman to take them over the stormy sea to escape from Lord Ullin and his men. The girl says, "I'll meet the rag ing of the skies,but not an angry father". The boatman takes th em despite the inclem ent weather but peris h in the middle of the stormy sea.Lord Ullin reaches the shore wit h his men but finds hi s daughter calling for help and drowning in the sea.He forgives he r but realises it is too late.Over and again re peating these two are as in the discussion of the poem, a grave inju stice is done by overlo oking the sacrifice of the boatman who pur ely on humane ground s braves to help the couple.Knowing well about the stormy wea ther and the waves,he keeps his life at stake to aid the couple to th eir destination."It's no t for your silver bright but for your winsome lady".His words vividl y reveal his altruistic concern.At the end of the poem the pitiable plight of the girl and h er lover is highlighted and there is no menti on of the boatman!ho w sad!His sacrifice is no small! Love or love rs in literature and fil ms have always been portrayed keeping it/t hem as the centre rele gating everything else to the periphery.The same pattern is repea ted here too.It is the duty of the readers to read a literary piece from the periphery to o to unravel hidden and unseen perspectiv es which alone can make literature a mea ningful and refreshing experience.Forgetting the boatman after rea ching the other shore is not only an injustice in a piece of art but it reflects a cultural han dicap of ingratitude.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

with Lohitadas at Ottappalam in 2008

We(myself, my parents,brother,sister-in-law and brother-in-law) stopped at a restaurant in Ottappalam for lunch after visiting some of the famous film locations. After having lunch while coming down to ground floor, my eyes fell on a bearded figure sitting at a table relishing fish fry, simultaneously conversing over mobile. My excitement broke all social barriers and i shouted loudly:LOHITADAS!!!! With shyness and awe i went towards him, stood for a while. Noticing Respecting my presence, he ended the phone call saying: " i will call you back". He gestured me to sit and asked: "Yes, tell me.." I was lost for words. Still i introduced myself and told him how much i liked his films and writings. My brother-in-law was capturing this wonderful meeting with a legend. I told the great writer, "sir, i have written a script for a film. But.." He motivated at once, "then..why don't you go ahead?" i replied,"sir, i don't know the techniques of films and script writing".

Then came out those great words from him which i cherish like a treasure:
"All the techniques are inside us. Go ahead"

I got up thanking him and wishing him the best in future. I was so surprised and awe-struck that i didn't have the guts to ask him his mobile number.

He is a rare writer or a real writer. His body language itself speaks clarity of perception like that of a good teacher or a yogi.

I can't accept that he is physically absent even today. May his soul rest in peace.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

LOSING GROUND-Play by Santhosh Kumar Kana

LOSING GROUND is a play scripted and directed by Santhosh Kumar Kana explolring the ongoing disappearance of playgrounds and the dilemma it creates for children. The play also laments the declining interest in football among the new generation. It was first staged as part of ANNUAL DAY CELEBRATIONS of K.V. Donimalai on May 1st, 2009 at Donimalai, Bellary dist. Karnataka.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kana House-my childhood

KANIKANUM NERAM KAMALA NETRANTE.....this beautiful song still rings in the deep corners of my heart, my grandmother singing it in the evenings and how her voice touched my soul. I miss my grandmother, those good old days.....

at RIMSE, Mysore-a college par excellence

at Bekal Fort

in West Bengal

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Roadside Stand-My views

A Roadside Stand by Robert Frost

-Santhosh Kumar Kana,India.


The poor people at the roadside stand are seen pathetically requesting to the rich (polished traffic) that pass by to give them their daily bread by buying fruits or vegetables from them.

The flow of money from the villages supports the prosperity of the cities.

If at all the polished traffic stopped at the roadside stand, they would complain about the landscape being marred by the artless way the signs are painted and kept.

The road side stand sells wild berries and crook-necked golden squash.

The poet’s complaint is not about the beauty of the landscape being spoilt but about the trust of the poor people being betrayed.

The ruling party has not kept the promise they made to the poor people.


The poet says that the govt. is planning to help the poor settle in villages close to the city, and all their needs would be taken care of but it is a false promise. They are “greedy good-doers” who outwardly proclaim to help the poor but indeed exploit them with calculations for their benefit. The poet finds it difficult to tolerate that the poor people still cherish a hope. At every roadside stand, he finds sadness, a prolonged wait for the rich to stop and buy things. Of all the traffic that passes by a few may stop for these:

To enquire the price

To reverse the vehicle

To ask the way

To ask for a gallon of gas


The polished traffic are selfish and the poet says that they should not disturb the poor any more like the politicians by giving them false hopes and promises. They should put an end to it at once. The poem ends with a note of hope where the poet says that next time he could find the poor in a position to help others in trouble.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My association with Theatre

My initiation into Theatre happened when I was studying in class VI. A professional theatre group in my village called BHAVANA THEATRE approached me with an offer. I have to play the role of Raja Harischandra’s son Lohitaksha in the play. They had seen me doing some amateur stage performances in the village with a set of my friends who used to stage some play or the other on every important festival or occasion. I agreed and was fortunate to come into touch with artists of varied caliber and nature. I used to be paid Rs.15/- for every stage performance. We used to go to far off places to stage the drama.

At college, I again came into contact with theatre lovers and kept getting variety of roles in various theatre competitions. I was also very fond of Mime where I felt the potential of an actor is put to utmost challenge.

It was while doing post-graduation in English at Pondicherry University I got the best training in theatre. The drama department of Pondicherry University is called SOPA (Shankaradas Swamigal School of Performing Arts). The head of the department and the faculty were exponents of Therukoothu and folk arts. Some of them had acted in films too. I got a call from one of the students of the department who was doing his Postgraduation in Theatre. He was planning to make a stage adaptation of Herman Hesse’s renowned novel, SIDDHARTHA and I was asked to play Buddha. It was an unforgettable experience as it blended music and stage movement so effectively to create the impact of a river, the most abiding presence in the novel, on stage. It is here I started getting the initial insight into stage techniques. Then came offers from other students of the department and I did plays like ZOO STORY, THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD (a Tamil adaptation, an offstage attempt) etc. It was during ZOO STORY, i got more tips on character portrayal, dialogue delivery and stage effects.

I started experimenting on stage with humorous skits and serious themes, thus discovering my flair for writing and direction. In my village alongwith a group of my friends, I staged a musical adaptation of the poet Edassery’s “Poothappattu” where I learnt more about direction and script writing from stage experience. It continued when I started working in school where I slowly discovered good sets of actors and technicians to give life to my ideas on stage. The recent one was staged for the annual day of our school, scripted and directed by me about a genuine problem faced by children in the age of real estate boom.

1. Faculties of SOPA
2. Mr. Deepan Sivaraman
3. Mr. V.S.Biju
4. Mr. Jyotish
5. Mr.Shibu. S. Kottaram
6. Mr.Pramod Payyanur
7. Mr. Shajahan
8. All the actors and technicians of BHAVANA THEATRE, Manakkad, Karivellur.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Moments of Honour

Sri M.V.Karunakaran Master, Headmaster, H.I.M.U.P.School, Kalpetta,
Wynad district receiving the Best Teacher State Award from the Chief
Minister of Kerala, Sri.E.K. Nayanar on 05.09.1989 at VJT Hall,

Sri.M.V. Karunakaran Master, when he was Headmaster at H.I.M.U.P.
School, Kalpetta, Wynad district.


“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell, where his influence stops.”
A Tribute to my father, Sri M.V.Karunakaran
“Teaching is the noblest and the sorriest of all professions”- M.V.KarunakaranPROFILE
Date of Birth: 10.09.1935
Father: Sri Kadinjiyil Krishnan Nair (1881-Oct.4th 1963)
Mother: Smt. Manakkat Veetil Lakshmi Amma (1900-17th March 1977)
Joined as a teacher on 03.06.1957
Marriage: 26.05.1970
Retired from service on 30.04.1991

Kerala State Aaward for Best Teacher in 1989
Ref: The Mathrubhumi dated 05.09.1988, Monday for detailed news

Received the award from the then Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala Sri. E.K. Nayanar on 05.09.1989.

Positions Held
School Complex Secretary
Wynad district Academic Council Executive Member
Secretary, Science Exhibition, cultural activities and sports
District Science Association Member
Vaithiri subdistrict Academic Council Member, Secretary, Treasurer and President
Founder of scouts and guides at the school
President, Vaithiri Subdistrict K.P.T.U. & K.P.T.U.Wynad district committee member
President, School Co-op. Society
Kalpetta Saksharatha Academic Executive Member

The Odyssey of Struggle and Success
Sri. M.V. Karunakaran was born as the fifth of the six sons of his parents Sri Kadinjiyil Krishnan Nair and Smt. Lakshmi Amma on 10th Sept 1935. It was a middle class Nair family at Manakkad, Karivellur 10 kms from Payyanur in Kannur District. Karivellur has been a cradle of revolution, a name synonymous with peasant revolts. The lush greenery of paddy fields adorns this beautiful village and weaving shuttles and folklore welcome you with the true hospitality of Kannur district.

Manakkad Veed (Manakkad House) was a majestic structure on the roadside to Cheemeni and Puthur, a wayside tavern like relief to many passersby magnanimously offering them buttermilk garnished with curry leaves, green chilli and ginger. As a child, Sri. Karunakaran used to be inspired by all this which later became a salient feature of his character true to his name Karunakaran, “the merciful one”.

His primary education was at Palakkunnu School(now North A.U.P.) and at Manyaguru U.P. school. "Manyaguru" was Sri. Kelu Nair, the eldest brother of his father. All the brothers of his father were teachers.

1946. The Karivellur revolt under the leadership of Comrade A.V.Kunhambu and Krishnan Master and the firing resulting in the martyrdom of Sri Thidil Kannan and Sri Keeneri Kunhambu. Dec.20th is commemorated as the Martyrs' Day in Karivellur.
"I remember how MSP and the police unleashed brutal physical torture"

He recollects a day at Manyaguru U.P. School:
"I was not able to pay fees and was not allowed to write the exam. I came home crying. But like a divine intervention Sri Kana Kunhiraman Master from Elambachi, who was my teacher at Manyaguru paid my fees and i was allowed to write the exam. I can't forget that day."
He failed the ESLC exam and was very disappointed and disillusioned. But his father motivated him to write the entrance test at Nileswar Rajas High School and it worked. He was admitted in III form. It was in 1950.

“When going gets tough, the tough gets going”. High school education was not at his beck and call but demanded extreme struggle and strain from him to reach the 15 kms far Rajas High School at Nileswar on foot and crossing the Karyankode river often with a hand of assistance from other pedestrians.

But he was known among teachers and students for obedience, punctuality and discipline. There was a sigh of relief when the then Headmaster of the school, Sri Ramakrishna Rao helped him with the fees and arranged for his accommodation at the hostel.

“He was very close to my father and I can’t say how life would have turned out to be had he not been kind to me. He was English grammar and Algebra incarnate.I am very much indebted to Rao sir, a hard task master who inspired me deeply both as a teacher and as a human being”.

High school education was again into stress and strain as his father fell ill and the family fell into severe financial stringency.

He adds,
“My father, of course, has been the guiding force at every point in my life. I can’t forget him offering me ten rupees from under the pillow when he was bedridden due to typhoid. I can’t put in words how valuable that ten rupees is even now”.

After passing S.S.L.C. successfully, the family pressures forced him to join a private school at Kuttikol in Kasaragod in 1954 as an untrained teacher by the advice of Sri Paliyeri Narayanan Master. It was his cousin brother Sri M.V.Narayanan Master, a renowned social activist, who took him to Kuttikol.Malabar was in those days a part of Madras State. He stayed at Melath Krishnan Nair's House, an influential social figure in the area and was paid Rs. 36/- as the salary. This stint at Kuttikol was to be quite brief as he got admission for Teacher Training Course at Kannur Govt. Training School in 1955.

He recollects:
"Sri Charadan Nair, the chairman of the school paid me a cumulative salary of Rs.360/- while I was leaving for Kannur. At Kannur I used to get Rs. 18/- as stipend".

It proved to be a turning point as he passed the course successfully in 1957 and left for Kalpetta in Wynad district to join his brothers, the place which occupied the major share of his service in life. Kalpetta in Wynad district was an exotic hill station with coffee and tea plantations, fresh brooks and wild animals, a dense jungle mainly inhabited by tribals viz. paniyas, kurichiyas, kurumas, kaatunaykan etc.

Since 1939 his father was at Kootamunda Estate in Wynad to teach English to Sri Dharmapalan, son of the estate owner, Padmayya Gowder. But he had to leave Wynad in 1946 as a land feud cropped up at Karivellur, the land where the whole family was residing in. By that time his brothers, Sri Kunhikrishnan Nair, Sri Kunhikannan Nair and Sri Narayanan Nair were at Wynad working in various estates.

There came a vacancy at H.I.M.U.P. School at Kalpetta as Sri Mangada Krishnan Master went on leave and thus Karunakaran Master was appointed temporarily on this leave vacancy on 03.06.1957. The thick stroke of divine grace was in favour and on 28.06.1957 when the leave vacancy period expired, like a bolt from the blue a permanent vacancy came up from the next day on the 29th of June since a new division was introduced in the school. He was the tenth subject teacher at the school. As per the Madras Education Rule, if there are ten teachers in a school, an additional teacher can be appointed as the eleventh one.

He joined his long and outstanding career on 29.06.1957 when he was just 22 years old. The then School Manager, Kallangodan Kunhahammad Haji was very impressed by his dedication to the school and his sincerity in what ever he did.

"Sri Kallangodan was a rare kind of school manager, one who had great common sense and discretion and one who never made unwanted interference into academics of the school. His estate quarters at Goodalai was used by my brother Sri Kunhikannan Nair. I stayed there with him and later with my third brother Sri Narayanan Nair till my retirement from service."

Sri.C.K. Moideen was the Headmaster of the school in those days. Karunakaran master used to teach English, Malayalam, and Social studies etc. It is quite natural that the son of a renowed English teacher at Karivellur would prove to be a successful English teacher. With his loud and sharp voice, patient and regular drilling to students in reading and writing, he soon became popular among students and higher authorities. They advised others to make him their ideal to be successful teachers.

1957. The Communist Govt. headed by Sri E.M.S. made teachers dignified in the society introducing a new pay scale.

"There was hill allowance for teachers at Wynad which was half of the basic pay. Pension was calculated by adding this. Who can forget Sri Mundassery master's landmark Education bill passed in 1958, the Magna Carta of Teachers."

He also adds with great indignation how VIMOCHANA SAMARAM (Liberation Struggle) dismissed a very promising government. H.I.M.U.P. school was the centre point and abusive slogans were typical of the movement. Sri Kallangodan Haji dealt with the situation very carefully and commendably without closing down the school.

Sri M.V.Karunakaran Master became the headmaster at the same school in 1985.

He was the Secretary of the School Complex for long making outstanding contributions in enhancing the quality of education. The School Complex, a number of primary schools centered round a High school, was one of the recommendations of Kothari Commission for the improvement of the standard of Primary education.

There was no field he had not laid his hands on, and none that he did not reform. He was very active in organizing school science fair, literacy campaign, arts and sports festivals etc. Many generations at Kalpetta are indebted to him for making them literate. He was an active member and later president of K.P.T.U. All these exposure brought out the efficient administrator in him. His working hours from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. earned him an impeccable and spotless reputation as a teacher par excellence. He was always known for simplicity and magnanimity. He won many hearts by his innocence and warmth. He would never hesitate to pick a litter in the school compound and drop it in the bin thus setting an example for others.

His better half, Smt. K. Soudamini, (d/o Sri Pallyath Kunhambu Nair and Smt. Kana Madhavi Amma) , Physical Education Teacher at S.A.B.T.M.H.S.S. near Payyanur has been an invariable source of strength for him. She too has been a popular teacher, one who got involved in solving the problems of people around rather than confining herself to the four walls of school and home. She retired from service on 30.04.1998 and is actively involved in Kudumbashree programme at Karivellur-Peralam Panchayat, a govt. move for strengthening family finance.

                               Sri M.V.Karunakaran & Smt. K. Soudamini (my parents)
He has two sons: Dr. Rajesh Kumar Kana, Assistant Professor in the US and Mr. Santhosh Kumar Kana, PGT-English in Kendriya Vidyalaya.

His colleagues and friends ask him,

“What’s the secret of your youthfulness?”

Quick comes his reply with an unassuming smile,

“Nothing great. An early morning bath in cold water, regular evening walk, vegetarian food, strict routine and good thoughts”

When he retired from his service on 30.04.1991, the school staff and all his well wishers at Kalpetta were very disappointed to lose an exemplary teacher and administrator, an embodiment of goodness. But they were happy and thankful to the Almighty for giving him the deserving honor- the Best Teacher State Award in 1989. The unavailed 600 days leave is only one of the many clear testimonies to this honour.

"I am very thankful to all the people of Kalpetta and Wynad, my colleagues and friends for their unconditional love and co-operation in making my service and life peaceful and successful".

Anybody in his place would have thought of buying a land with the cheap land rates in those days or decentralizing income into other sources . But he had only one obsession, “my school”. He has no regrets:

“A land would’ve gone into others’ hands but his achievements are only his own, time and men can’t take them away” , says a colleague.

The saplings planted by him in the school compound virtually would provide a welcome relief to many pedestrians on the road to knowledge and academic success.

"I am thankful to all my brothers for their love and constant guidance"

Thursday, March 5, 2009

article:why do we split verbs in the DHEDUCATION

Farewell speech

Santhosh Kumar Kana

A warm good after noon to the outgoing students of class XII Science and Commerce.
Good afternoon respected Principal Sir, dear colleagues and my beloved students,

There is a famous saying,
“We can’t change people, but we can make them feel the
need for change”
One more academic session is drawing to a close and we are here in this grand function to release one more flock of birds with multi-hued feathers into the vast world of competition, career, and family life and so on.

I am happy that I had the good opportunity to teach this batch from Class XI itself. The two years’ time spent with them, I hope, has been fruitful for them. I too have enjoyed and enriched my knowledge in interacting with a group of intelligent, artistic and philosophical students.

I had students in this batch who wrote down in a copy every new phrase/word that dropped from my mouth, students who maintained a diary with the new thoughts received from teachers, students who found their creative muse in the things around, students who gave memorable moments of fun and humor, those who really touched our hearts, those who had great leadership qualities, those who shared their personal problems with me. I can go on. Let me tell you each and every student sitting here has left an indelible impression in our minds.

You have been a lucky batch since you had teachers for all subjects, teachers who had spared all their time and energy in giving their best, emotionally and intellectually. You must not forget the contribution of all the teachers who at some stage or other of your school life gave their best.

You are very fortunate to have a Principal who is your ardent well-wisher, someone who spares no efforts in giving you the best and seeing you at your best.

I hope you all have made use of your time in the school effectively. Remember the day you stood at the threshold of school education with your parents and now the time has come to hand you over back to the parents after a brief but significant stint of training with us. In this brief period, we have been your parents. There are teachers who have seen you grow up from that little child at the threshold to this day.

You must not leave the school with regret that you could not do your best. Still there is time. It is a word of caution to the next batch too. On behalf of all the staff members of KVD parivar and on my personal belief, I wish you all the best in life and in the ensuing Board examination.

Be happy and spread happiness.

Don’t fall prey to negative thoughts and elements.

We are eagerly waiting to see your immediate tribute to the alma-mater in the form of your performance in the examination.

Improvement, as you all know, starts with the letter “I”. So you can, you alone can do it. Explore your potentials to the extremes and come out in flying colors.

“Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
Till you find your dream”.

Fare well in life.
Best of luck.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Converting wh questions--my article

My article on converting wh-questions into passive voice is published in the DHEducation suppliment of the Deccanherald on 12.02.2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sita upanisad

sa devi trividha bhavati saktyasana icchasaktih
kriyasaktih saksacchaktiriti icchasaktistrividha
bhavati shribhuminilatmika bhadrarupini prabhavarupini
somasuryagnirupa bhavati SOMATMIKA osadhinam
prabhavati kalpavrksapuspaphalalatagulmatmika
ausadhabhesajatmika amrtarupa devanam mahastoma-
phalaprada amrtena trptim janayanti devanamannena
pasunam trnena tattajjivanam suryadisakalabhuvana-
prakasini diva ca ratrih kalakalanimesamarabhya
paksamasartvayanasamvatsarabhedena manusyanam
satayuhkalpanaya prakasamana ciraksipravyapadesena
nimesamarabhya parardhaparyantam kalacakram
jagaccakramityadiprakarena cakravatparivartamanah
sarvasyaitasyaiva kalasya vibhagavisesah prakasarupah
kalarupa bhavanti agnirupa annapanadipraninam
ksuttrsnatmika devanam mukharupa vanausadhinam
sitosnarupa kasthesvantarbahisca nityanityarupa

Saturday, January 17, 2009

SOMATMIKA,My daughter

My daughter is named SOMATMIKA. It means the peaceful one.
The naming ceremony was held on 15.01.2009 between 11.00 to 12.00 in the noon.