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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Truth

(Translation of the poem ‘neru’ by Vijayalakshmi)

When my tongue too crawls
Within the door-less incarnations of silence,
When every tight held holding
Spills like water from hands,
When tear-fed desires
Abjectly reveal their frivolity,
When carcasses of gifts are being dumped
In bins after races,
When my sun freezes
Leaving his chores of rising and setting, beyond,
While the paleness of camphor screams
After all the particles wane in sublimation;
Does the truth of the nameless void
Claim itself to be the OLD AGE?

-translated by Reema

Vijayalakshmi said:

I find  it more sublime than the original ! My regards to the young genius.
If she cares,  she can turn out to be a  super poet.

A personal advice too - 
This can be passed on to her if  you approve.
It is this :

This type of translation works should be taken just as exercises to test our own ability to get attuned to the medium.  Her creativity should be invested in improving her skills -  otherwise she may get diverted to translation mania and her own poetry will suffer.  Many writers do both - with equal skill - if she can balance the talent, it is the best - But there is a possibility, when translated work turns out excellent, we just fall in love with our own translation, and  forget poems waiting for us in spiritus mundi !

I have seen this happen sometimes. People fall a victim to the charm of translations done by them .Like Narcissus.

This is my observation. For academic world, it may be different.  May be you people handle everything with professional skill.   Anyway, good job by Reema, Congrats !

(പരീക്ഷയ്ക്ക്  ഇപ്പോ റാങ്ക് സമ്പ്രദായം തന്നെയാണോ എങ്കി റീമ ഫസ്റ്റ് റാങ്ക് നേടാ ശ്രമിക്കണം. നല്ല ബുദ്ധിയുള്ള കുട്ടിയാണെന്ന് ഭാഷയി നിന്ന് പിടികിട്ടി.  പഴയ ഒരു ഫസ്റ്റ് റാങ്ക് (മലയാളത്തിന്റെ) ന്റെ  എല്ലാ ആശംസകളും അനുഗ്രഹവും !! )

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Read this poem and also read the comment on it by the notable poetess VIJAYALAKSHMI

 photo coutsey:


What privilege do doors provide
If we can’t fasten them?
A personal cabin
With well furnished walls and
Ajar doors
Can easily invite intruders.
 A poet’s privacy is often vulnerable.
Process of writing a poem
Is as painful as
Conceiving an illegitimate child.
When the words cloud
At the tip of the nib,
I gain a power- extra sensory…
As a theyyam* performs
Over flames of fire-
For the instance,
I forget my risks after publication;
I count my injuries
Along applauses

When people peep at
My unfinished drafts,
I feel my nudity
Being exposed to lustful eyes…!

*A complex ritual art form of North Malabar

 Reema has fine language skills and her expressions really communicate .  I liked her writing.
Unlike many fake lady-idols. 
She seems sincere and genuine.  VIJAYALAKSHMI

Monday, August 6, 2012


Thejraj planting mahogany sapling
P K Kuriakose welcome speech
Planting team view 1
A J Hareendran, Anila, Sona, Mini, Sreemaya with Preethi
Ratna Prabha and Rajasree
Swaran, Hari, Ratheesh with Anupam, Prajin


Ritwik Gokul Jithin with Pappan mash

 The Department of English and the Forestry Club with the financial support of the Board of Management, Payyanur Educational Society and the labour support of the MAHATMA GANDHI RURAL EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME of the third ward of the KUNHIMANGALAM PANCHAYATH planted 250 saplings of mahogany in the college campus.  Students of the Department of English, department of Botany and Zoology along with the faculty from departments of English, Malayalam, Hindi, Botany, Zoology, Statistics and Economics participated in the function.  The President-in-charge Sri Thejraj Mallar launched the programme planting a mahogany sapling.  Sri P K Kuriakose welcomed the gathering.  Dr K C Muraleedharan presided over the function.  The member representing the third ward of the panchayath, Dr Y V Kannan Master graced the function with his presence and felicitations.  The leader of the labour pool and former member of the panchayath Sarojini also addressed the audience.  Dr V M Santhosh of the Department of English thanked the gathering of teaching staff, non-teaching staff and students. This project is the third one taken up by the club and the department of English, the other two being the Teak Garden and the Fruit Orchard.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Two documentaries, Shit and Radiation Story (Kalpakkam) by the noted Tamil social activist and documentary maker Amudhan R P were screened at Payyanur college in a function arranged by the department of English.  In the vigorous interaction that followed each screening students came up with an ideological recognition of the dalit and environmental and nuclear issues in the Indian context. Students who took part in the discussion are:
Dheeraj, Amal Baby, Anupam, Swetha, Vidhya Appukuttan, Jasna Sasidharan, Ashwin, Ashitha, Roopasree, Jayalakshmi, Reema (list inconclusive, to be updated).  Nanadalal Ramachandran from Open Frame Payyanur accompanied the guest, introduced him to the audience and also participated in the discussions.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jeet Thayil's debut novel in the MAN BOOKER long list


Jeet Thayil born in 1959 is a Keralite and contemporary poet and novelist writing in English.  His father Padma Bhushan T J S George is a known figure in India and abroad as a media person and writer.  Jeet's intellectual formation took place in educational institutions like the Island School as well as institutions in Hong Kong and the Wilson College in Mumbai. The influence, in his life, of the premiere institutions like Sarah Lawrence College (New York) from where he mastered in Fine Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts which  provided him with grants and awards cannot be disputed.  Equally decisive must be the the role of the the Swiss Arts Council, the British Council and the Rockefeller Foundation in shaping a novelist and poet of the Man Booker calibre.   His partnership with the poet Vijay Nambisan resulted in Gemini-2  (1992). Apocalypso (1997), English (2004) and These Errors Are Correct (2008) later works.

  Vijay Seshadri, a poet himself,  highlights the command of the poetic and historical past, depth of his language, archaeological richness, and reality. Jeet has edited two volumes of short stories, Vox: New Indian Fiction (1996) and Vox 2: Seven Stories (1997).  His writings as a journalist appeared in Asiaweek, the South China Morning Post, and India Abroad. He was associated as the literary editor with the Mumbai magazine Gentleman  for three years from 1995.  Six years ago, Jeet edited the book Divided Time: India and the End of Diaspora for Routledge which has been a noted collection. Thayil has as editor a collection of 56 Indian Poets for Fulcrum press (2005) besides another anthology of contemporary Indian Poets for Bloodaxe (2008) too to his credit.

Jeet Thayil is multifaceted creative person.  He is a performer poet and guitarist who is also the founding member of the Chronic Blues Band, a Bangalore-based fusion band.  It is no wonder that the he is on the Montreal International Poetry Prize Board also (

His novel Narcopolis, a Faber & Faber publication is now long listed for Man Booker.  The department of English and the English Club of Payyanur College, Kannur, Kerala salute JEET THAYIL for this glory and share the happiness.

Man Booker longlist - 2012:

Nicola Barker, The Yips (Fourth Estate)
Ned Beauman, The Teleportation Accident (Sceptre)
André Brink, Philida (Harvill Secker)
Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)
Michael Frayn, Skios (Faber & Faber)
Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Doubleday)
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (And Other Stories)
Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)
Alison Moore, The Lighthouse (Salt)
Will Self, Umbrella (Bloomsbury)
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)
Sam Thompson, Communion Town (Fourth Estate)




 2011 Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (England) Carol Birch, Jamrach's Menagerie (England) Patrick deWitt, The Sisters Brothers (Canada) Esi Edugyan, Half Blood Blues (Canada) Stephen Kelman, Pigeon English (England) A.D. Miller, Snowdrops (England)

2010 Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question (England) Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America (Australia) Emma Donoghue, Room (Ireland) Damon Galgut, In a Strange Room (South Africa) Andrea Levy, The Long Song (England) Tom McCarthy, C (England)

2009 Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall (England) A. S. Byatt, The Children's Book (England) J. M. Coetzee, Summertime (South Africa) Adam Foulds, The Quickening Maze (England) Simon Mawer, The Glass Room (England) Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger (Wales)

2008 Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger (India) Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture (Ireland) Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies (India) Linda Grant, The Clothes on Their Backs (Britain) Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole (Australia)

2007 Anne Enright, The Gathering (Ireland) Nicola Barker, Darkmans (England) Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (England/Pakistan) Lloyd Jones, Mister Pip (New Zeland) Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach (England) Indra Sinha, Animal's People (England/India) More info at the The Guardian

2006 Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (Indian born) Kate Grenville, The Secret River (Australian born) M. J. Hyland, Carry Me Down (English born) Hisham Matar, In the Country of Men (American born) Edward St Aubyn, Mother's Milk (English) Sarah Waters, The Night Watch (English) More info at the The Guardian

2005 John Banville, The Sea (Ireland) Julian Barnes, Arthur & George (England) Sebastian Barry, A Long Long Way (Ireland) Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go (England) Ali Smith, The Accidental (England) Zadie Smith, On Beauty (England) More info at the The Guardian

2004 Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty (England) Achmat Dangor, Bitter Fruit (South Africa) Sarah Hall, The Electric Michelangelo (England) David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (England) Colm Tóibín, The Master (Ireland) Gerard Woodward, I'll go to Bed at Noon (English) More info at the The Guardian

2003 DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little (Australia) Monica Ali, Brick Lane (Bangladesh & England) Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake (Canada) Damon Galgut, The Good Doctor (South Africa) Zoe Heller, Notes on a Scandal (England) Clare Morrall, Astonishing Splashes Of Colour (England) More info at the BBC website

2002 Yann Martel, Life of Pi (Canada) Rohinton Mistry, Family Matters (Canada) Carol Shields, Unless (Canada) William Trevor, The Story of Lucy Gault (Ireland) Sarah Waters, Fingersmith (England) Tim Winton, Dirt Music (Australia)

2001 Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang Ian McEwan, Atonement Andrew Miller, Oxygen David Mitchell, Number 9 Dream Rachel Seiffert, The Dark Room Ali Smith, Hotel World

2000 Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin Trezza Azzopardi, The Hiding Place Michael Collins, The Keepers of Truth Kazuo Ishiguro, When We Were Orphans Matthew Kneale, English Passengers Brian O'Doherty, The Deposition of the Father



  • The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets, Bloodaxe, U.K, 2008


  •  Vox2: Seven Stories, Sterling Newspapers, India, 1997
  •  Give the Sea Change and It Shall Change: 56 Indian Poets, Fulcrum, 2005
  •  Divided Time: India and the End of Diaspora, Routledge, 2006
  • 60 Indian Poets, Penguin India, 2008.
  •  Gemini, Penguin-Viking, New Delhi, 1992. (two-poet volume ), 0-670-84524-8
  • Apocalypso , Aark Arts, London, 1997, ISBN 1-899179-01-1
  • English, Penguin, Delhi and Rattapallax Press, New York, 2004. ISBN 1-892494-59-0
  • These Errors Are Correct, Tranquebar Books (EastWest and Westland), Delhi, 2008 


Saturday, July 28, 2012


'UNIVERSITIES HAVE MUCH TO TEACH US' is a historic and insightful convocation address by our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and our universities have made attempts to realize the needs of the nation since then.  But how far and with what amount of social justice are ideological questions that should be answered by those who run the government.  Here, click the link to see how dalit students are discriminated.  The write up titled  “Two glass system” in a Central University: The unseen ways of caste discrimination"  explores the politics of admission.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012




Teak Garden is a dream project of the Payyanur Educational Society realized with the help of Rotary Club, Payyanur and managed by the  Dept of English and the Forestry Club. Occasional help from the students of the PES school is also sought as and when needed.   The project was made possible by the the mediation of Dr Santhosh V M who is on the faculty and a Rotarian too. Sri P K Kuriakose of the Dept of English is the consultant.  This year the club was able to tie up with the Kunhimangalam Panchayath in which the college is situated to make use of the NREGP labour pool to help maintain all the projects of the FORESTRY CLUB and some of the pioneering projects of the College in collaboration with other willing organizations and funding agencies.  This teak garden with 500 saplings planted and almost all surviving would be one of the rare organizational projects in north Malabar towards attaining environmental sustainability, soil protection and enrichment and preservation of remarkable wood heritage.  With the proper flourish of this cultivation, there is also the possibility of wild life being provided a secure place in this area where rabbits, wild pigs, porcupines, Jungle Fowl (some of them being the threatened species) are seen in small numbers  

 It is obvious that projects of the kind is contributing to the goals of the nation, its productivity and sustainability of a culture on one hand while on the other it promotes an earth friendliness that is fundamental to all the ancient cultures of the world.  A statement in paraphrase from Gita Mehtha may drive home this point better: The forest was the source all Indian knowledge and wisdom - it was ancient India's lab, university and source of great philosophies - the rishis lived there and Kings went there to consult them.  So it goes without saying that our schools, colleges and universities and all institutions of creativity and service should be surrounded by small civilized forests declaring human understanding of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all life forms as essential to the sustainability of human life on earth.    It is duty of the enlightened human being to do away with the rivalry between the binaries 'city and the country' and 'Grama and Aranya' that  exist in our society in the words of the famous historian and intellectual ROMILA THAPAR The department of English is implementing small projects like the FRUIT ORCHARD, MAHAGONY AND NEEM FORESTS, and the TEAK GARDEN in the direction of evolving an earth-friendly community.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


A C Sreehari of the Department of English, Payyanur college, Edat has won the award instituted in memory of the noted short story writer and novelist the late Sri Anupurath Krishnankutty, popularly known as Mundur Krishnankutty.    A. C. Sreehari is a poet of Malayalam literature who has won prestigious awards like the N. N. Kakkad Award (1996), V. T. Kumaran Award (1997) and Vailoppilly Award (1999)etc. His poems have been anthologized in Yuvakavithakkoottam (Kottayam: D. C. Books, 1999), Kavithayute Noottaantu (Kottayam: S. P. C. S., 2001) and Palathu (Kottayam: D. C. Books, 2003). His first collection of poems is Vayanavikrithi (Kottayam: D. C. Books, 2006).  The Saparya award is for the work Edacheri.