Kalamandalam honours 106-year-old ‘Kunchan Nambiar of Keezhvaipur’

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Kunjanpilla Ashan hugs the award he received

Mallappally: Kunjanpilla Ashan, a centenarian Ottan Thullal performer from Pathanamthitta’s Keezhvaipur has been honoured by Kerala Kalamandalam here on Monday. Incidentally, the honouring ceremony coincided with the day when the world was celebrating International Mother Language Day. Notably, the media report published by Mathrubhumi on Ashan as part of International Day for Older Persons grabbed the attention of Kalamandalam administration and they in turn decided to honour the 106-year-old artiste.

On behalf of Kalamandalam, vice chancellor Dr TK Narayanan, administrative body representative and Ottan Thullal teacher Kalamandalam Prabhakaran gave Kalamandalam Divakaran Memorial Sougandhika award to Ashan, who is also referred as ‘Kunchan Nambiar of Keezhvaipur’.

Ashan in return stunned the delegates of Kalamandalam by reciting Ottan Thullal stories Ramanujacharitham and Kalyanasougandhikam in an expressive manner.

Narayanan pointed out that Ashan showed love to Ottan Thullal even at a time when the pay for performance was mere a ‘chutti thorth’ (double strand flat towel). “It is very overwhelming for Kalamandalam to visit and honour an artiste like him, who enormously love Kerala's own art Ottan Thullal,” he said. Narayanan also informed that the Kalamandalam will urge the government to allocate pension for the artistes.

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