A Contribution by Joy J. Kaimaparamban, author of The Ayurvedic Healer. For more information see also his website at http://www.kaimaparamban.com/.
S. K. Pottekkat who lived between 1913 and 1982 in Kerala was the author of ‘Oru Desathinte Katha’ (The Story of a Locality), which owned the foremost Prize of India, ‘The Bharatiya Jnana Peeda Award’ in 1981. It had won the Kendra Sahithya Academy Award also.
Sankarankutty Kunhiraman Pottekkat was assuming a short form of his long name as his pseudonym. He was not only a novelist, but also a storyteller, poet and a travelogue writer. No writers can be compared with him in the matter of his travels. He travelled almost all the countries of the world and wrote his experiences realistically and humorously. He has written 15 travelogues. In addition he has created poems, essays, and 9 novels and a play. He wrote 2 books on memoirs. He had been interested in politics also. In 1962 he had become a Parliament Member.
Being a member of Sahithya Pravarthaka Co-Operative Society of Kottayam I could have the opportunity of meeting with the great idols of Malayalam Literature. In an occasion conducted in the literary workers’ co-operative society, I met with S. K. Pottekat. He talked me like a close friend. I remember that he had told me a famous story of John Steinbeck, in context. On his beautiful face, I saw a never-ending smile. He spoke with kind and affectionate mood, which attracted me a lot. I could have again the luck of meeting with that great writer.
His father Kunhiraman Master was loveful to his child Sankarankutty. He wanted to have a happy life for him. Sankarankutty could go to his mother’s house in the time of vacations. Those days were very precious for him.
When he had been studying in the fourth forum, he wrote his first story. Despite he sent it to a periodical, it was not published.
In nineteen thirties, while he was studying in Intermediate class, he left home and reached Bombay in the ambition of getting a job. But he was forced to return back. He began to read books. Off and on he wrote short stories and poems. By this time he had become a teacher in the Gujarathi School.
Many of his essays and stories were published in magazines.
In 1936, his first collection of poem was published under the title ‘Prabhathakaanthi’ (Beauty of Dawn).
When his story ‘Vaidyutha Sakthi’ (The Force of Electric Current) was published in Mathrubhumi Weekly (a leading weekly in Malayalam), he got remuneration for it. Following it many of his stories came out through the weekly. Readers very much liked his stories that they began to wait for the publication date of the periodical.
His first novel ‘Naadan Premam’ (The Village Love) was serialized in Kerala Kaumudi Weekend. It was published in book form in 1941.
His next novel was ‘Vishakanyaka’ (The Poisonous Virgin).
In between he had visited Bombay several times.
His first foreign journey was in 1949. By ship route he traveled from Bombay to Baira; then to Egypt. His travelling continued through the corners of the Dark Continent, which had become the inspiration for writing several travelogues. His travels longed up to the year 1950. In 1952 he married Jayavally. After wedding he travelled many countries with his wife.
He has recorded all his experiences in more than 3000 pages. Those books are still sold in the bookshops of Kerala.
He was awarded several times for his works. ‘Yavanikayku Pinnil’ (Behind the Curtain – Short Story Collection), ’Vishakanyaka’ ‘Oru Theruvinte Katha’ (Story of a Street), ‘Oru Deasathinte Katha’ and the like. His wife Jayavally expired in 1979.
Being the backdrop of Hindu-Muslim riot of Bombay he wrote an outstanding novel ‘Moodupadam’ (The Burqa). When it was filmed, Sathyan played the role of the Hero.
His works have been translated into several foreign languages.
The Ayurvedic Healer
by Joy J. Kaimaparamban
Set in the intriguing atmosphere of India in the early 20th century, full of mysticism, love, compassion, and political drama, The Ayurvedic Healer tells the story of Madhavan Namboodiri, a physician practicing an ancient medical science, and his enduring love for Rosilie. By healing the underprivileged, regardless of their civilian and religious status, touching the untouchables, he follows his beliefs and disobeys the rules of his society. His life story is set in the background of India’s struggle for freedom, the communist revolt in the Southern State of Kerala, social advancement, and the emergence of new societies. The Ayurvedic Healer sweeps the reader into an exotic place and time, rendering an intimate experience through sharing Madhavan Namboodiri’s life and love.
Joy J. Kaimaparamban is not only a passionate story teller. He envisions people and events, past or present, in his native India as material for unwritten works. These visions and the ability to transform them into fascinating stories about his country is a trademark of his novels. [More information...]
The Ayurvedic Healer ia available through Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.