My Keralam, My Heritage

The frothy crests from the Arabian Sea ride the surging waves and lash the sandy shores to expire later in a last hiss. The sounding cataracts rush down in relentless falls, foaming and spraying the lush greenery that abounds in their environs. The rhythm of the ‘panchavaadyam’ and ‘shingaary melam” resonate in the air and syncopate with my heartbeats. The evening breeze is cooled by the fragrance of jasmines that gleam in the waning twilight. The coconut fronds sway under the haunting moon, forming a serrated canopy and the mango trees bloom into creamy pagodas with promises of delectable fruits. And I dream, “I am home”.

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SHANKAR (Keshava Shankar Pillai: Humorist and Friend to Children)

Malayalees are humorists and the special Malayalee humor is always present when a few get together to shoot the breeze.  Malayalam literature is gifted with several whose humor and wit have enlivened their literary outputs and refreshed our lives. The love of humor that is congenital to a Malayalee also leads to an appreciation of political and social satire, whether written or pictorial.  Satire is never far from a Malayalee psyche. It is no wonder that the creator of India’s Punch was a Malayalee.  He was none other than Keshav Shankar Pillai, the mastermind and artist behind the ever so memorable Shankar’s Weekly.  He was the most celebrated cartoonist of India, before and after the Independence.

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