Monday, January 08, 2007

Balachandran Chullikadu: Such a long journey

By John Cheeran
It has been such a long journey for Balachandran Chullikadu.
Chullikadu shot into Kerala’s sub-consciousness as a poet, whom I would like to compare with John the Baptist.
Like John the Baptist, Chullikadu cried out unpalatable truths that he bore witness.
Every line Chullikadu uttered in the late 70s and 80 had soul piercing honesty and a clarity only arrack could have given you.
Again it is Chullikadu’s honesty that led him to skirmishes with fascists and fundamentalists and that motor mouth, Sukumar Azhikode. His honesty helped Balachandran leave the folds of Hinduism and embrace Buddhism.
Again it was honesty that took him to the sets of the much maligned television serials in Kerala. Much before that, poet Chullikadu had starred in G. Aravindan’s Pokuveyil (Twilight).
Can a poet act? Questions were asked when Chullikadu took serial acting quite seriously.
Balachandran had his answer. They give me money and I need money.
What triggered this post is a new television advertisement where Chullikadu reminds viewers that the establishment that he endorses has an array of MNC products too.
So life has finally reduced the firebrand poet into singing praises of MNCs!
Well, from the hero of Pokkuveyil, Balachandran Chullikadu has come a long way indeed. Again I salute Balachandran’s honesty. A poet must pay his bills too.
May be Balachandran cannot afford to being an idealist like many other cultural czars in Kerala.
Balachandran is the last poet who captured Malayali’s imagination since the days of Changambhuzha. Balachandran of yesteryears was not just a poet.
He was a rebel, he was drunkard and he was a tramp.
When Balachandran wrote
“Lokavasanam varekkum pirakkathe poka en makane
Parayapeddatha vakkine pole arthapoornanayi,
Kalathrayangalkku atheethanayi,
Athra mel njan ninne snehikukil hasthabogathal
keduthunnu Srishti dahathe nithyavum,”
he was putting a stake through his heart itself.
Chullikadu has come a long way from those lines.
Reader, however, can reclaim the old fiery Chullikadu by returning to his poetry pure and simple.
Let Balachandran blissfully endorse MNCs and realize his serial nirvana.
We should be grateful for the pages he has left behind, for his fire and brimstone.

2 comments:

mahesh said...

What boss no new posts, frustrated by India's dismal performance is it?

balniketh said...

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