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Conversation with Girish Puthenchery – Part 1


The following article was first published in Take 1 Magazine.TAKE: 1 is a quality film and celebrity magazine for malayalam speaking NRIs in the Gulf and beyond. The intention is simple: To bring to this market a world class magazine – not just the best keralite or Indian film magazine,but one that can stand head high amongst best from US and Europe. Please click here to go to Magazine website.
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Even though Girish Puthenchery is known as a lyricist, he has also written stories and screenplays. His new movie is Vadakkumnathan for which he had written both the story and screen play. Part of the movie is about the journey of a Sanskrit Professor in the foothills of the Himalayas. Here we have a conversation with Girish Puthenchery, who talks about his own journeys, childhood, influences and on meeting A R Rahman and Lata Mangeshkar.

Journeys are sometimes aimless, mainly through unknown places and times. In such journeys logic or intelligence don’t have a place. While talking about the intense experience of such a journey the Malayali poet makes words inconsequential. Girish Puthenchery has traveled through many experiences which cannot be measured by logic and had many inexplicable experiences.

“I have traveled in the base of the Himalayas. For experiencing the Himalayas, I read Kalidasa’s Kumarasambhavam many times over.While traveling there, I became an assistant(Brithyan) walking behind Kalidasa”. While walking along the path of our predecessors, the mind becomes humble. Maybe due to this, a journey never ends, but continues to another one.

“Once I started walking causually in the Himalayas. On one side it was a deep ravine and the other side it was the Himalayas. I am walking along a narrow line between the two. Time and space are standstill here. Himavan’s time and space measurements are much beyond our calculations. Since I had asthma, i could not climb higher. While walking like this some sanyasis belonging to Ahori Gothram came in the opposite direction. They are meat eaters too. They had anklets on one feet and a thrisul in the hand and walked with a rustic look. I could feel the prescence of Shiva. Language was not a barrier between us, I mingled and got acquainted with them and gave them Rs. 100. They gave me a rudraksh and some bhang. I inhaled twice and then we went our own ways. Maybe it was the bhang, I could hear the drums(Dhamaroo) of Shiva and scared, I ran”. The sound followed him all way down, but the poet never questioned the logic of those events.

“The other day I went to Gujarat and visited Mahatma Gandhi’s home and the court in Rajkot where he practiced. After seeing Kasturba’s house and Gandhiji’s ashram we went to see the Lord’s palace which saw swallowed by the ocean. You have to travel 5 KM in the ocean to see Sri Krishna’s capital city. The way the sea took Dwaraka is an epic by itself.

“You have to reach there by boat and I am scared of rivers and ocean and hence did not board the boat. The people along with me put some pressure, but still I did not relent. Then the son of the chief priest of Dwaraka came and gave me courage. We took our own boat and the child came with us. Thus I saw each nook and corner of Dwaraka. We returned in the same boat. After reaching the shore, I told my friends to give some money to the kid as he might be expecting a reward. We turned around and he was nowhere to be seen. The place was not that crowded, it had about hundred people or less. On one side, it was the ocean the other side was the vast land. It was not easy to disappear. Still I don’t know how this kid managed to do that. I did not try to over-analyze it. That incident has been embedded in my mind and is not easily forgettable. The story of how the Lord appeared in front of Poonthanam flickered in my mind. Our life gets completed along the poetic path traveled by others.

Tomorrow we will publish the concluding piece of this feature in which Girish talks about his childhood and association with A R Rahman.

PS: is content partner of Take 1 Magazine.

See Also:  Conversation with Girish Puthenchery – Part 2


  1. Pingback: varnachitram » Blog Archive » Conversation with Girish Puthenchery - Part 2

  2. does girish belong to the the puthenchery tharavad in munnurcode, palakkad?
    anybody knows?

  3. No. Puthenchery is a small village in Calicut, where he was brought up.

  4. i saw vadakkumnathan written by girish puthencherry.the hero in the movie suffers from bipolar disorder.about the film the major flaw is that there is a lack of understanding of this psychiatric condition also known as affective mood disorder with a depressive pole and a manic pole.the medicines used to medically manage bipolar illness seem to correct the imbalance of specific neurotransmitters in the is not completely curable in most cases and the patient more often than not has to be on a maintenance regime lifelong.the film romanticises a terrible illness leaving incorrect and/or inadequate impressions of the condition.the film is not researched enough and leaves the audience/spectators confused. g. balachandra menon

  5. I did watch girish’s vadakkunnnathan. Except for its songs I rate the flim a flop show. I think adequate research on the subject and bad direction spoiled the film.

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