Kuttykunju Thankachi

Kuttykunju Thankachi

Kuttykunju Thankachi was born in 1820 (Malayalam year 995), daughter of Irayimman Thampi. Her parents were related to the Travancore Royal family. Right from her childhood Kuttykunju Thankachi had stayed in the Kizhakke Matom inside the fort in Trivandrum. She was then known as Kizhakke Matathil Kuttykunju Thankachi (Kuttykunju Thankachi of Kizhakke Matom).Her actual name was Lakshmi Pillai. She passed away in 1940. Kuttykunju Thankachi had penned about eighteen works comprising three complete Attakkatha (literary work for Kathakali performance), a few kilippattu (song as told by a parrot), hymns, thiruvathira songs, Thullal (a kind of dance) literature etc. The influence of her father Irayimman Thampi was evident in her works to the point of imitation. Still her initial works rich in devotion and loyalty to the king were actual reflections of that era. “The works of Thankachi were then available in Chalai market along with other printed books costing eight kasu (a small coin)” writes S. Gupthan Nair. He has also written that everyday people used to visit Kizhakke Matom at that time to read their poems, get them corrected and to seek Thankachi’s opinion about them. These were indications of Kuttykunju Thankachi’s recognition as a poet in her time. A few lines from Kuttykunju Thankachi’s Aattakkatha 'Sreemathi Swayamvaram' ('Wedding of Sreemathi') are included here. This literary work has captivating musical lines and all the ingredients that beautifies an Aattakkatha.

‘Sivarathri Mahatmyam’ (‘The Importance of Sivarathri’). ‘Seetha Swayamvaram’ (‘The Wedding of Seetha’). ‘Naradamohanam’. Thiruvathira songs- ‘Keerthanam’ (hymn) ‘Nalacharitham’ (‘The story of Nala’) Kilippattukal- ‘Thiruvananthapuram Sthalapuranam’.(‘History of Trivandrum’) ‘Vaikkam Sthalapuranam’ (‘History of Vaikkam’) Aattakkathakal- ‘Parvathyswayamvaram’. (‘The Wedding of Parvathy’) ‘Sreemathyswayamvaram’. ‘Mthrasahamoksham’.

Extracts

Women Writers of Kerala

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