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Prof. Leela Omchery

Leela Omchery was born on 1 May1929 at Thiruvattattu near CapeComrin.She is the daughter of Lakshmy kutty Amma and Kamukara Parameswara Kuruppu. The renowned singer Kamukara Purushothaman was her brother. Her initial teachers were her parents.Leela Omchery took her B.A, B. A. Music, M.A. and Doctoral degrees from Kerala, Delhi and Punjab universities. She joined the Delhi University and took up a teaching profession along with research work. After a carrier of thirty five years she retired as a professor in 1994.She continues teaching at Gurukulam. She was the recipient of Padmasree Award in 2008.Her husband Omchery N. N. Pillai is a writer. Her daughter Deepthi Omchery Bhalla is a musician as well as writer. She had received Kendra Sahithya Academy Award. Leela Omchery has written several books based on Indian music, both in English and Malayalam. She revived the traditional styles of Irayimman Thampi and Kunjukutty Thankachy.She also retrieved many compositions. She tried to find out the original styles of the Swathithirunal compositions which were being popularized in modern trends. She attempted to sing them in their original style. She was successful in bringing into light several ancient ragas (Chuvatical) written in special manner combining Tamil and Malayalam. She specified and explained the uniqueness of the Palace Tradition which created the Mohiniyattam dance form. “Chithraramayanam Oru Thaliyola Chithratbhutham” an essay taken from the book “Leela Omcheryyude patanangal” is included in this book.Chithraramayanam is a valued book written in A.D. 1550.Leela Omchery was appointed by Dr. Kapila Vatsyayanan the director of Indira Gandhi National Arts to find the neglected books (Mukkola Granthangal) lying scattered, unidentified and even moth-eaten in libraries and arrange them in the form of a catalogue. She reached Trivandrum in 1990-91 for this purpose and was instantly enthralled by Chithraramayanam. The writer of Chithraramayanam had also adopted the same story which was depicted in all poetic Ramayanas.But the parts after Sreerama Pattabhishekam (Sreerama’s wedding) was missing in the book. The writer’s name was also nowhere mentioned in Chithra ramayanam. This wonderful dance, drama never gained any attention solely because it was written in Malayalam and penned by a Malayalee.
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