Thursday, October 24, 2019

Parting from the Path of Life (Jeevitapata) by Cherukad Govinda Pisharodi: Essay Questions:

1. Based on the events described in “Parting from the Path of Life” give a brief description of Kunjammaman’s character and his role in the narrator’s life.
2. What salient features of Kerala’s past can be identified in the autobiographical sketch of Cherukad?
Parting from the Path of Life (Jeevitapata) is written by Cherukad Govinda Pisharodi. He is popularly known as Cherukad. He was a committed writer and a communist from youth. His novels, short stories, and dramas, written in the manner of social realism, are significant for the insight they provide into the life of the downtrodden in pre-independence Malabar. His major novels are Manninte Maaril (1954), Muthassi (1959), Shanidasha (1959), etc. Mudramotiram (1954), Chekuthante Koodu (1958) and Cherukatinte Cherukathakal: Sampoorna Samaharam (1995) are his major short story collections. His play Nammalonnu (1948) is regarded as an important piece of committed theatre that paved the way for the consolidation of the communist ideal in the minds of the people of Malabar in the post-independence period. Jeevitappata (1974) is awarded the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award in 1975 and the Sahitya Akademi award in 1976. 
In the excerpt titled Parting from the Path of Life, the author’s childhood is narrated. Cherukad spends his childhood with his maternal uncle. The context of the matrilineal system narrated in the text is evocative of the historical reality that existed in the social scene of Kerala in the pre-independence era. The protagonist of the story is the narrator’s uncle Kunjammaman. 
The uncle is a disciplinarian at home and confronts his nephew with physical punishment. This is usually done with the pretext of giving homeschooling to the narrator. Kunjammaman’s sister, the narrator’s mother intervenes and instructs not to beat Govindan anymore. Kunjammaman was often asked why his nephew wasn’t sent to school. When this question was posed, he would often give a rather illogical excuse. He would say that the child knows reading and writing, as well as astrological calculations. According to Kunjammaman, this much study is enough. On another occasion, when Paruthiyil Krishnan Nair inquires about little Govindan’s education, Kunjammaman says that Nair has a monthly salary. There is no such provision for Kunjammaman. Therefore, it would be impossible to give expensive education to Govindan as Kunjammaman has a wealth of Nieces and Nephews. This was the real reason behind Kunjammaman’s reluctance in sending Govindan to School. The uncle was squirrelling away family income to build a new house and land for his wife. This suggests that Kunjammaman honoured his commitments to his wife disregarding his nephew’s basic right to education. 
Another instance of the patriarch in the social context of Kerala in the pre-independence era is Raghava Pisharodi. Raghava Pisharodi narrates the experiences with his nephew. According to Pisharodi, his nephew steals, lies, and commits adultery. When thrown out of his house, he started stealing kanam rice from the temple also. When caught, the nephew bit his uncle’s arm before running away with the vessel that he stole from the temple. 
Cherukad concludes that the chief enemies of a matrilineal family head are the efficient husband of a woman in the family and a grown-up nephew who bites back. The other two men in the family, husbands of the two sisters of Kunjammaman were not quite a challenge for Kunjammaman. Cherukad suggests that the patriarch is concerned about losing his power and authority in the family. Even though the husbands of his two sisters are harmless, Kunjammaman is concerned about his nephew Govindan. 

Through a humorous and lucid language, Cherukad indicates that the patriarchal system that existed in Kerala undermined the holistic development of individuals. It suppresses outspokenness and attempts to impose the conformist ideology of the patriarchal authority.  

Next: About my Race: A Song by Poykayil Appachan  Paragraph Questions

REF: Multiple Modernities, edited by Board of Editors, Kannur University, Cohin: Hornbill Publishing House, 2019. Print. 


Anonymous said...

pls post question of 'about my race song'

Harsha said...

Thank you..Sir please consider'the voice 'by Suresh Menon too

Harsha said...

Thank you..Sir please consider'the voice 'by Suresh Menon too

Anonymous said...

pls post questions of about my race song

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Unknown said...

Thank you🤝