Today is the anniversary of the death of my wonderful ashan [guru] the great Kalamandalam Govinda Varier Ashan. When he took his last breath at 2.45pm I was blessed to be holding his feet. His children Makundan and Remini and my husband Kalamandalam Vijayakumar were also with him as he passed away. I owe everything I know about chutti [make-up] to him, he taught me everything without language, he couldn`t speak English and I couldn`t speak Malayalam, so he used sounds to explain the shapes and proportions so important to chutti. At 2.45pm we will go, as we always do, to the Kerala Kalamandalam to place flowers at the door of his Kalri [classroom] and remember his greatness, kindness and thank him for giving me my life. Our thoughts will be with all his family, friends and the Kathakali world who lost a genius when this outstanding master died. With respect Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar and Kalamandalam Vijayakumar.


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