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The Fading Beats of Irinjalakuda

Korambu Vikraman Namboodiri
James Gregory (November 1638 – October 1675) was a Scottish mathematician and astronomer. He was regarded for his contributions to mathematics and trigonometry. However it took years for the world to realize that what Gregory tried to claim was actually discovered by Madhava of Sangamagrama (c. 1340 – c. 1425). Madhava hailed from the town of Sangamagrama (present day Irinjalakuda) near Thrissur, Kerala, India. Madhava was the first to use infinite series approximations for a range of trigonometric functions. His discoveries opened the doors to what has today come to be known as Mathematical Analysis. Madhava made pioneering contributions to the study of infinite series, calculus, trigonometry, geometry, and algebra. However Irinjalakuda failed to remember Madhava. 

Irinjalakuda is renowned all over the world for the relevance of its role in creating musical geniuses such as Paliyath Jayachandran and Korambu Subhramaniyan Namboodiri. Mridanga, known as deva vadya (drum of Gods) is one among the most ancient drums of India. In any Carnatic music concert, it is the main percussion instrument. Famous Malayalam playback singer, Jayachandran initiated his journey into music through Mridangam. He was a disciple of the legendary Korambu Subrahmanian Namboodiri. 

The famous ‘Korambu Mridanga Kalari’ of Irinjalakuda, has the credit of introducing mridangamela to the world of music. A performance comprising of artists as young as 5 years old creating symphony in unison using mridanga had stunned audience around the world. Mridanga artists from Irinjalakuda honoured venues across Japan, Malaysia, Europe and Middle East during the past decade. According to Vikraman Namboodiri, the bond with mridanga is more of an eternal bond sanctified by the divinity of music. A bond that is a lifelong commitment. Vikraman Namboodiri has disciples spread over 11 nations and has taught over two thousand students during the past two decades. All Irinjalakuda can hope is that may this unsung genius escape from the fate Madhava had suffered from the minds of under-educated authorities and self obsessed people of Irinjalakuda.


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