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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Vanoli Anna 'Koothabiran' to attend SYMA function

This Sunday, we met this person bubbling with enthusiasm belying his age……. ~ to understand him more fully, one need to travel back decades …

Those days the pastime was not Television, in fact Doordarshan Kendra was inaugurated in 1975 ~ Band 1 Channel 4 ~ limited transmission starting from 6 and ending by 10 pm… unbelievable it sounds !! much later came the 2nd channel in 1988 [TVs had no remote !] ~ colour transmission started in 1985 and tamil serial was telecast for the time in 1986....

Those were the days when Radio ruled the roost… in fact the Marina beach behind Kannagi statue was ‘Radio beach’ ~ in between the concrete seat  benches there was the tower which housed a radio and people flocked to hear  ‘maanila seithigal’ [news about the State] in the evenings. 

This genial person who is octogenarian now, rose to fame for the variety of children’s programme organized on All India Radio for over 25 years and earned the sobriquet ‘Vannoli Anna'.  His tone and tenor were so friendly and uncomplicated that he was perceived so closed to all children, even when they had not seen him.   It is Koothabiran, famously known as ‘Vanoli Anna’.  He had discovered and nurtured many a young talent, who rose to become successful later.

His rich and emotive voice entertained hundreds of children, who grew up listening to his radio programmes. He still retains the same penchant and enthusiasm for telling stories to children orienting them to ethical paths. He for sure would have narrated over 1,000 stories in the popular ‘Pappa Malar’ segment on the All India Radio (AIR), for over 25 years, and through other television programmes.

He says that his stories are interspersed with real life characters and incidents that strike him as he sees them.  For longer years he successfully managed to retain a captive audience by involving his listeners with a flowing style of story telling.   Through the stories, he imparted cultural and patriotic values to children.  “Children are children no matter what generation they belong to. They grow up according to how we mould them,” he adds.

This year he has kindly consented to be one of our Chief Guests for the Child Fest and we enjoyed speaking to him and enjoyed the warmth of his hospitality at home on Sunday 12th Jan 2013, when we went for inviting him

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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