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Doctor on a mission to promote Kerala

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Kishore performing for Sruti

Medical doctor Kishore Chandran is a multi-talented personality. Despite his busy schedule, he is finding time to play table tennis and a champ too. He won several quiz shows. He can sing, he can act and he can play classical musical instruments with perfection. Despite a busy schedule, the doctor is on a mission to promote various art forms of Kerala, the God’s Own Country in India…writes Rajitha Saleem  

Kishore performing for Sruti
Kishore performing for Sruti

It is a very rare combination to see a medical doctor with an ardent interest in stage besides practicing and performing traditional art forms of Kerala, the God’s Own Country in India. Despite a busy schedule of hospital and family, the young doctor is striving to promote them in Britain.

Coming from a family of doctors, Dr Kishore Chandran remembers his childhood in Kottakkal, in Kerala filled with exponents of Carnatic music and Kathakali (a classical dance drama of Kerala) singers. His father, Dr Balachandran was a great exponent of classical arts. His home had played host to some of the great names in Thayambaka, another temple art, such as Pallavur Appu Marar, Thrithala Kunhikrishna Poduval and Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan. The maestros are regular participants of the festival at the famous Kottakkal Temple.

“I remember going with my father for a week for the Madras music season. It was a remarkable experience. A chain of classical performances by well known Carnatic musicians,” reminisces Dr Kishore. He admits that he was unaware of the charm of light music and film music for a long time. Inspired by temple art forms, he started learning Mrudangam and had his Arangetam (first stage performance) at the age of 6.

Dr Kishore Chandran on stage - Sruthi Annual Event
Dr Kishore Chandran on stage – Sruthi Annual Event

During his Thrissur Medical College Days, Kishore got introduced to the lighter side of music with some of 80’s film songs. “I listened to some of the popular Hindi songs and I started ardently collecting them and within a span of one year, I had more than 100 cassettes with me” he said. “But even then the love of Kathakali music remained prominently in my mind.”

His college life saw him excel in various quiz competitions and taking a keen interest in sports such as Table Tennis and Cricket. In spite of all these, his love of music saw him take part in many inter-batch and inter-university competitions. He also organised many cultural programs in the college. He remained winner for both Carnatic Music and Mrudangam for his entire college life.

Kishore at one of his mrudangam performance
Kishore at one of his mrudangam performance

Dr Kishore came to UK with this legacy and deep love of temple art forms. He was fortunate that he had to partake in a function by the cultural organisation `Sruthi’ just two weeks after he landed in the country in 2005. From then on Dr Kishore has been an integral part of cultural activities in Northern England with his drama, music and compositions.

“The annual programme of Sruthi adapts work of eminent scholars such as M.T.Vasudhevan Nair, P. Radhakrishnan, Kavalam Narayanapanicker and Adoor Gopalakrishnan and presents them to the UK audience and I draw immense pleasure in assisting in the scripting of the same,” informs Kishore. He also plays a pivotal role in the cultural activities of alumni meet of his friends in medical profession.

“Even though I engage myself in these cultural activities, Eastern classical music remains my first passion always,” said Kishore as he listened to Kathakali music playing in his car.