Gen next scores raga of healthcare

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Vayalar and Devarajan may be the most celebrated pair in Malayalam film music. But now Vayalar’s niece (Dr Rekha Varma) and Devarajan’s nephew (Dr Dulari Menikkath) are fast becoming the talk of the town as they have got together to promote ayurveda at AyurVaid, an ayurvedic hospital in Kochi.

Both Varma and Menikkath are committed to bringing ayurveda back to its former glory much in the same way that Vayalar and Devarajan did to the art and music scenario.

Menikkath’s mother Gomathi was close to Devarajan but he remembers the master as someone who used words sparingly. “He was mostly confined to his own world but had a liking for children like us. But he was someone who did not show his warmth.

A visit to his Nungabakkam home in Chennai was a great feeling. Chennai seemed so far away in those days,” Menikkath says.

Rekha Varma has only a few memories of Vayalar as he passed away when she was studying in class II. “But I still remember his return to our house in Kozhikode from Delhi via Chennai after receiving the only national award for Kerala for his song Manushyan Mathangale Srishtichu. I remember having seen the legendary Sathyan then,” she says.

Chakravarthini Ninakkujnanente is Varma’s favourite Vayalar-Devarajan song while Menikkath prefers Periyare Periyare and Ayiram Padasarangal.

Now residing in Vayalar, close to the house of Vayalar Rama Varma himself, Rekha Varma and Menikkath are in a hurry to see that their dream project succeeds.

“People have no time and some ayurveda resorts have brought disrepute to this great gift from the ancients. There is enormous potential for ayurveda and we need to get it back to its past glory,” say the duo.

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