Tuesday, October 7, 2008

T Ubaid: A Mappila Poet is Remembered on his Centenary Year

THE BIRTH centenary celebrations of T Ubaid (1908-1972), Arab-Malayalam scholar and a Mappilappattu poet, begins in Kasargode today.

Ubaid, like Moyinkutty Vaidyar in south Malabar, was perhaps one of the first mappilappattu poets who came into fame in Malayalam, in an age when this kind of unique traditions were not taken seriously and were dubbed inconsequential in the mainstream social and cultural circles. But, for Ubaid, his time and his tenacious efforts to bring this unique tradition into the attention of the mainstream proved to be fruitful and ever since his death, there has been regular memorial meetings in his home town ofKasargode where he had built up a rich collection of followers and admirers.

He hailed from a village in this northern tip of Kerala where Kannada and Tulu are as influential as Malayalam. This area has a traditional Muslim population, most of them highly conservative Sunnis and they had their own unique ways of expressions. Arab-Malayalam, a kind oflinguistic pidgin with Arab script and Malayalam and Arab words, was widely in use and mappilappattus were quite popular. They were written in special meters and were sung by local bards attracting the generally illiterate masses.

It was in the Samastha Kerala Sahitya Parishad meeting, an all Kerala conference of writers, held in Kasargode in 1947 where Ubaid presented his major paper on the tradition of mappilappatus in northern Kerala. The session was attended by famous writers and scholars like N V Krishna Warrier and P Narayanan Nair, editor of Mathrubhumi, who published the work in the weekly publication of his newspaper.

Ever since, Ubaid was a live presence in almost all the conferences of the Sahitya Parishad where he entertained his audience with recitation of his own poems. In later years, mappilappattus became a major stream in our literary tradition and the adaptation of mappilappattus as film songs like kayalarikathu ...made it hugely popular.

Ubaid was not only a writer and scholar, he was dedicated teacher too who had received the state award for his contribution to his vocation.


Unknown said...

Can anyone share the family members list of T-ubaid sahib

Unknown said...

Who is the Muppilappattu Poet of "Kerala Ganam" , "Chinda Viharam"?