Haripad Ramakrishna Pillai as a Kathakali artis is still remembered after twenty five years of his demise because of the impact he created as a kathakali exponent and the clarity,purity and devotion he kept for the upheaval of this art form.
His roles like 'Roudra Bhima' which is enacted in a furious form got accolades on many occasions. He could convey effectively the cruelty and fierce actions of 'Keechakan,Banan,Duryodhanan' etc much above to the expectations of Kathakali lovers.To give an impact to the role of 'Duryodhana's role in Uthara Swayamvaram' and 'Duryodhana Vadham',Nizhalkuthu' etc he used to roar as if a lion and the effect it created to the audience was great.
Haripad Ramakrishna Pillai was born on 17 April 1926 at Haripad, which is a serene beautiful town of Alapuzha District.
Haripad is the venue of the world renowned 'Payipad Jalolsavam' which takes place in the Payipad lake of Haripad.It is a water festival of three days in which so many Snake boats and other types of rowing boats participate and this water sports as well as a traditional festival would be a marvelous to watch.The idol of the Subramanya Swamy to be consecrated at the Subramanya Temple, Haripad was brought on a rowing boat accompanied by several Snakeboats and 'Payipad Jalolsavam' is conducted as a remembrance of this event.
Haripad is the abode of Lord Subrahmanya Swamy and also Snake God 'Nagaraja'.
The Subramanya Temple at Haripad is very famous and this temple has much importance in South India. and The 'Mannarsala Nagaraja Temple' is one of the most sacred Snake temple in Kerala which is situated 3 km from Haripad.
|Standing from Left to right 'Mamkobu Sivasankara Pillai,Chennithala Chellappan Pillai,Haripad Ramakrishna Pillai and Madavoor Vasudevan Nair.Sitting on the chair is Guru Chengannur Raman Pillai.|
The glory of Haripad was also spread by the famous poetry book 'Mayura Sandesam' which was written by 'Kerala Varma Valia Koithamburan' as a message for his wife at Thiruvananthapuram told to a Peacock.This message poem which is popular as 'Sandesa Kavyam' drew much attention among literary lovers and appreciated as a classic work.
Haripad is the birthplace of many noted personalities in varied and diversified fields and in this soil which enriched music,drama,literature,cultural activities of many sorts and even sports, Rama Krishna Pillai was also born.
The urge to learn Kathakali and dance was inborn and he was given proper training initially under the Guru Thakazhy Raman Pillai.His first public performance 'Arangettam' was at Pavumba temple near Karunagapally as 'Lord Krishna' of the story 'Rugmini Swayamvaram'.
He continued his training with another well renowned Guru 'Chennithala Pachu Pillai Panikkar' and continued training with him for three years.
Finally all the major roles were taught to him and his acting talents were got polished by Guru Chengannur Raman Pillai.He stayed with Guru Chengannur Raman Pillai and received precise training in all aspects of 'Thekkan Chitta' and made him able to handle all sorts of roles.The main disciples of Guru Chengannur Raman Pillai who all earned a reputed position in Kathakali were 'Chennithala Chellappan Pillai,Madavoor Vasudevan Nair,Haripad Ramakrishna Pillai and Mamkombu Sivasankara Pillai'.
Since he possessed a good figure and personality he could handle 'minukku' roles also and he was an exponent to handle 'Pacha' and Kathi' with equal expertise.
He started a Kathakali troupe and also gave training to deserving and aspirant students who possessed the skill and wanted to learn this art.
He traveled to foreign countries with Kerala Kalamandalam artists and performed Kathakali in foreign locations also.
Haripad Ramakrishna Pillai passed away on 15th February 1989.