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Kalamandalam Gopi remembers his Guru Kalamandalam Padmanabhan Nair

I joined Kalamandalam in 1951. Krishnankutty Warrier was my first teacher. But he went for teaching dances after one year and I became the disciple of Kalamandalam Padmanabhan Nair. In fact I learned Kathakali lessons mostly from Padmanabhan Nair. I have studied under Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair too.

My first teacher was Thekkinkkattil Ravunni Nair of Kudalloor Mana. But it was before joining Kalamandalam and I was too young to understand the depth of Kathakali. I didn’t get a chance to meet the great maestro Pattickamthodi Ramunni Menon. More than that, we were afraid of teachers and hence didn’t ask them anything more. Padmanabhan Nair used to punish us for mistakes like other teachers but he also explained the mistakes,. Corrected and consoled students after punishment.