A Journey to Jerusalem by Parumala Thirumeni
MALAYALAM PROSE AND THE ELEGANCE OF LANGUAGE
Prose in Malayalam language developed as a result of lits contact
with the English language and literature. Earlier Malayalam had depended
on Sanskrit. There was no prose style in Sanskrit which Malayalam could
emulate. The first prose work in Malayalam, the style of which could be
imitated late, appeared during the early part ;of the 19th century and
that was the Malayalam translation of the Bible.
When Parumala thirumeni was writing his prose works, there was only one prose work in Malayalam; i.e. Varthamanapusthakam. But Varthamanapusthakam had not been printed at that time. The other book Oorslem Thiruyathra was not a work which priced imitation of its style.
The Malayalam prose used in Oorslem yathra Vivaranam is the
developed form of prose which belonged to the age of the travel poems.
During the early decades of 19th century Father Chavara Kuriakose Elias,
Bishop Dr. Marsaleenos and others adopted the Malayalam prose of the
Those scholars who had proficiency in the English language like
Dr. Gundert, Rev.George Mathan, Archadeacon Koshy, Kandathil Varghese
Mappilai, Aymanam P.John, Kalloor Oommen Philipose and the like,
reformed the spoken Malayalam of the times and thus opened a new style
of Malayalam prose.
The Malayalam prose, which developed through this process, is
certainly available in Oorslem Yathra Vivaranam. It has the linguistic
beauty and the quality of the literature of the day. It is most likely
that some of the publications in Malayalam during these days were
familiar to Parumala Thirumeni. Kandathil
Varghese Mappilai, who came to know about Thirumeni’s interest i in
literature, sent to him a copy of one of his works-Keerthanamala.
Thirumeni read it and in July 1901 sent a reply to Varghese Mappilai. It
“I received the copy of Keerthanamala which you had sent me. I
feel happy about it, land I showed it to people who came here and they
too have expressed their satisfaction about it. May god reward you with
his blessings, since your work is much useful for the welfare of all.
I must sincerely pray god to perfect your endeavors in this
direction and make it for the glory of god, the welfare of all and for
your good remembrance. May God grant you peace, protect you and your
family land give salvation unto you”.
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