A year has passed since Covid19 was first detected in Wuhan, China. The world is still reeling within the grip of this unprecedented and unpredictable crisis. While in countries like America and India, thousands of lives are being lost every single day, we are fortunate to be living in this “lucky country” Australia where this pandemic has been brought under control, thanks to the sensible measures based on scientific principles, initiated by the Federal and State governments with the cooperation of health-conscious Australians. We should be immensely grateful to the frontline health workers who are courageously risking their lives to save the lives of their fellow citizens.
Due to the challenges consequential of this pandemic, we are unable to produce a printed edition of Kerala Naadam this year. However, as it is our intense desire to continue our uninterrupted literary journey as the “voice of Kerala”, we are proud to present this ‘digital version’ of Kerala Naadam 2020 to our readers, sponsors and benefactors. Though the transition from the printed to the digital version has its own advantages and disadvantages, this is the best option we can possibly have in the prevailing circumstances. However, we promise to revert to our regular printed editions in the future, as and when circumstances become favourable to doing so.
We are satisfied that we have been successful in identifying and nurturing literary talents in the Australian Malayalee community. Moreover, the enormous contribution of Kerala Naadam to the multicultural Australian society in the last two decades has been recognised and appreciated by the Australian government. The messages from the Prime Minister of this country and the Leader of Opposition, are clear manifestations of the recognition, support and encouragement we have been receiving from the Australian mainstream community.
Leelamaony Pillai who is popularly known as the ‘Mother of Kerala Naadam’, was an amazing woman of versatile talents and the real inspiration behind the inception of Kerala Naadam two decades ago. We would like to express our homage and respect to Leelamony’s fond legacy that continues to inspire and motivate us in our relentless literary pursuits.
On behalf of the editorial Board of Kerala Naadam, I have the pleasure to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to our sponsors and benefactors who have been supporting us throughout the last two decades of the existence of this annual literary publication. Words are insufficient to express our indebtedness and gratitude to our readers, who have been the powerful source of inspiration and encouragement in our literary journey.
I also take this opportunity to thank my esteemed colleagues in the Editorial Board for their fantastic teamwork in producing yet another quality edition of Kerala Naadam, overcoming the challenges and pressures characteristic of the prevailing turbulent circumstances. We are confident that this digital edition of Kerala Naadam will provide the readers with a “different” reading experience unlike our previous editions. By taking advantage of the possibilities of a digital version, we have been able to include more literary contributions in Kerala Naadam 2020, than in any of our past editions.
Amazing literary talents of more than forty writers are displayed in Kerala Naadam 2020. As in the past, priority is given to the Malayalam section which contains eleven short stories, five articles, six poems, two memoirs, one humour and one book review. Together with the contributions of our regular writers, we are proud to introduce a few budding writers who have manifested their unique style of writing. Two prominent Malayalam writers, Paul Zacharia and MN Karasserry are participating in the written symposium about writers and the political process.
We are pleased to congratulate Paul Zacharia, a long-time friend and benefactor of Kerala Naadam who was recently bestowed with ‘Ezhuthachan Award’, which is one of the most prestigious awards in Malayalam literature, for his enormous contributions to Malayalam literature. May he continue his fearless, independent and unique style of writing, which makes him ‘different’ from the other writers in Malayalam.
We wish and hope that our readers and benefactors will continue to support and encourage us in our future endeavours to promote our language and culture in Australia by fostering and encouraging literary talents in our community. We look forward to receiving feedback and suggestions from our esteemed readers which will enable us to improve the quality of our future publications.
Though 2020 has been a year of uncertainty and confusion caused by Covid 19 pandemic, the emergence of a vaccine gives a ray of hope for humanity. On behalf of the Editorial Board, I wish all our readers and benefactors a very happy, prosperous and peaceful New Year. May this new year bring new hope for everyone to overcome the perils of the past year.