Homage to my masters

I dedicate these pages to the Tamil women, to my kalam masters, to my kathakali teachers,

for having inspired me with the spirit of India.

I am indebted to my teachers Chandramana Govindam Namputiri and Kalamandalam Krishna Nair for having initiated me to Indian epics through the learning of Kathakali..


I owe to Mrs Thangammal the discovery of the art of kôlam; her modesty and her early morning classes have opened my spirit to Indian pictorial art. Later on, there have been many other encounters and I wish to pay a particular homage to Subhadra Natarajan. Her graphic knowledge, her humility and her fervour have been real life lessons.

Her daughters have accompanied me in the village so I could take photographs. They have enriched my book with many kôlam, writing down detailed notes, verses and their translation and various explanations so I could pursue my research.


I wish to thank all the neighbouring ladies who spontaneously contributed to my quest by inserting in my booklet sheets of paper with amazing kôlam designs.

Homage also to Vadivu and Malathi for having shared with explained to me the domestic rituals and their appropriate drawings. May all the women of Chennai, Pondichery, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram and Tatamangalam in Kerala be thanked for having taught me the usages and subtleties of rice flour tracing.


At the same time, I discovered Kerala’s ephemeral painting tradition through my master Mr Parameswara Kurup who embodies fulfilment through art. His generosity, his steadfastness and his humility remain to this day a great source of inspiration. It is to him, that I dedicated the film « Kalam eluttu pattu ».