Memoir explores educator’s life of culture, struggle, recognition

Sukumar Nayar’s “The Vivid Air” weaves a compelling narrative of life experiences in education, theatre and international development
(PR NewsChannel) / July 14, 2011 / TORONTO 

Though he describes himself as an ordinary man, most ordinary folks don’t visit 41 countries, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, go to jail for political activism or get introduced to His Highness the Aga Khan. In his newly released memoir “The Vivid Air” (ISBN 1460936310), Sukumar Nayar attempts to offer a fascinating retelling of a colorful life full of wide and varied experiences.

Those experiences include growing up in a community rife with caste and class distinctions, professional accomplishments beginning with his days teaching in a rural school in Kerala, India, his stint in the British Civil Service, emigration to Canada, becoming a professor and senior administrator in the post secondary system in Alberta, being involved in over 150 stage productions and a late career as a consultant for the United Nations and the Canadian Executive Services Organization.

In recognition of his efforts, the British government awarded him the Distinguished Services Medal. The government of Alberta recognized him as an “outstanding citizen” with its Centennial Medal award. Alberta also gave him the Theatre 100 Award, bestowed on 100 theatre practitioners who have made substantial contributions to the development of theatre in Alberta in the past century. Grande Prairie Regional College made him an Emeritus and now awards a scholarship in his name. The city of Grande Prairie also recognized him as one of the Hometown Heroes.

Over the many decades of his career, Nayar has had many emotional, interesting and sometimes frightening experiences. When he would relate these experiences to family and friends, they would urge him to write it all down. The result, Nayar hopes, is a narrative sometimes inspirational, often humorous and always interesting.

“I was just an ordinary individual,” Nayar says. “I did not go to an ‘Ivy’ school. My parents were not wealthy. When my life appeared to have been destined for a regular, mundane journey, luck or fate or whatever opened the door.”

“The Vivid Air” is available for sale at and other channels.

About the Author: Prof. Sukumar Nayar holds graduate and post graduate degrees from Kerala, India; the University of London; the University of Montana; and New York University. He was the Senior Master of English in Uganda, the Principal of Boyle School in Boyle, Alberta, the Chairman of Fine Arts at Grande Prairie Regional College and the Northern Regional Director of Fairview College, Fairview, Alberta. He is a dramaturge and has extensive experience in theatre in various capacities.

Sukumar Nayar


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