"An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child."

- Carl Gustav Jung

Dr. Vayala lived a modest and simple life. His interests and inclinations were essentially Gandhian. Sophistry, luxury, technical gismos and snobbery were totally alien to him. His thought process and inspiration began and ended in oriental, especially Indian culture. The dilemma or absurdity witnessed in the works of a modernist like Beckett, or the Existentialist angst, aka Sartre, are entirely out of Vasudevan Pillai’s art process as seen in his plays. He has a better grounding, he strongly felt, in our own monumental wisdom, as not to be easily swept away by the winds of different ‘isms’ originated in the West in response to their peculiar historical and material circumstances. The conflicts that arise aplenty in his plays are resolved passively, not in the Marxian, chronic deluge of conflict, not through the Freudian cleansing of the subconscious, and not in the Kafkaesque submersion into endless hopelessness. Pillai’s solutions are usually evolved out of the encounters of values that prompt the playwright to set his characters into their roles and moulds of the script, and subsequent purging, ending with the flowering of those values, with a redeemed halo, through the explicity happenings in the story on the one hand, and the indirect undercurrents implied in the work, on the other. This was, probably, the outcome of his simple, yet highly ethical upbringing, and the childhood conditioning, he underwent in the hands of his mother, though this might have restricted the horizons of his creativity. The innumerable foreign jaunts he had later in his life and the affluent material circumstances he came to acquire later, could hardly impact on him, and he continued his life of a mendicant with high thinking, till the last.

Vasudevan Pillai hardly preached on matters or principles that he could not effectively practice in his own life. Thus, his life became closely identified with the profession that he pursued. As a teacher of English literature and as teacher of theater, Pillai gave everything he had, to his students. His commitment to the pursuit of teaching was so complete that he hardly had a life aloof of his classes and his dear pupils.

Theater and teaching were so embedded in Dr. Vayala Vasudevan Pillai’s psyche that very often the borderline dividing life and his beloved professions eclipsed, and the teacher - playwright combo overrode Vayala, the individual. He was committed to his art so abundantly that nothing delighted him in life as much as making a good effort towards creatively contributing something for them every day. True to his enthusiasm, Dr. Pillai’s production of art, in his given area, has been prolific, having authored more than a dozen and half works, twelve of them plays with a mosaic of themes and differing essence.

Pillai was temperamentally a loner. The idealism that he tried to practice in his life was of the kind of high frequency that it made hard for him to mix as one with both the hoi-polloi and the cognoscenti, with the result that Pillai could not command the kind of recognition that he could have pocketed, otherwise.

Vayala, to add to this alienation, was not a believer with a big B. He was agnostic in outlook and was not the type to swallow ideas and matters without questioning them. Rationalism coupled with stringent scruples that he practiced in day to day living, sans compromise, distanced him from his contemporary ‘practical’ and ‘clever’ practitioners of theater. Agnosticism and the resultant lack of spiritualism, though might appear anomalous for a typical Gandhian, truly made Pillai’s philosophy on life clean and honest without hypocrisy.

Vayala was unbelievably innocuous for a person of his erudition that he did not comprehend fully the seriousness of his terminal malignancy till the end. He did not, hence, suffer in the course of his treatment by renowned and understanding oncologists like Dr. M. Mohandas of the Tata Memorial Hospital, Bombay, and departed without experiencing pain, and more important, without losing hope.