The origin of the Club can be traced to the Onam celebrations(1939) at the home of Mr. K.P.S.Menon in Simla - the summer capital in those leisurely days and soon it took root in our city, Delhi. It was not surprising that the nucleus of the club was formed by a galaxy of eminent persons - V.P Menon, Sir N.Raghvan Pillai, Dr.K.C.K.E. Raja, A.G.Menon, K.V.Padmanabhan, M.K.Vellodi to name a few.
By an unusual coincidence, during those years of transition between the British Raj to Independence , there were a large number of senior Malayalee officers at the highest level in the government. They provided patronage, encouragement and support. Among these senior officers were people like V.P.Menon, K.R.K.Menon,and Dr.P.P.Pillai who took special interest in the Club. The ladies were also extremely helpfull. Both Mrs. K.R.K Menon and Mrs. P.P.Pillai(Ammayi) took great interest in the activities of the Club, but none more than Mrs. Thankam Shankara Pillai, who was everyone,s Chetathiamma. These were the people who, later in the fifties, founded the Kerala School . Along with these names we will also have to remember the contribution made to the health of the Malayalee comunity by Ammuni Chettan, Dr.K.N.S Nayar. Omcheri was a new and young recruit to this group. Between them they achieved a great deal during the next 30 years.
While at the first the accent was on making the city's Malaya lee community come together, the Club was outward looking too. Perhaps the influence of the very many outstanding personalities who guided its fortunes. While bringing the community together, it also provided a window through which the people of delhi were exposed to the cultural riches of Kerala. Thanks to the efforts and involvement of personalities like K.A Joseph, Justice V.R Krishna Iyer, Justice P.Givindan Nair, M.K.K Nair, Mrs. K.R.K.Menon, Mrs. Thankam Shankar Pillai, Sreemati A.V.Kuttimalu Amma, Sreemati Lakshmi N.Menon.
Promoting the art and culture of the land where palm trees frame the glorious backwaters was a rewarding effort. Rewarding for the people of Delhi . It was the Kerala Club that introduced this city to serious Kathakali in 1954 at a festival which was inaugurated and witnessed by Jawaharlal Nehru. Leading Kathakali artists of Kerala - some legends in their own lifetime - Chenganoor Raman Pillay, Mankulam Vishnu Namboodiri, Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, Kudamaloor Karunakaran Nair – who performed in the 4-day festival made the events a memorable one.
Then came Sahiti Sakhyam, intended to promote creative writing and interest in literature. Scores of Delhi - based Malayalee writers have used this forum to develop themselves, and leading writers from elsewhere have also found it a means to present their works here. O.V Vijayan, M.Mukundan, M.P.Narayana Pillai, P.Narayana Kurup, Kakkanadan, VKN and Cherian K.Cherian found the Kerala Club platform providing a responsive and encouraging audience. The great writers of Kerala who climbed the steps to this Punj House Club premises at Connaught Circus and blessed its activities its activities and enchanted its members included Mahakavi Vallathol, Thakazhi,"G", Uroob, G.Shankara Pillai, ONV, Vyloppilli, N.V.Pottekat, Sugatha Kumari and others. Similarly the annual Swathithirunal Music festival provided another window for the cultural breeze to blow.
There are rich memories which can be shared now. Like President Radhakrishnan inaugurating the Club's Jubilee in 1964. Like when the President Mr.V.V.Giri, participating in Onam celebrations in Kerala Club declared with nostalgic reflections of his days in Kerala as Governor-"Next to being an Indian my happiness lies in the fact that I consider myself to be a Malayalee".
The Kerala Club has not restricted itself to the arts. The more serious problems of the State have attracted attention, like the seminar held on "uniform civil code" and "problems of Kerala".
Its location was central in the capital and it was easily the most convenient place for Malyalees to get together when they had some time for recreation or leisure. The core of the Malayalee community was centered round the Secretariat and it was the government servants and their families who formed the large majority of the membership of the Club. They used to stay mostly in the government colonies but there were also some who were able to cycle down from Karol Bagh. It was a small enough, intimate enough group.
In those early years, in the late forties and the early fifties, the real work of running the Club had, of course, to be done by younger, more junior people, particularly in the media. The location was ideal. Many South Indian restaurants and boarding houses were within reach and the young bachelors who lived in these hotels, formed the regular clientele, so to speak, of the institution. There were daily bridge sessions and the availability of newspapers from Kerala was another attraction for the more nostalgic among us