Moorkoth Vengakandy Shankaran popularly known as Gemini Shankarettan was born on 13th June1924 in Kollassery, Thalassery. His father Raman Kavanassery was a school teacher who hailed from Pinarayi in Thalassery. His mother Moorkoth Vengakandy Kalyani hailed from Kavumbhagam in Tellicherry.Krishnan,Kannan, Narayanan,Kunhiraman, Lakshmi and Balan are his siblings.
He had his initial school education from Kavumbhagam high school, Tellicherry.
He joined the Boselion circus in Kolkatta as a trapeze and horizontal bar artiste. Subsequently he worked with the Great Rayman Circus. He along with K.Sahadevan started the Gemini circus on Aug 15, 1951 at Billimoria, Gujarat and the rest is history! He was also a partner in Gemini International, Appolo, Vahini and Grand Jumbo Circus at Dhanapur, Bihar on Oct 2nd 1977.
He led our country's delegation to the World Circus festival held in 1963, in Moscow, Soochi and Yalta. The entire delegation was given diplomatic visas by the Govt. of India. This unique recognition was bestowed as an honour for being rated as the most enchanting troupe in India.
M.V.Shankaran received the Lifetime achievement award from late Sunil Dutt, Hon’ble Union Minister of Sports and Culture in 2004 at New Delhi. Oommen Chandy, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala presented him Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of North Malabar Chamber of Commerce, Kannur in 2012. Received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Mullappally Ramachandran, Union Minister of State for Home affairs in 2013 on behalf of Lions Club, Thalassery.
Presently he is the CEO of Palmgrove Heritage Retreat, Kannur. Has an active social life and is well known in the Kannur Corporate circle. Member of the Director Board of Lions Club of Thalassery, Governing body of North Malabar Chamber of Commerce, Kannur and Chief Patron of Thunchathacharya Educational and Cultural Trust, Kannur. He is also Marshal of the newly formed Celebrities of Goodness International Malabar Chapter.
His wife, Late Shobhana Shankar, is the niece of V.P.Chintan, a renowned Marxist leader. His sons, Ajay Shankar and Ashok Shankar are presently managing Gemini and Jumbo Circus. He passed away on April 23rd, 2023.
The maiden performance of Gemini Circus under the leadership of M.V. Shankaran and K.Sahadevan was held on August 15, 1951 in Billimoria town, Gujarat. During the year 1953, T.K.Kunhikkanan and K.S.Menon joined the Gemini Circus as partners. After two years, K.S.Menon left and started his own Circus. But T.K.Kunhikkanan continued for nearly 24 years till he breathed his last in 1975. Then on M.V. Shankaran and K.Sahadevan continued as partners. During the year 1984, K.Sahadevan left Gemini Circus. During the same year Sitaram Poddar and Babubhai Shah joined as partners. But they also left in 1987. Then M.V. Shankaran managed the circus for a few years on his own. Subsequently in 1992, Vinod Kumar Sabharwal joined Gemini Circus as a partner. During the same year, M.V. Shankaran left the Circus and Vinod Kumar Sabharwal managed the circus on his own till 1999. Subsequently Sahadevan and Premkumar managed the circus for some years. After Sahadevan’s demise Premkumar was managing the circus on his own. In 2005, the circus was on the verge of closure, hence Premkumar requested M.V. Shankaran to take over the circus. M.V. Shankaran guided his sons Ajay Shankar and Ashok Shankar to revive and reclaim the No.1 position of Gemini Circus in the Indian Circus Industry.