Monday, November 14, 2011

Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan

Thunjathu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan (Malayalam: തുഞ്ചത്തു രാമാനുജന്‍ എഴുത്തച്ഛന്‍, Tuñchattŭ Rāmānujan Eḻuttacchan; also known as തുഞ്ചത്തെഴുത്തച്ഛന്‍, Tuñcatt-Eḻuttacchan) was an Indian poet from around the 16th century, known as the father of the Malayalam language — the principal language of the Indian state of Kerala, spoken by 36 million people in the world. In his era, Vattezhuttu, an old script originally used to write Tamil, was generally used in Kerala to write this language. However, he wrote his Malayalam poems in Arya-ezhuttu, a Grantha-based script originally used to write Sanskrit, so that he could accurately transliterate Sanskrit words into Malayalam. His works became unprecedentedly popular, which popularized the writing system adopted by him, and it is the current Malayalam alphabet.
He was born in Trikkantiyur (തൃക്കണ്ടിയൂര്, Tr̥kkaṇṭiyūr), in the town of Tirur, in Kerala. At that time, it was a part of Vettattnad. His personal name is Ramanujan. Thunchaththu is his “family name”, and Ezhuthachan (schoolmaster) is an honorific title or the last name indicating his caste. His name is transliterated in several ways, including Thunchath Ezhuthachan, Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, and Thunjath Ezhuthachan.
Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan lived in the 19th century, He was born at Trikkantiyur (Trkkantiyur) in the Tirur municipality, Malappuram, Kerala, India. His birthplace is now known as Thunjan Parambu.
According to Arthur Coke Burnell, he was “a low-caste man who goes under the name Tunjatta Eḻuttacchan, a native of Trikkaṇḍiyûr in the present [1874] district of Malabar. He lived in the seventeenth century, but his real name is forgotten; Tunjatta being his ‘house’ or family-name, and Eḻuttacchan (=schoolmaster) indicating his caste”. In 1865, Burnell saw the manuscript of the Bhagavata translated and adapted by Thunchaththu, allegedly copied by his sister, preserved at Puzhakkal in the Chittur taluk, and wrote in his book published in 1874: “The author’s stool, clogs, and staff are preserved in the same place; it thus looks as if Tunjatta Eḻuttaččhan was a sannyâsi of some order.” Some sources[who?] state that he was born into a Chakkala Nair family, held low among Savarna Hindu caste system of Kerala and among the Nair caste. Some apocryphal legends have that Ezhuthachan's father was a Namboodiri. That version is unhistoric. A few sources claim that he was of the Ezhuthachan caste. A. C. Burnell, a noted Indologist, categorically stated that Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan belongs to the Ezhuthachan caste only. He had stated this when he edited an article written by another important scholar, F. W. Ellis, when he published an article in Indian Antiquery in 1878 after the death of linguist Ellis. In that path-breaking article Ellis articulated the evolution of Malayalam ("Malayanma") and other south Indian languages.
Ellis stated:
"A Brahman without a father must be born of an unmarried female of that tribe, whose celibacy ought to have been inviolate: he is considered, therefore, illegitimate, and has scarcely an assignable place in society. Elutt' Achan, or the 'Father of Letters', was a Brahman without a father, and on that account has no patronymic ... The Brahmans envied his genius and are said to have seduced him by the arts of sorcery into the habit of ebriety ... he enriched the Malayalam with the translations, all of which, it is said, he composed under the immediate influence of intoxication."
To which Brunell added the footnote:
"Eluttachchan lived in the 17th century; there is no reason for supposing that he was a Brahman father's illegitimate son; he was certainly an Eluttachchan (or schoolmaster) by caste."
Great Malayalam poet and historian Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer concludes Ezhuthachan as either Chakkala Nair or Vattekattu Nair. Sri K. Balakrishna kurup in his famous book Viswathinte Kanappurangal published by Mathrubhumi printing and publishing company Kozhikode had stated that Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan belongs to Ezhuthachan caste. Prof. T. B. Vijayakumar, a noted scholar and historian who wrote many articles in prestigious journals, like Mathrubhumi Weekly, also stated that Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan belongs to the Ezhuthachan caste.
In nutshell, Ezhuthachan was a Kaniyan by caste and had the title Ezhuthu Asan in relation to his teaching service in Ezhuthupalli. In the pre- and early-British ruling era of Kerala, the Kaniyans (traditional astrologers) were the only class who had undertaken the role of teaching letters, grammar, Sanskrit and literature to non-Brahmin communities. So they were known Ezhuthu Asan (Ezhuthachan in the vernacular) but, later, this professional name was adopted by the descendants of families of non-Brahmin disciples of Thunchat Ezhutahchan as a special caste or class. Most of these people were from the Chakkala Nair and Kadupattan castes.
Census reports from 1870 onwards show the Ezhuthachan caste as low Sudra caste.
Mahakavi Kodungallore Kunhikuttan Thampuran, a titan among poets who singlehandedly translated entire Mahabharatham into Malayalam vernacular within short span, stated in an article in a literary journal, Rasikaranjini (edited by himself) that Thunchath Ezhuthachan belonged to Ezhuthachan Caste only.
Father of Malayalam language

According to Dr. K. N. Ezhuthachan, noted scholar, writer, essayist, poet, only Ramayanam and Bharatham belong to him. Others, usually attributed to him, were not really his. According to Dr Ezhuthachan even Uththara ramayanam is not his. Its composition lacks Ezhuthachan's stamp and genius. There may have been many popular keerthanas, namam or japam by other poets, but it was impossible to find a single house in Kerala without Ezhuthachan's Adhyathmaramayanam during those dark times of war, disease and famine.
There is no doubt about his contribution to the literary level of the common man. Ezhuthachan taught the people to respect and worship the language and the alphabet, a level of culture which is difficult to find even in the modern era. He refined the Malayalam language style and wrote his works for ordinary people, incorporating whatever is good with a strong sense of righteousness and worship. His contribution to the Malayalam language through the Adhyatmaramayanam (a translation of the Ramayana and Mahabharatham (a translation of the Mahabharata) is unparalleled, and his contribution in the cultural level is immense. His chief original works are said to include the:
Hari Nama Keerthanam (the song of the holy vame "Hari")
Kilippatu Prasthanam
Devi Mahathmayam
Kerala Natakam
Harihara Sudham
"...[T]he phrase ‘father of language’ is a symbolic reference. Language represents culture. So Ezhuthachan is in fact denoting culture. He shone as a brilliant star above our culture. He renovated the alphabets of heart. We see the light of conscience and moderation in Ezhuthachan. We call him ‘the father of Malayalam language’ because he led the language to a new dimension." — Chattanath Achuthanunni, chair, Thunjan Festival meeting (1998)

The Thunjan Parambu

It was in the Thunjan Parambu that Ezhuthachan modified the Malayalam alphabet and wrote the Hari Nama Keerthanam to popularize the 51-letter alphabet. Even centuries after these events, people from around the state come to take sand from the Thunjan Parambu to use in the initiation of their children to the alphabet. Every year, hundreds of people bring their children to Thunjan Parambu to write their first letters during the Vijayadasami festival which falls in October–November. Children are initiated to the world of letters by masters, teachers or parents by holding their fingers and writing the letters in a plate filled with rice. The letters will also be written in their tongues with a golden ring. They write:
"Anpathoraksharavum oronnithenmozhiyil
Anpodu cherkka Hari Narayanaya Nama" — Hari Nama Keerthanam 14th stanza
There is no controversy that the great teacher was the strongest sponsor of the 51-letter alphabet for Malayalam instead of the 30-letter Vattezhuthu.

Monday, September 19, 2011

O. N. V. Kurup

Ottaplakkal Nambiyadikkal Velu Kurup (Malayalam: ഒറ്റപ്ലാക്കല്‍ നമ്പിയാടിക്കൽ വേലു കുറുപ്പ്), popularly known as O. N. V. Kurup or simply O. N. V., is a Malayalam poet and lyricist from Kerala, India, who won Jnanpith Award,the highest literary award in India for the year 2007. He is considered one of the finest living lyrical poets in India. O. N. V. Kurup is also a lyricist in Malayalam cinema. He received the awards Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011, the fourth and second highest civilian honours from the Government of India. In 2007 he was bestowed an Honorary Doctorate by University of Kerala, Trivandrum. O. N. V. is known for his leftist leaning. He was the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency for the Lok-Sabha elections in 1989.
Kurup was born to O. N. Krishna Kurup and K. Lakshmikutty Amma, on May 27, 1931 at Chavara, Kollam in Kerala.[4] He lost his father when he was eight. His childhood days were spent in the village where he attended the public 'Government School, Chavara'. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Economics from SN College, Kollam, he moved to Thiruvananthapuram city (Trivandrum) where he joined Travancore University (now Kerala University) and pursued Master of Arts (postgraduate) in Malayalam literature.

O.N.V. was a lecturer at Maharajas College - Ernakulam, University College - Trivandrum, Arts and Science College - Kozhikode, and Brennen College - Thalassery. He joined Government Women's College - Trivandrum as the Head of Malayalam Department. He was also a visiting professor at Calicut University. He retired from service in 1986.

He received the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary honour, for the year 2007. He is the fifth Jnanpith laureate from Kerala and the second Malayalam poet to win the prestigious award. According to a statement by Bharatiya Jnanpith, the trust which presents the award, Kurup began his career as a "progressive writer and matured into a humanist though he never gave up his commitment to socialist ideology".

He is now settled in Vazhuthacaud in Thiruvanathapuram, with his wife Sarojini, son Rajeev, and daughter Mayadevi.
O. N. V.'s first published poem was 'Munnottu' (Forward) which appeared in a local weekly in 1946. His first poetry collection named Porutunna Soundaryam, came out in 1949. He published a book named Dahikunna Panapatram (The Thirsty Chalice) which was a collection of his early poems during 1946-1956.

P. Kunhiraman Nair

P. Kunhiraman Nair (4 November 1906 – 27 May 1978), also known as Mahakavi P, was a renowned Malayalam poet whose works romanticised the natural beauty of his home state of Kerala in southern India and juxtaposed it with the hard realities of his life and times.

Born in Bellikoth near Kanhangad of North Malabar, P., as he is known (simply by his initial), led a Bohemian lifestyle, wandering across Kerala, living in several places, meeting their people and making them part of his life and literature. He worked as a school teacher, having taught at Koodali near Kannur and Kollengode in Palakkad district.

Poetry formed his main genre of work (it isn't exactly known how many poems he penned during his half-a-century career as many are irretrievably lost), though he has also penned stories, articles and a few plays. His autobiography, 'Kaviyude Kaalpaadukal' (The Footmarks of a Poet), is one of the celebrated works in prose in Malayalam.

The central Kerala belt of Valluvanad, known for its scenic charm and cultural vibrancy, worked as a major source of inspiration for the poet, who lived there for long—partly as a family man. His works are also dotted with metaphors from Kathakali, the classical dance-drama of his region.

Kunhiraman Nair was an award winner of both the Kerala Sahithya Akademi and the Kendra Sahithya Academy Award.

Also proficient in Sanskrit, Kunhiraman Nair initially worked at a printing press in Thrissur for a few years. Later, he published a newspaper from Kannur, before taking to teaching job and gaining name as 'Kavimaash' (poet teacher) among children. He retired from service in 1961. A sudden bout of illness claimed his life on May 27, 1978, when the poet was staying in a rest house in Thiruvananthapuram.


Kaliyachhan (Oriental Dance teacher, 1954)
Onassadya (Onam Feast, 1960)
Pookkalam (spring, 1964)
Thaamarathoni (Lotus Boat, 1966)
Vasantholsavam (Spring Festival, 1972)
Chilamboli (Tinkling of the Anklet Bells, 1974)
Ratholsavam (Chariot Festival - 2 volumes, 1978)
Thamarathen ( Honey of the Lotus, 1983)




Rangamandapam (Stage Canopy, 1956)
Upaasana (Worship, 1958)



Kaviyude kalpadukal(Footprints of poet)
Ennethirayunna njan(I searching myself)

Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon

Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon (11 May 1911 – 22 December 1985) was a renowned Indian poet of Kerala. He was born on 11 May 1911 in Kaloor in the Ernakulam district. After taking his bachelors degree in science he took B.T. and joined as teacher in government service in 1931.

He started writing under the pen name 'Sree' and his very first collection 'Kannikkoythu' (Maiden Harvest), which came out in 1947, attracted the attention of critics by its innovative style free from the clutches of the Romantic tradition. He was associated with Samastha Kerala Sahithya Parishath the biggest forum for Malayalam writers at that time, for more than 10 years. He represented Kerala in the national poets' meetings held at Delhi (1951 and 1969) and Bangalore (1965). In 1970 he toured the Soviet union. He was the first President of Purogamana Kala Sahitya Sangham, a forum of progressive writers led by leftist intellectuals and artists.[1]

He is considered by literary historians as one of the major voices in Malayalam poetry who marked the transition from the Romantic to the modern era. A scientific insight into the historical roots of social evolution and a deeper understanding of the psychological undercurrents of the human mind characterise his poetry. His mastery of the medium is evident in all his poems both lyrical and narrative.[2]

Many critics consider the long poem Kudiyozhikkal (Eviction of the tenant) as his magnum opus. In the prefatory lines to the poem the poet says: "Punchiri! Ha, Kuleenamam kallam. Nenchu keeri njan nerinekkattaam" (The smile! Oh, It's but a noble lie. Let me tear open my chest and show you the truth). The poem is a ruthless self-examination of a middle class land owner who realizes that the future belongs not to himself but to his poor tenant whom he despises at heart.[3][4]

He died on December 22, 1985 and his body was cremated on the banks of river Bharathappuzha (also called 'Nila'), as he had wished.

Awards and honors

Madras Government Award
M. P. Paul prize
Kerala Sahithya Academy Award (1965) for Kaipavallari
Kendra Sahithya Academy Award (1972) for Vida
Vayalar Award (1981) for Makarakoythu
Sovietland Nehru Award (1964)
Odakkuzhal Award

Selected works

Vithum Kaikkottum
Charithrathile Charudrisyam
Anthi Chayunnu
Risyasringanum Alexandarum (Play)
Kavyalokasmaranakal (Autobiography)

Vallathol Narayana Menon

Vallathol Narayana Menon (Malayalam: വള്ളത്തോള്‍ നാരായണമേനോന്‍) (1878–1958), popularly known as Mahakavi, was one of the celebrity poets in Malayalam language, spoken in the South Indian state of Kerala. Vallathol was born in Chennara, near Tirur, in Malappuram District of Kerala state, southern India. Up to his 27 years he lived in Chennara and wrote so many poems after that he moved to Cheruthuruthi. Born in 1878 and died in March 1958.

He is the author of the famous Sahithya Manjari. He got the title, Mahakavi for his Mahakaavyam 'Chitrayogam'. He played a prominent role in setting up the Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthy, near the banks of Bharathapuzha River. Later this place was renamed Vallathol Nagar. He raised [Kathakali] as a great art form to the level today. He wrote dozens of kavya.

Vallathol wrote predominantly in Malayalam, the language of Kerala. Along with Kumaran Asan and Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer, he was part of a highly creative period in Malayalam literature. Influenced by Rabindranath Tagore, Gandhi, and Karl Marx, as well as by the Sanskrit classics, Vallathol's poetry evolved from its classical beginnings to increasing expression of nationalist and broadly socialist sentiment. He wrote in a variety of forms, using both Sanskrit and Dravidian meters. He did not know English. Vallathol's many works include the mahakavya (a form of epic poem), Chitrayogam (1914), and the narrative poems Magdalena Mariyam (Mary Magdalene, 1921) and Kochu Sita (1928), as well as 11 volumes containing his collected romantic poems entitled Sahityamanjari. In addition to subjects from nature and the lives of ordinary people, Vallathol's opposition to the indignities of the caste system and the injustices suffered by the poor form the themes of many of his poems. His own struggle with deafness from his early twenties also features in some works. Vallathol's poetry has been translated into English and Russian as well as Hindi. Kerala Kalamandalam - The temple of classical arts - It is the realisation of a poet's dream, of a life of dedication, of a journey through the agonies of creation, of the ecstasies of fulfillment. Mahakavi Vallathol was forty nine years old when the idea struck him like a ton of bricks. He had been to a friend's house in Kunnamkulam to witness a performance of Kathakali. Several connoisseurs like him were there. They had come with great expectations. The performance was deplorable, shocking. The Mahakavi felt scandalised that this unique art form, well recognised as total theatre, should have fallen to such low depths. He took a silent vow that night. He would dedicate the rest of his life to the resurrection of Kathakali.

The stunning depression that followed some years after the first world war further ruined the classical arts of Kerala. It was only the strength of character and determination of a few dedicated veterans and an occasional shot in the arm by an isolated patron that kept the flame alive. Kathakali or other classical arts could not attract talented youth in numbers as they offered no source of decent livelihood. No wonder the artists who performed before the poet at Kunnamkulam shocked him. It was that shock however, that saved Kathakali.

Once the idea got into him, the Mahakavi did not waste any time. He called together all his friends and got a new society registered at Calicut in 1927. He christened it the Kerala Kalamandalam. To raise funds for an institution that did not offer a monetary return was not an easy matter. The Mahakavi therefore ventured on a new way of getting money. He got the government approval to start a raffle. It took him and his friends three years to collect a reasonable sum before they could hold the draw at the famous Guruvayur Temple in 1930. The net proceeds of the raffle amounting to Rs. 75,000/ became the capital of Kalamandalam.

The real functioning of the Kalamandalam began in 1930 at the Kakkat Madhom premises at Kunnamkulam. The Mahakavi felt that the institution needed more space and facilities. Manakkulam Mukunda Raja, friend and colleague of the Mahakavi in this venture came forward and offered his premises at Ambalapuram, a few kilometres off Trichur to house the Kalamandalam. When the Kalamandalam was shifted there, the Mahakavi also came and stayed at Ambalapuram so that he could devote his personal attention to the students and teachers. He believed that artists should have a reasonable education and awareness of our classical literature and epics. So he persuaded Kuttikrishna Marar, a rare renowned scholar of Kerala to join the institution to teach the students.

By 1936 a reasonably spacious compound was secured on the banks of the Bharathappuzha at Cheruthuruthy and a building put up at considerable expense. The institution was shifted to the new site and started functioning there from 1937. Kalamandalam had established name of its own by then. Students came from different parts of the world to take advantage of the systematic training available there under the direct supervision of the Mahakavi. They included famous danseuse Ragini Devi and the great choreographer and dancer of international renown, Guru Gopinath. The Mahakavi insisted that the teachers of the institution be the very best available. Thus he secured the services of great masters like Guru Kunju Kurup, Pattikkanthodi Ravunni Menon and Kavalappara Narayan Nayar to teach the actor students, Venkatakrishna Bhagavathar to teach music, Moothamana Namboothiripad to teach Chenta and Venkachan Pattar to teach the Maddalam.

In addition to his poetry, Vallathol also translated the Sanskrit Rig Veda and Valmiki's Ramayana into Malayalam verse, as well as producing a prose translation of the Puranas. He was awarded the prestigious honour of Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1955.

Edasseri Govindan Nair

Edasseri Govindan Nair (December 23, 1906 – October 16, 1974) is a leading figure in modern Malayalam poetry. He has to his credit 19 books spreading over 300 poems in 10 anthologies, 6 books of plays and a collection of essays.

He died on 16 October 1974, and a memorial is erected in his name - Edasseri Smaraka Samithi. He was an important member of Ponnani kalari of mlayalam literature which contributed many a stalwarts to malayalam literature. The locality where he lived in Ponnani, his home town, today is known as Edasseri Nagar in memory of this great poet. He was a law clerk by profession. Edassery as a poet and humanbeing was loved by one and all in Ponnani. Edasseri is revered so much by the new generation poets that poems have been written in eulogy. His poetry has also become a subject of serious discussion among the young intellectuals and critics. Edasseri can be best described as a realistic poet. The real phases of life are depicted in his poem. Here cruelty of life becomes poetry. The best evidences are pengal, Nellukuthukari Paruvinte Kadha, and Bhudhanum Nariyum Jnanum. An award is set up in his name for the best book of the year from among the young writers.

Government of Madras Award for the play Koottukrishi
Government of Madras Award for the collection of poems Puthan Kalavum Arivalum
Kerala Sahithya Academy Award for the collection of poems Oru Pidi Nellikka - 1969
Sahitya Academy Award (New Delhi) for the collection of poems Kavile Pattu - 1970
Kumaran Asan Prize (posthumously given) for the collection of poems Anthithiri - 1979
Literary works

1. Kavile Pattu
2. kootukrishi
3. karutha chettichikal
4. Poothappattu
5. Puthan kalavum Arivalum
6. Thathvashasthrangalurangumbol
7. Oru pidi Nellikka
8. Anthithiri
9. Nellukuthukari Paruvinte katha
10.Ambadiyilekku veendum
12.Kunkuma Prabhatam

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A. Ayyappan

A. Ayyappan (27 October 1949 - 21 October 2010) was a Malayalam poet in the modernist period. Born in a wealthy goldsmith's family, in Nemom, Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala, he became a non-conformist member of reading Malayali families. He had a very tragic childhood. His father, Arumukham, died when he was only one year old, perhaps due to poison. He lost his mother, Muthammal, when he was 15. Ayyappan was supported by his sister Subbalakshmi and his brother-in-law V. Krishnan.

Ayyappan started writing poetry when he was a student. He became involved in the Communist Party and joined the staff of Janayugam, the party newspaper. Ayyappan is well known for his heart touching poems and his bohemian lifestyle. He can also be considered as the last remaining icon of anarchism in Kerala. He was a close friend of the late filmmaker John Abraham. Ayyappan is also famous as a great lover of sunlight ('veyil' by malayalam language) and a passionate adherent of Communism.

"Though a bohemian in the tradition of P. Kunhiraman Nair, Malayalam's celebrated poet of yesteryear, Ayyappan was amazingly rigorous in his poetic expression. Often, the street was his home, for homes seldom welcomed the poet in. But few writers in these times can claim to have had so vast a circle of loving and adoring friends, a large majority of them young men and women.

He won the Asan Puraskaram (Asan Poetry Prize),[3] one of the highest literary awards in Malayalam literature, for the year 2010. Ayyappan was also a recipient of Kerala Sahithya Akademi Award in 1999.


His body was found abandoned in the streets of Thampanoor, Thiruvanathapuram on 21 October 2010. Without recognising the poet, police took his body to General Hospital. His body was kept in hospital mortuary without anybody recognizing who he was and later identified by noon on 22 October 2010.[2][4] He was on his way to Chennai to accept the Asan Puraskaram on Saturday, 23 October 2010.[5] According to other news papers like "Gulf News", "Gulf Times", "The Times of India", "Hariyana News"and "Indian Express", he passed away in a local general hospital after being found unconscious at a roadside.

Important works

Mulamthandinu Rajayakshmaavu
Ente shavapetti chumakunnavarodu
Veyil Thinnunna Pakshi
Greeshmame sakhee
Budhanum Aattinkuttiyum
Chitharogaaspatryile Dinangal
Malamillaatha Pambu
Greeshmavum Kanneerum
Tettiyodunna SeconduSoochi
Kalkkariyude Niramullavar (Collection of Poems)


From His Last Poem. അമ്പ് ഏതു നിമിഷവും മുതുകില്‍ തറയ്ക്കാം പ്രാണനും കൊണ്ട് ഓ!ടുകയാണ് വേടന്റെ കൂര കഴിഞ്ഞ് റാന്തല്‍ വിളക്കുകള്‍ ചുറ്റും എന്റെ രുചിയോര്‍ത്ത് അഞ്ചെട്ടുപേര്‍ കൊതിയോടെ ഒരു മരവും മറ തന്നില്ല ഒരു പാറയുടെ വാതില്‍ തുറന്ന് ഒരു ഗര്‍ജനം സ്വീകരിച്ചു അവന്റെ വായ്ക്ക് ഞാനിരയായി (അയ്യപ്പന്‍ അവസാനം എഴുതിയ കവിത)

G. Sankara Kurup

G. Sankara Kurup, ( Malayalam: ജി.ശങ്കരകുറുപ്പ്, born June 03, 1901, Nayathode, Kerala, India - February 2, 1978, Vappalassery, Angamaly, Ernakulam, Kerala), better known as Mahakavi G (The Great Poet G), was the first winner of the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary award [1][2]. He won the prize in 1965 for his collection of poems in Malayalam Odakkuzhal (The bamboo flute, 1950). With part of the prize money he established the literary award Odakkuzhal in 1968. He was also the recipient of the Soviet Land Nehru Award, in 1967, and the Padma Bhushan in 1968.

After completing his education, Kurup worked as the Malayalam teacher in a secondary school in Thiruvillwamala in 1921. Later he became a teacher in the Government Secondary Teacher Training Institute near Trichur. He worked as the Malayalam Pandit in Maharaja's College, Ernakulam, and retired as Professor of Malayalam from the College in 1956.

Kurup published his first poem, called Salutation to Nature in 1918, while still a student. Apart from 25 collections of poetry, Kurup also wrote verse dramas and collections of literary essays—in all about 40 works in Malayalam. He also translated the Rubáiyát (1932) of Omar Khayyám, the Sanskrit poem Meghaduta (1944) of Kalidas, and the collection of poems Gitanjali (1959) of Rabindranath Tagore into Malayalam. Indeed, one often speaks of the influence of Tagore and Gandhi on the humanism and nationalism of Kurup. Interestingly, he has also been described as a “bard of science” who explores the role of science in achieving the human potential.

He also penned the lyrics for P.J.Cherian’s Nirmala, (1948), the first Malayalam film to incorporate music and songs.

Kurup also led an active public life as a member (1968–72) of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament.



Suryakaanthi (Sunflower) (1933)
Nimisham (The Moment) (1945)
Odakkuzhal (Flute) (1950)
Padhikante Paattu (The Traveler's Song) (1955)
Visvadarsanam (The Sight of the Universe) (1960)
Moonnaruviyum Oru Puzhayum (Three Streams and a River) (1963)
Jeevana Sangeetham (The Music of Life) (1964)
Sahithya Kauthukam (The Sweetness of Literature), in 3 Volumes (1968)


Gadhyopahaaram (Honouring with Prose) (1947)
Mutthum Chippiyum (Pearl and Oyster) (1958)
Ormayute Olangalil (In the Waves of Memory) (1978)

Kunjunni Mash

Kunjunni, popularly known as Kunjunni Mash, was a noted Indian Malayalam poet.
Kunjunni was born in the village of Valapad in Thrissur to Njayapilly Illathu Neelakantan Moosath and Athiyarathu Narayani Amma. Kunjunni started his career as a teacher at the Chelari school. He joined Sree Ramakrishna Ashram High School in Kozhikode in 1953 and retired from teaching in 1982.
He was known for writing small poems which appeared to be childlike in form, but conveyed a message. Kunjunni handled the column for children in the Mathrubhumi weekly under the pseudonym "Kuttettan". He initiated three or four generations of aspiring writers into writing.[1]

His major works include Oonu Thotturakkam Vare, Pazhamozhi Pathayam, Kunjunniyude Kavithal, Kadankathal, Vithum Muthum, Kutti Pencil, Namboodiri Phalithangal, Raashthriyam, Kuttikal Padunnu, Undanum Undiyum, Kutti Kavithakal, Kalikoppu, Pazhanchollukal, Pathinanchum Pathinanchum, Aksharathettu, Nonsense Kavithakal, Muthumani, Chakkarappava, Kadalippazham, Kalikkalam and Kunjunni Ramayanam. His autobiography, Enniloode, is noted for its candour, humour and simplicity.

Kunjunni returned to his native village in 1987 and became involved in social and cultural activities in the Thrissur area. He appeared in Bhoomigeetham, a film directed by Kamal


Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (1974, 1984).[1]
State Institute of Children's Literature Award (1982).[1]
The Kerala Sahitya Akademi lifetime achievement award (1988).[1]
State Institute of Children's Literature lifetime achievement award (2002).[1]
Vazhakunnuam Award (2002).[1]
V.A. Kesavan Nair Award (2003).[1]
Tomyas Award

Sukumar Azhikode

Sukumar Azhikode (Malayalam: സുകുമാർ അഴീക്കോട്) is a writer, critic and orator, acknowledged for his contributions to Malayalam and insights on Indian philosophy.[1] He is a bachelor and lives in Eravimangalam near Thrissur.

Dr. Sukumar Azhikode (born on May 26, 1926) is a writer, critic and orator, acknowledged for his contributions to Malayalam literary criticism and insights on Indian philosophy. He is a bachelor and lives in Viyyoor near Thrissur. Sukumar Azhikode completed BCom in 1946. He then took BT in Malayalam followed by MA and PhD in Malayalam. Azhikode was a teacher at Rajas High School, Chirackal, St. Aloysius College, Mangalore and Devagiri College, Kozhikode and later Principal of SNM Training College, Moottakunnam, and a Professor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Calicut University. He retired in 1986.

Azhikode's most famous work is Tatvamasi (1984, Malayalam), an authoritative book on Indian Philosophy, Vedas and Upanishads. Thathvamasi has won twelve awards including the Indian Sahitya Academi Award, Kerala Sahithya Academy Award, Vayalar Award and the Rajaji Award.

In Jan 2007, he refused to accept the Padma Shri conferred on him stating that "such honours are against the Constitution. The Constitution says everyone should be treated as equal. Giving such honours at different levels, the State discriminates between people. I see the Padma Shri conferred on me as an opportunity to expose this discrimination."

Azhikode is the founder and President of Navabharathavedi – a socio-cultural organization. He has also worked at several newspapers including Varthamanam, Dinabandhu, Malayala Harijan, Desamitram, Navayugam and Dinaprabha. He was the chairman of the National Book Trust between 1993 and 1996.

Prof. Sukumar Azhikode, has been selected for the CN Ahmad Moulavi MSS Endowment Award for the year 2002. The award instituted by the Muslim Service Society in memory of the famous Qur'an commentator and reformist the late CN Ahmad Moulavi, goes for his contributions in the cultural field of Kerala and his relentless struggle for the cause of communal harmony and other human values. Prof. Azhikode is known for his uncompromising fight against communal forces through his writings and oratory.
Azhikode's most famous work is Tatvamasi (1984, Malayalam), an authoritative book on Indian Philosophy, Vedas and Upanishads. Thathvamasi has won twelve awards including the Indian Sahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahithya Akademi Award, Vayalar Award and the Rajaji Award.

In Jan 2007, he refused to accept the Padma Shri conferred on him stating that Such honours are against the Constitution. "The Constitution says everyone should be treated as equal. Giving such honours at different levels, the State discriminates between people. I see the Padma Shri conferred on me as an opportunity to expose this discrimination.
Major works

Aasante Seetakavyam
Ramananum Malayalakavitayum (Ramanan and Malayalam Poetry)
Mahatmavinte Margam (Way of the Mahatma)
Purogamanasahityavum Mattum (Modern Literature and Others)
Malayala Sahityavimarsanam (Criticism of Malayalam Literature)
Vayanayute Swargattil (In the Paradise of Reading)
Malayala Sahitya Patanangal (Studies on Malayalam Literature)
Tatvavum Manushyanum (Philosophy and Humans)
Khandanavum Mandanavum (Destructive Criticism and Constructive Criticism)
Entinu Bharatadare
Azhikodinte Prabhashanangal (Speeches of Azhikode)
Azhikodinte Falitangal (Jokes of Azhikode)
Guruvinte Dukham (Sorrow of the Teacher)
Aakasam Nashtapetunna India (India Losing Horizon)
Pathakal Kazhchakal (Routes and Sights)
Mahakavi Ulloor (The Great Poet Ulloor)

Vaikom Muhammad Basheer

Vaikom Muhammad Basheer (21 January 1908 – 5 July 1994)[1] was a Malayalam fiction writer. He was a humanist, freedom fighter, novelist and short story writer. He is noted for the pathbreaking, disarmingly down-to-earth style of writing that won both literary critics as well as the common man. He is regarded as India's one of the most successful and outstanding writers.[2] Translations of many of his works into other languages has won him worldwide acclaim.[2] His notable works include Baalyakaalasakhi, Shabdangal, Paaththummaayude Aadu, Mathilukal, Ntuppuppaakkoraanaendaarnnu and Anarga Nimisham. He was awarded the Padma Sri in 1982. He is fondly remembered as the Beypore Sultan.
Basheer, born in the village of Thalayolapparampu in northern Travancore, was the eldest child of devout Muslim parents. His father was in the timber business as a contractor, but the business did not do well enough for his large family to live in anything approaching luxury. After beginning his education at the local Malayalam medium school, he was sent to the English medium school in Vaikom, five miles away. While at school he fell under the spell of Mahatma Gandhi. He started wearing Khadar, inspired by the swadesi ideals. When Gandhi came to Vaikom to participate in the Vaikom Satyagraham (1924) Basheer went to see him. He managed to climb on to the car in which Gandhi travelled and touch his hand, a fond memory Basheer later mentioned in many of his writings. He used to visit Gandhi's Satyagraha Ashram at Vaikom daily. He got punished for going late to school due to this.

K. P. Appan

Karthikayil Padmanabhan Appan (August 25, 1936 – December 14, 2008), better known as K. P. Appan, was a renowned literary critic in Malayalam. Born in Alappuzha, Kerala, Appan worked as a Professor of Malayalam literature at S N College, Kollam, Kerala.
In 2008, K. P. Appan won the Kendra Sahithya Academy Award for his collection of essays in Malayalam, Madhuram Ninte Jeevitham. The award was announced after his death.[1]. He was born in 1963 at Alappy.
Books by K. P. Appan

Kshobhikkunnavarude Suvisesham
Kalahavum Viswasavum
Malayala Bhavana: Mullyangalum Sangharshangalum
Varakalum Varnangalum
Bible: Velichathinte Kavacham
Kalapam, Vivadam, Vilayiruthal
Samayapravahavum Sahithyakalayum
Katha: Akhyanavum Anubhava Sathayum
Utharadhunikatha: Varthamanavum Vamsavaliyum
Innalekalile Anveshanaparishodanakal
Vivekashaliyaya Vayanakkara
Rogavum Sahithyabhavanayum
Charithrathe Aghadahamakkiya Guru
Swargam theernnu pokunnu narakam nilanilkunnu
Marunna Malayalam Novel
Penayude Samaramukhangal
Maduram Ninte jeevitham
Abhimuka Sambhashanakal
Charithrathe Ningalkoppam Kootuka


P. Sachidanandan (born 1936), who uses the pseudonym Anand is an Indian writer.

Anand writes primarily in Malayalam. He is one of the noted living intellectuals in India. His works are noted for their philosophical flavor, historical context and their humanism. Veedum Thadavum and Jaivamanushyan won the Kerala Sahithya Academy Award. Marubhoomikal Undakunnathu won the Vayalar Award. He did not accept the Yashpal Award for Aalkkootam and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Abhayarthikal.Sachidanandan was born in 1936 at Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district of Kerala. His father was a primary school teacher.

He graduated in Civil Engineering from College of Engineering, Trivandrum in 1958. He retired as Planning Director of the Central Water Commission after a career which included extended stints working in Gujrat, Mumbai and Bengal. He also worked in the military for four years in the Short Service Commission.It was the famous critic Govindan who helped Anand publish his maiden novel Alkkoottam. At age 34, it was his first ever published work.

It was a new experience for the Malayalee readers and the book received rave reviews and pungent criticisms alike. He followed Alkkoottam (Crowd) with three more equally abstract novels: Maranacertificate (Death Certificate), Abhayarthikal (Refugees) and Utharayanam. These books made Anand a writer with considerable standing in Malayalam.

But it was in the late eighties and early nineties that Anand came up with two more novels, Marubhoomikal Undakunnathu and Govardhanante Yaathrakal, which made him an icon in Malayalam literature.

Contemporary Malayalam writer M. Mukundan made the following comment about Anand's style.

Anand's is the most articulate voice in Kerala today, which questions the moral premises of politics and most importantly, resists Hindu fundamentalism. His essays and novels unmistakably establish a metaphor of resistance. The prose in Anand's novels is taut - no moon will ever rise in it, nor flowers blossom or river breezes waft through. His language, stripped to the bone, sometimes challenges the reader to go through it.

He has also written many short stories and articles, most of which deal with plight of the ordinary people who are exploited by the people in power. Anand's characters are not necessarily a Malayali, and often weaves in historical elements into his stories. More often they are also located outside Kerala.

Anand is also a prolific essayist.

* Alkkoottam (The Crowd)
* Maranacertificate (The Death Certificate)
* Utharayanam
* Abhayarthikal (The Refugees)
* Marubhoomikal Undakunnathu (The Deserts come into existence)
* Govardhante Yaathrakal (The Journeys of Govardhanan)
* Vyaasanum Vighneswaranum
* Apaharikkapetta Daivangal
* Samharathinte Pusthakam
* Vibhajanangal
* Parinamathinte Bhoothangal (The Ghosts of Evolution)

Short story collection

* Asantham
* Veedum Thadavum (Home and Prison)
* Ira (Victim)
* Odiyunna Kurisu (The Breaking Cross)
* Samvadam (Convesations)
* Naalamathe Aani (The Fourth Nail.)
* Kathakal, Aatmakathakal (Stories, autobiographies)


* Savaghoshyathra
* Mukthipadham

Other Books

* Sambhashanangal (Dialogue with Sachithanandan, the poet)
* Idavelakalil
* Jaivamanushyan (The Biological Man)
* Vettakaaranum Virunnukaaranum
* Prakriti, Paristhithi, Daaridryam, Jalam, Oorjam

Anil Panachooran

Anil Panachooran is a noted Malayalam film lyricist and poet. A lawyer by profession, Panachooran lives on the income from his lyrical and poetic work.[1] His songs are predominantly on romantic themes.

His noted lines include Chora veena mannil ninnum from the 2007 Malayalam film Arabikkatha by Lal Jose in which he acted as one of the singers and Vyathyasthanamoru Barbaram Balane from the 2007 film Kadha Parayumbol by M. Mohanan which he himself has sung.
Anil Panachooran was born as Anilkumar P. U. to Udayabhanu and Draupathi in the village of Vayalar, a part of Cherthala in Alappuzha district, Kerala. He did his studies from T. K. Madhava Memorial College, Nangiarkulangara, Kerala Law Academy Law College, Thiruvananthapuram and Kakatiya University, Warangal.

Anil is married to Maya.
Asianet Film Awards

* 2007 - Best Lyricist Award -Kadha Parayumbol, Arabikatha
* 2009 - P. Bhashkaran memorial Golden Award by Kannur Kavimandalam.


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