Poet Descriptions

Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai

Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai (17 April 1912 - 10 April 1999) was a novelist and short story writer of Malayalam. He is popularly known as Thakazhi, after his place of birth. He focused on the oppressed classes as the subject of his works, which are known for their attention to historic detail. He has written several novels and over 600 short stories. His most famous works are Kayar Chemmeen (Prawns, 1956; film adaptation, 1965). He was awarded the Indian government's highest literary award, the Jnanpith in 1984. (Coir, 1978) and 

Born in the village of Thakazhi, in Kuttanad, Alappuzha district of Kerala, he started to write stories when he was a schoolboy. His literary taste was nurtured by his high school headmaster Kainikkara Kumara Pillai (1900-1988) who exposed him to Indian literature. He met Kesari A Balakrishna Pillai (1889-1960) while pursuing his law studies in Thiruvananthapuram. He introduced Thakazhi to modern European literature and thought.

His novels and short stories basically discussed various aspects of societies in Kerala in the mid-20th century. His novel Thottiyude makan (Scavenger's Son, 1947) is considered a pioneer work in Malayalam realistic novel. It is about modernity challenging the rationale of the caste system, that one's profession should depend on pedigree.

His love epic Chemmeen (Prawns, 1956) which was a departure from his earlier line of realism, met with immense popularity. It told a tragic love story set in the backdrop of a fishing village in Alappuzha. The novel and its film adaptataion, also titled Chemmeen (1965) earned him national and international fame. ChemmeenKendra Sahitya Academy Award in 1958. The film adaptation, directed by Ramu Kariat won the National Film Award for Best Film in 1964. was translated into 19 world languages and adapted as film in 15 countries. Chemmeen won for Thakazhi the Kendra Sahitya Academy Award in 1958. The film adaptation, directed by Ramu Kariat won the National Film Award for Best Film in 1964.

 G. Sankara Kurup

G Sankara kurup (born June 3, 1901, Nayathode, Kerala, India - February 2, 1978, Trivandrum , Kerala) , better known as  Mahakavi G (The Great Poet G), was the first winner of the Jnanpith Award , India's highest literary award . 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 Rubaiyat (1932) of Omar Khayyam, 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 i ncorporate 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.

 O.N.V Kurup

Ottaplavil   Neelakandan  Velu Kurup  is a famous  Malayalam  poet from  Kerala, India.  He is acknowledged[by whom? as one of the greatest living poets in India. O. N. V. Kurup  is also a lyricist in Malayalam  cinema. He received the Padmashri Award from the Government of India  in 1998. He is also called  O. N. V., without  the surname. 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,  and  was the runner-up.

O. N. V. Kurup  was born to O. N. Krishna Kurup and     K. Lakshmikutty Amma, on May 27,  1931 at Chavara, Kollam in Kerala.  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 is now settled in   Vazhuthacaud   in Thiruvanathapuram, with his wife   Sarojini, son Rajeev, and daughter Mayadevi.