Punathil Kunjabdulla dead at 77; here’s what made this noted Malayalam writer so popular in Kerala

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New Delhi | Published: October 27, 2017 11:43:25 AM

Popular writer and Malayalam novelist Dr Punathil Kunjabdulla passed away today at a private hospital in Kozhikode early this morning.

Punathil Kunjabdulla, malayali writer dies, malayali writer dead, malayali writer passes away, malayalam writer, malayalam poet dies, poet in kerala, kerala poet dies, kerala writer diesAs a writer, he shot into fame when his short stories, novels, novellas and other literary writings explored the world of Aligarh that had been less known to the world of Malayalis. (Twitter/K Surendran)

Popular writer and Malayalam novelist Dr Punathil Kunjabdulla passed away today at a private hospital in Kozhikode early this morning. Popularly called ‘Kunjikka’ by those who loved his novels, Kunjabdulla had not been keeping well for over a year. The doctor-turned-writer was 77 years old. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the eminent writer’s death. Punathil Kunjabdulla was born in 1940 on April 3rd in Kozhikode and he studied in Thallassery Brennan college. He completed his MBBS at Aligarh Muslim University. From 1970 to 1973 and later from 1974 to 1996, he worked as a government doctor and later administered a private nursing home. However, his heart was in the literary field and finally that is where he made a distinct mark that won him considerable recognition through prestigious awards and in terms of popularity with the masses.

As a writer, he shot into fame when his short stories, novels, novellas and other literary writings explored the world of Aligarh that had been less known to the world of Malayalis. Bringing a contemporary touch to his writings, he won the hearts of many readers and thereafter, his writings have always kept him in the spotlight, particularly his candid views on any raging topic of the day. Dr Punathil Kunjabdulla’s short stories such as Aligargh Kathakal (Stories from Aligarh) and Marichupoya ente Appanammamarku (For My Dead Parents) were big hits with readers. He was able to create a distinct mark in Malayalam as a writer and command the respect of a distinct set of readers who enjoyed and catered to his unique style of writing.

He spoke his mind without restraint and people enjoyed listening to his candid views, which were somewhat far ahead of his times in terms of how he spoke quite freely about religion, marriage, relationships and so on. However, he also surprised many people when he opted to contest the 2001 assembly election from Beypore on BJP ticket. Dr Punathil Kunjabdulla had won awards including the Kendra Sahitya Academy Award in Malayalam for his novel ‘Smarakasilakal’ in 1980 as well as the Kerala Sahithya Akademi award for the novel, ‘Malamukalile Abdulla’.

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