Celebrated poet ONV Kurup passes away

Published Feb 14, 2016, 6:04 am IST
Updated Feb 14, 2016, 6:04 am IST
The body will be kept at VJT hall on Sunday to enable the public to pay their last respects.
O.N.V.  Kurup
 O.N.V. Kurup

Thiruvananthapuram: Jnanpith award winner and  a titan of Indian literature, O.N.V.  Kurup,  85, passed away here on Saturday.  He was undergoing treatment for old-age ailments and was admitted to KIMS hospital two days ago.  The end came at  4.49 p.m.

He is survived by wife P.P. Sarojini and children Rajeevan (chairman Railway Recruitment Board, Thiruvanantha- puram)  and Dr Mayadevi (gynaecologist, London).  His body was brought to his house ‘Indeevaram’ at Tagore Nagar, Vazhuthacaud, by  7.20 p.m. The  cremation will be held at Shanthikavadam, Thycaud,  at 10 a.m. on Monday with full state honours.


The body will be kept  at VJT hall on Sunday to enable the public to pay their last respects.

ONV was Malayalam's most celebrated contemporary poet and  part of the progressive movement in Kerala.

He penned some of the most memorable poems and film lyrics. He won the  Jnanpith award in 2007 and was given  the Padma Shri in 1998  and Padma Vibhoosham in 2011.  O.N.V. was the second Malayalam poet after G. Sankara Kurup  to win India's highest literary honour and the fifth Jnanpith-awardee from Kerala after S.K. Pottekkat, Thakazhi Shivasankara Pillai and M.T. Vasudevan Nair.   He won the national award for best lyricist for his work in the 1989 movie Vaishali and the Kerala state film award 13 times for the movies Gulmohar,  Radha Madhavam,  Manivathoorile Ayiram Sivarathrikal   and Yagam, among many others.

O.N.V.’s poems include  Daahikunna Paanapaathram, Marubhumi,  Neelakkannukal, Mayilpeeli, Oru Thulli Velicham, Aksharam, Karutha Pakshiyude Paattu, Uppu, Bhumikku Oru Charama Geetham, Thonnyaksharangal, Ujjayini, Swayamvaram and Sooryageetham.

In 2007 he was awarded  an honorary doctorate by Kerala University. He unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha elections in 1989 as an independent candidate of LDF.

Among the numerous awards he had won are Kendra Sahitya Akademi award, Ezhuthachan award, Vallathol award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi award, Soviet Land Nehru award, the first Ulloor award and Ashan prize.

He was part of many dramas by Kerala People's Arts Club (KPAC), which played  a major role in the history of revolutionary movements in the state.  He wrote the lyrics for the first time for the movie Kalam Marunnu in 1956.

This was also the film for which  G. Devarajan also composed. He has penned over 900 songs in over 200 films and written numerous songs for plays and albums.

O.N.V. who started his teaching career in 1957 at Maharaja's College, Ernakulam,  was the head of department of Malayalam in University College, Thiruvananthapuram, Government Women's College, Thiruvananthapuram, and Brennen College, Thalassery.

After his retirement in May 31, 1986, he served as a visiting professor at Calicut University for a year. He was also a member of the Kendra Sahitya Akademi from 1982 to 1987 and    chairman of Kerala Kalamandalam.

Born to O.N. Krishna Kurup and K. Lakshmikutty Amma in 1931 at Chavara in Kollam, Ottaplakkal Nambiyadikkal Velu Kurup was a graduate in economics from SN College, Kollam, and a post-graduate in Malayalam literature.

Location: India, Kerala