THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Noted writer, academician, eminent teacher and winner of Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award B Hridayakumari died at a private hospital here on Saturday morning. She was 84. Hridayakumari was undergoing treatment for the past six months owing to age-related ailments and the end came around 7.15 am.
The cremation was held at Santhikavadam, Thycaud, with full state honours at 5 pm. Poet and social activist Sugathakumari and Sujatha Devi are her younger sisters. Sreedevi Pillai, principal correspondent, Manorama News, is her daughter. Her husband S Sivasankaran Pillai had predeceased her. A gentle soul, who kept a low profile, she had in-depth knowledge of English literature and a broad and modern outlook without compromising on values.
A well-versed scholar in English literature, Hridayakumari had a lasting influence on the students she taught over the years owing to her simple but comprehensive style of teaching. She introduced the students to Shakespeare’s world which gave them a firm grasp of Shakespearean literature.
Hridyakumari started her career in 1950 at the Govt College for Women here. She retired from service as principal from the same college in 1989, after a career spanning over 36 years in various colleges. She served at Maharajas College, Ernakulam; Govt Victoria College, Palakkad and Govt Brennen College, Thalassery and University College,T’Puram.
She headed a committee constituted by the Kerala State Higher Education Council to suggest improvements and reforms to the Choice-Based Credit and Semester System.
She was also a member of the committee on Kerala Curriculum Framework. She had won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1991 for her book ‘Kalpanikatha’, a study on romanticism in English and Malayalam poetry.
‘Nandipoorvam’ is her autobiography. Born in September 1930 in Aranmula as the eldest daughter of freedom fighter and poet Bodheswaran and V K Karthiyayaniamma, Hridayakumari completed her studies in English literature from the University College and Govt College for Women here.
She was a recipient of Prof Guptan Nair Memorial Award, Captain Lakshmi Award of Social Justice Dept, among others.
CM, Speaker Pay Tributes
T’Puram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan, ministers V S Sivakumar, Adoor Prakash, poets O N V Kurup and Vishnu Narayanan Namboothiri, other political and cultural leaders came to her house ‘Abhaya’ at Bodheswaran road, named after her father, at Nandavanam in the city, to pay final respects.