KOZHIKODE: Punathil Kunjabdulla (77), the most celebrated modern writer in Malayalam literature, passed away here on Friday.
He breathed his last around 8 am at a private hospital, where he was admitted due to age-related health problems.
The body was kept at his daughter Nazeema’s house at Chevarambalam and town hall in the city for the public to pay homage. Later, it was taken to his native place Vadakara and was laid to rest at Karakadu Mosque at Madappally with full state honours.
Kunjabdulla, fondly called as ‘Kunjikka’ was born on April 3, 1940, to Saina and Mammu of Madappally, Onchiyam, Vadakara. After graduating from Brennen College, Thalassery, he did MBBS from Aligarh Muslim University.
Known as a modernist of Malayalam literature, he wrote seven novels and more than 250 short stories. He started writing at the age of 13. Smarakasilakal, which won the Kerala Sahithya Academy Award in 1978 and Kendra Sahithya Academy Award in 1980, is his celebrated novel. Marunnu and Malamukalile Abdulla are his other noted works.
Malamukalile Abdulla won the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 1980. He is also a recipient of other prominent literary awards. He got Kerala Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 2010.
Apart from novels and short stories, his works include travelogues, memoirs and a cookery book. “Nashtajaathakam” is his autobiography while “Volgayil Manju Peyyumbol” is his noted travelogue. Kunjabdulla had co-written a novel titled Navagrahangalude Thadavara with Sethu, another famous writer.
● Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award (Malayalam) (1980) – for Smarakasilakal
● Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (1978) – for Smarakasilakal
● Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (1980) – for Malamukalile Abdulla
● Kerala Sahitya Akademi Fellowship (2010)
● Muttathu Varkey Award (1999)
● Vishwadeepam Award – for Marunnu
‘The greatest storyteller of our times’
Veteran writer in Malayalam Sethu described Punathil Kunjabdulla as the greatest storyteller of our times. “He was the greatest storyteller of our times. His style of narration was simple and lucid yet brilliant,” he said.