KOZHIKODE: The writer in Punathil Kunjabdulla always had a special affinity to his home village-Karakkad in Vadakara, which is known for the institution Atmavidya Sangham founded by Vagbhatananda, a reformer, organiser, journalist and nationalist who followed the ancient wisdom of Hinduism and not the dogmatism of theology.
“Karakkad village influenced Punathil in many ways. Many of his stories were reflections of his village and the characters like Vandikkaran Kunjhan, Bappu Kanaran, Moosa Musaliyar and Sankarakurup were real life people in his village. His free thinking was due to the influence of the teachings of Vagbhatananda,” recollects A Swaminathan, a childhood friend of the renowned writer. “He never restrained himself to any particular thoughts and loved the world.
Though he was born in a Muslim family, he never wanted to lead a religious life but wanted to live like a human being. He was truly a free thinker,” said 70-year-old Swaminathan. Swaminathan was also a character in Kunjabdulla’s first short story ‘Ente Aadhyathe Katha.’ “In that story, which was completed during his college days, I was the central character,” Swaminathan said.
Rasiya Musthafa, niece of Kunjabdulla, recollects how her uncle celebrated love in his life which infact put him in trouble many a time. After he launched a medical clinic at Edachery near Vadakara, he was on the look-out for characters for his stories. “He was a doctor with human values and a good story teller,” she added.