Kunjabdulla was the greatest storyteller of our times. His style of narration was simple and lucid yet brilliant. Who else after Madhavikkutty managed to elicit such a response from the public?
Though he started writing with the times of existentialism, he could leave it and trod a path of his own. His calibre to depict commoners was astonishing. With this magic, he could have written great works. However, he chose to celebrate life and did not care to write great works unlike many of his contemporaries. His lifestyle can be cited as the reason for this hindrance.
My association with Kunjabdulla began long ago, in the 1970s when I was the manager of a bank in his hometown, Vadakara. Then he was a medical student at Aligarh Muslim University. We met while he was home on vacation. Then it turned into a bond between our families.
He would see everything in a lighter vein. He had a great sense of humour. I had the freedom to tell anything. We went on to write a novel, ‘Navagrahangalude Thadavara’, together. We discussed it together, wrote separately and then edited it together. According to me, it was a work with a difference, though born ahead of the times.To me, the loss is not that of a mere writer, but that of a bosom friend.
(The author is a veteran writer in Malayalam. As told to Chandrakanth Viswanath)