THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: ‘’It was a betrayal… one which left many of us who loved China heartbroken.’’ The octogenarian poet held his breath for a while as if at a loss for words. As the evening sun seeped in through the stained window panes of his living room, O N V Kurup opened up his heart on the joys and sorrows in his long literary life that earned Malayalam a Jnanpith.
And the curious listener was poet, lyricist and the State’s Additional Chief Secretary, K Jayakumar. Jayakumar, who has been engaged by the Kendra Sahitya Akademi to video document the literary career of ONV, told Express that it was a dream come true for him.
The Akademi authorities zeroed in on Jayakumar for the prestigious project as he had introduced the poet’s works at a function held in New Delhi some years ago. ‘’I was more than happy to take up the request,’’ Jayakumar said.
The veteran poet, who seemed comfortable working with a longtime friend, too didn’t hide his excitement. ‘’He is no stranger to me. It’s nice to open your heart to someone whom you love and admire. His father and film maker Krishnan Nair was also a good friend of mine,’’ he said.
Jayakumar said the work would be an impartial documentation of ONV’s literary career. ‘’The audience for me is the future generation. What does this poet stand for? Or for that matter his abiding philosophy? What was he trying to tell all through his long literary career spanning over six decades?... I wish to ponder over these questions,’’ Jayakumar said.
For the narrative, Jayakumar said that he would allow the poet to speak for himself. ‘’There will be minimum interruptions and it would be a smooth sail through the past and present,’’ he said. The work will cover all aspects of ONV’s literary career, beginning with his association with KPAC and cinema, said Jayakumar.
‘’ONV’s poetic career is different from his counterparts in many aspects. His association with Communism, depression during the Indo-China War and his amusing arousal to the status of a poet of universal brotherhood will all be covered in the documentation,’’ he said.
Jayakumar, himself an accomplished poet, lyricist and writer, said that he had the confidence that he could do justice to the work. ‘’I share a warm relationship with ONV. I was indeed honoured when he asked me to pen the preface for his latest work,’’ he said.
Jayakumar had earlier scripted the documentation on M T Vasudevan Nair’s literary career for the Akademi. In 2000, he directed a children’s film titled ‘Varnachirakukal’. He said his father and illustrious film-maker M Krishnan Nair was his greatest inspiration in film-making.
‘’I am eagerly waiting for my retirement to have a great literary life,’’ said Jayakumar, who is due to retire this September.