KOZHIKODE: For author MT Vasudevan Nair, Akkitham was an elder brother, equivalent to a mentor. “I knew him from the Kumaranelloor (government higher secondary) school. Akkitham was my senior, and a friend of my brothers. I am very fond of his poems,” recalled MT, himself a Kumaranelloor GHSS alumnus. Both Akkitham and he are Jnanpith awardees and hail from the same area.
MT recalled how he wept upon seeing Akkitham as a theatre actor on stage in school. “I used to visit his Mana walking past the Parakkulam hill in Kudallur. He gave me books from his library collection in Pathayapura,” he said. The duo later came together again in Kozhikode during the 1970s, when MT was a journalist in Mathrubhumi and Akkitham was a scriptwriter in All India Radio (AIR).
A novice in literature back then, he was inspired by Akkitham’s positive comment when his story was published in ‘Keralapathrika’. “He was impressed by the description of the aroma while cooking mustard in my story,” MT said. “I have read all his works, starting from his first compilation of poems, ‘Veeravaadam’. His poems reflect beauty in all times,” he added.