Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Novelist Akbar Kakkattil dies

KOZHIKODE: Noted short story writer and novelist Akbar Kakkattil died here Wednesday. He was 62. He died at 5 am this morning at a hospital in Kozhikode where he was undergoing treatment for cancer. He will be buried tomorrow evening at 5 pm at the Kandoth Kuni Juma Masjid with full state honours. He leaves behind his wife and two children.

His Paadham 30 is the First Teacher Service Story in Malayalam. Akbar was born on July 7 in 1954 at Kakkattil in Kozhikode as the only son out of the two children of his parents, P Abdulla and Kunjhamina. He completed his school education from Parayil L P School, Kakkattil and Sanskrit Secondary School Vattoli. He spend the first half of the first year Pre- Degree at Farook College Calicut and studied up to Degree Course in English Language & Literature at Govt College Madappalli. The first year of P G course in Malayalam Language & Literature he studied at Kerala Varma College Trichur and again moved to Govt Brennan College, Tellichery to complete the course. He took his Bachelor of Education degree from Govt Training College, Tellichery. While studying he was elected Chairman of College Union both at Gov. College Madappally & Training College, Tellichery. He was also the executive member of University Union of Calicut University. He has served as a Malayalam teacher for about 30 years in various schools, including National Higher Secondary School, Vattoli where he worked for a long period.

Kakkattil turned to creative writing at the age of fourteen by publishing short stories in a regular column for children in the leading Malayalam weekly Mathrubhumi. He got published his first story Pothichoru in 1969 through the weekly. He maintained his connection with the literary giants of Malayalam like G Sankara Kurup, Thakazhi and Basheer even during his student life by developing pen friendship with them. He has a collection of works to his credit that comprises 54 books. They include four novels, seven collections of novelettes, twenty-seven anthologies of short stories, six collections of essays, memoirs, a play and a volume of critical essays and interviews with the leading writers of Malayalam. He has received the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award twice. The first ever award in humour section in 1992 for his School Diary- an anthology of short essays and in the year 2004, Vadakkuninnoru Kudumba Vrithantham was awarded as the best novel. He has also been honoured twice by the state government in 1998, his work 'Sthrynam' was awarded with the Joseph Mundassery Award for the best Novel. The Television Award for the best story writer (School Diary –Doordarsan serial) for the year 2002 also went to him.

The fellowship of Literature from Government of India was bestowed on him in the year 1992. The Abudhabi Sakti Award was received by him in the year 2002. Besides, he has been awarded with S K Pottakkad award, Ankanam Award, Malayala Manorama Prize, Rajiv Gandhi Peace Foundation Award, C H Muhammed Koya Award, T V Kochubaava Award, V Sambasivan Puraskar and Dubai Book Trust Award etc.

With his unique style of writing, Akbar Kakkattil creates a world where readers meet the naive innocence of his village folk, who at times indulge in light vanity, but often unfolds compassion and simplicity. The humanism of his insignificant locale is integrated to the humanism of the world in general.

His book on Adoor Gopalakrishnan titled Varoo Adoorileykku Pokam is translated to Tamil (Adoor Gopalakrishnan –Idam Porul Kalai) and his novel Mrithyuyogam is translated to Kannada (Mrithyuyoga).

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