A poetic tribute with his own verse — that was what his friends and fans gave poet D. Vinayachandran, before he embarked on his last journey from Thiruvananthapuram.
With soulful recitals from his ‘Veetilukulla Vazhi’ to ‘Bhikshakaran,’ and other selections from Mr. Vinayachandran’s popular works, his friends including V. Madhusoodhanan Nair, Murugan Kattakada, and others made the final moments of Mr. Vinayachandran in the State capital a poignant memory for those present at VJT Hall, where his body was kept for public viewing on Monday.
As the recitals went on, there was a steady flow of people from all walks of life to pay their last respects to the man who drew not just poetry lovers, but the youth too, to poetry through his works.
The body, which was taken to Kollam around 4 p.m., was first kept at the Press Club, where poet Sugathakumari; BJP leader O. Rajagopal; M.B. Rajesh and P. Rajeev, MPs; film-maker Madhupal; and others, including a large number of his former students, paid their tributes.
The flow of tributes only gained momentum in the two hours that the body was kept at VJT Hall with Speaker G. Karthikeyan and Chief Minister Oommen Chandy being among those who reached there.
Mr. Chandy, in a condolence message, said the contribution of Mr. Vinayachandran, who had effortlessly merged the classic flavour of Malayalam poetic language with that of folk to make poetry more popular, would be stay in public memory forever.
Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan said his demise was a huge loss to cultural Kerala. A popular poet and social activist who stood for progress, Mr. Vinayachandran had used his poems for protection of the environment as well. His contribution to making Malayalam a compulsory subject and the first language in all schools in the State too could not be forgotten, Mr. Achuthanandan said.
Union Minister of State for Human Resource Shashi Tharoor; KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala; CPI (M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI State secretary Pannian Ravindran; LDF convener Vaikom Viswan; Deputy Leader of the Opposition Kodiyeri Balakrishnan; poet O.N.V. Kurup; film-maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan; Ministers Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, K.C. Joseph, V.S. Sivakumar, A.P. Anil Kumar, M.K. Muneer, P.J. Joseph, Adoor Prakash, K.B. Ganesh Kumar, and P.K. Kunhalikutty; Chief Whip P.C. George; former Ministers T.M. Thomas Isaac, C. Divakaran, and M.A. Baby; T.N. Seema, MP; Palode Ravi, MLA; litterateurs Paul Zachariah, Kavalam Narayana Panicker; and others were among those who paid their tributes to Mr. Vinayachandran.