Malayalam’s modernist poet M.N. Paloor has won this year’s Kendra Sahitya Akademi award for his biography ‘Kadhayillaathavante Kadha.’
Eighty-two-year-old Paloor Madhavan Namboodiri is the author of some of the finest Malayalam poems of the latter half of the 20th century. He was honoured with the Kerala Sahithya Akademi award for his collection ‘Kalikaalam.’ His other major collections are ‘Pedithondan,’ ‘Theerthayathra,’ ‘Bhangiyum Abhangiyum,’ ‘Sangamasangeetham,’ ‘Pachamanga’ and ‘Sarga Dhara.’
Born to Paloor Manackal Madhavan Namboodiri and Sreedevi Antharjanam on June 22, 1932, in Paravoor, Paloor learnt Sanskrit under renowned Sanskrit scholar K.P. Narayana Pisharody. Later, he mastered Kathakali under the legendary Pattickamthodi Ravunni Menon and Vazhenkada Kunju Nair. He did not, however, pursue a career in Kathakali and left for Bombay to work as a driver with the Indian Airlines. He resigned as senior operator of ground supporting division in 1990.
Poet and scholar K. Satchidanandan writes in ‘Indian Literature,’ the Sahitya Akademi publication: “M.N. Paloor conceives God as a Sultan, smoking his pipe filled with dried human lives (The Coward). He envisages himself as the crazy poet of the twentieth century caught between comets and Boeings, living on Anacin (A Poet at the Airport)…’
Paloor, who currently lives in Kozhikode, was honoured with the Asan Prize for poetry in 2009.Poet happy
Special Correspondent writes from Kozhikode: Though the world defines him as a ‘modernist poet,’ the poet says he has no such hang-ups. “I don’t know about that. All I want when I write is that what I write should be a poem. People may call them (poems) whatever they want,” the poet told The Hindu on Wednesday night, a few hours after he bagged the Sahitya Akademi award.
To a question, Mr. Paloor said all he felt was happiness.
On whether he felt he won the recognition a tad late, he replied “I am 82 years old, I am not concerned whether I got it late or not. Let it be.”
The poet said he had never given “Paloor, the man, much importance.” “My poetry is more important. Besides, the great poet Veda Vyasa never wrote Mahabharata expecting awards,” he said with a laugh.