What was unique about the function held at the Chavara Cultural Centre here on Wednesday evening to mark the release of a book was that it was done by the author himself. Not that there was no one around more eligible for the job. For, watching the scene with a broad smile was the usually serious-looking Jnanpith laureate M.T. Vasudevan Nair.
The author, N. Gopalakrishnan, handed over to his wife, Sumangala, to signal its launch, the first copy of his new book, ‘Vanna Vazhiyil Kandathum Thonniyathum’ (a collection of essays in which, as the title indicates, the author speaks about his experiences during his journey through life).
Mr. Gopalakrishnan took to creative writing after his retirement from civil services. A 1954 batch civil services officer, Mr. Gopalakrishnan, now 80, has already made a mark in literary circles with three collections of essays, Malayalam translation of the former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao’s ‘Insider’, and biography of DC Kizhekkemuri, founder of DC Books.
Mr. Gopalakrishnan is also joint winner of an award of Kendra Sahitya Akademi for translating into Malayalam with poet P.M. Narayanan, ‘Sri Radha’, an epic poem in Oriya by Ramakanta Rath. Speaking at the function MT said Mr. Gopalakrishnan’s essays would be remembered for their gripping style, humour, and the author’s insightful observations about the people he had met. Mr. Gopalakrishnan said his writings reflected his outlook on life. And he often had a feeling he was writing about what he was seeing in a movie in which he was also an actor.
He also told the gathering of book lovers at the cultural centre that after the function he would approach them for donations for a fund which he had been raising to help poor cancer patients. He has already collected Rs.12 lakh from the morning joggers on the Kozhikode beach. Fr. George Edapalliyil of Chavara Cultural Centre, poet P.M. Narayanan, journalist P. Damodaran and Dr. Radhakrishnan spoke.