Eminent novelist Ekalavyan died of renal failure at a private hospital here on Sunday.

The 78-year-old writer, whose real name was K.M. Mathew, had been keeping bad health for some time. He is survived by wife and two sons.

Like Kovilan and Nandanar, Ekalavyan was famous for his ‘Pattala kadhakal' (tales from the barracks).

Born on August 14, 1934, at Kunnamkulam, Ekalavyan joined the Army in 1953. As military personnel cannot write in their own name, he took the pen name Ekalavyan.

He started writing in 1960. In his five-decade-old literary career, Ekalavyan wrote 33 novels, three collections of short stories, and a travelogue.

His popular works are ‘Trench' and ‘Kayam.' ‘Mruga Thrishna,' published in 2009, was his last novel. – Staff Reporter