Playwright Santhakumar no more

A. Sathakumar  

A. Santhakumar, who died here on Wednesday at the age of 52 while undergoing treatment for leukaemia, was one of the finest playwrights in Malayalam of his generation. He directed most of the plays he wrote.

Many of those plays won critical acclaim besides enjoying reruns on the stage. Through them he dealt with a variety of themes.

In Maram Peyyunnu, one of his finest works, he brought to life the tragic story of Ajayan, who was confined to a wheelchair after falling from a tree. The play was well-written; it could have worked with any actor playing the protagonist. But Santhakumar made Ajayan play out the tragic tale of himself.

It was first staged in Kozhikode 15 years ago. One still remembers being moved by watching the preview of the extraordinary production.

Big hit

Maram Peyyunnu won Santhakumar much critical acclaim and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award. It was a big hit on stage too. Before it was going to be performed in Singapore, Ajayan passed away.

Among his other notable plays are Sukhanidrayilekku, which was about a girl being abused by her father, Oru Rathriyude Kamukimar, which talked about sex workers, and Ente Pullippay Karayunnu, which dealt with farmer suicides. Santhakumar’s theatrical world was indeed a wide one. And he knew how to bring raw life to the stage without being too dramatic.

“His was a strong voice on our stage,” his friend and playwright Pradeep Kumar Kavunthara told The Hindu. “His dialogues were powerful and his plots varied. The last time we talked, he told me about a film script he was planning to write.”

His first, and only film, Bhoomiyile Manohara Swakaryam was released last year.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 3:33:10 PM |

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