KERALA

Doctor-writer Pinto dead

C. Pinto

C. Pinto  

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: C. Pinto, the doctor-writer whose pen often proved mightier than the debilitation caused by Motor Neuron Disease, died on Tuesday morning.

Dr. Pinto, who won the first prize for poetry writing at the Kerala University Union Youth Festival in 1991 and the Kakkad award in 1992 for the best campus poem, has written three novels.

Last novel

His last novel, `Bhagavannoor Parayunnathu,' was dictated to his wife, Betsy. In this largely autobiographical piece, he narrates his experience as a doctor at a Government clinic at Bharathannoor. His second published novel, `Agniye Chumbicha Chithrasalabham,' went into its second edition in July 2003, barely a month after its release. By then, Dr. Pinto, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1999, could hardly walk and had little control over his hands.

The poet in Dr. Pinto was very much evident even he was a college student. As the author of many poems which appeared in college magazines and newspapers, Dr. Pinto earned many friends and admirers. His poems were published in two books, `Dr. Pintoyude kavithakal' and `Aakri'; the latter was a single-poem book. `Thoovalsparsham,' the second novel that he wrote, is yet to be published.

Respected leader

During his days as an activist of the Students Federation of India (SFI), Dr. Pinto was also respected as a leader and organiser par excellence. His friends still remember how, while leading student agitations from the front, Dr. Pinto refused to flinch in the face of brutal police action. It was for the same gustiness that he displayed in facing a disease, for which medical science is yet to find a cure, that the UAE chapter of the Medical College Alumni Association gave him its `Best Young Writer Award' in December 2003.

Friends in need

For Dr. Pinto too, his friends meant a lot: they took him to the Government clinic where he served as an assistant surgeon, helped him work and brought him back home.

In `Agniye Chumbicha Chithrashalbham,' his dedication reads, "For my friends who gave me the courage and support to tell this tale, the way it has been told."

Even after he was unable to write, Dr. Pinto continued to dictate poems to his wife; the last of his poems was dictated a week ago. The funeral will be held at noon on Wednesday at the electric crematorium in Thycaud.

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