Honouring a poet, differently

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, OCT. 8. It was a get-together of his teachers, contemporaries, colleagues and students.

They had all gathered to wish him, to greet him and to pay respects to him on his 80th birthday. For Thirunalloor Karunakaran, poet and Professor, who turned 80 today, it was an occasion to cherish for the rest of his life, as he himself admitted in his acceptance speech.

`Terrible loss'

Though by nature he is averse to accepting such felicitations and reluctant to celebrate birthdays, Thirunalloor just could not turn down the invitation to be in the city on this occasion. Nor could he avoid travelling all the way from Kollam despite poor health, to be present for the function. "It would have been a terrible loss to me if I hadn't been here today in the midst of this gathering", he said in his opening remarks.

The chief guest at the function was S. Gupthan Nair, noted writer and teacher, who had taught generations of students including Thirunalloor. In an age when there are genuine poets and pseudo poets, both hogging the limelight, it was for the critics to differentiate between the two, Prof. Gupthan Nair said.

Thirunalloor was a genuine poet whose works would stand the test of time, he said. There would not be better translations in Malayalam, of the works of Kalidasa than the ones done by Thirunalloor. He also presented a memento to the poet.

The State Secretary of the CPI, Veliyam Bhargavan, recalled his student days in Kollam where Thirunalloor had been a contemporary of his.

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