Thiruvananthapuram–Noted Malayalam poet and lyricist O.N.V. Kurup passed away at a private hospital here on Saturday, his family said. He was 84.
Kurup was suffering from age-related ailments and leaves behind his wife, a son and a daughter.
A professor of repute who served in many colleges, O.N.V. — as he was popularly known — was the face of the Malayalam cultural world through his works which fetched him the country’s highest literary honour, the Jnanpith Award, in 2007.
A recipient of the Padma Shri and the Padma Vibhushan, besides numerous other literary awards, O.N.V. also has national film awards and 13 state film awards to his credit for his lyrics.
His love for poetry began during his school days. The period saw his poem “Munnottu” (Forward) about his patriotic feelings, being first published in 1946.
He did not look back and rose step by step to become one of the most respected cultural personalities in the state.
Known for his Leftist leanings, O.N.V. was fielded as a candidate of the Left Democratic Front in 1989 in the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha elections, but lost to Congress candidate A. Charles.
O.N.V. was always the first person to be reached by the authorities when it came to naming places.
Even the place where his last rites will be held — ‘Santhikavadam’, the state-run crematorium in the capital — was also named by him.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said O.N.V. was a poet who loved both human beings and the environment and through his works took the Malayalam language to greater heights.
Leader of Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan said he has lost a “brother” and a person who always stood for humanity.
The state government has decided to accord him a state funeral as and when the family decides the date.