The year-old Malayalam poet won the Jnanpith award, one of the biggest literary awards in the country, on Friday. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 11 lakh in addition to a sculpture. Akkitham Achuthan Namboodiri, the philosopher-poet believes in the ultimate power of love. He advocates for a universal love towards everything that exists in Nature, a sort of leitmotif that resonates all throughout his poetic creations. There is only one remedy for pain and sadness - and that remedy is Love.
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Love towards all things great and small has remained his ideal. Akkitham Connect through. Books by Akkitham Books about Akkitham Poems. Photos Audios Videos Hand Written. But Akkitham avers that he never consciously strived for such insights, they always visited him, Indeed, he claims it is not he who writes, but someone within. No wonder, his poetic career spanning over sixty years, does not lend itself for easy evaluation. Akkitham is considered one of the harbingers of modernity in Malayalam literature.
He literally burst into the literary scene with his celebrated Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam Saga of the Twentieth Century , a poem that brought him not only bouquets and brickbats but also widespread acclaim as a profoundly contemplative poet. He went on to publish 46 poetry collections, several essays and short stories including such major works as Balidarsanam, Arangettam, Nimishakshethram, Idinju Polinja Lokam andAmrthaghatika.
He had translated Srimad Bhagavatham, a work spread over 2, printed pages. Nambbodiri, one of the prominent living poets in Malayalam, is profoundly contemplative. His poetry reflects Indian philosophical and moral values as represented by Upanishads or by modern thinkers like Mahatma Gandhi. Bharatiya Jnanpith said Nambbodiri is a poet of rare integrity and suggestive power and the author of many works, all considered classics.
Akkitham is his family name. There were no issues in this ancient family of Vedic scholars and he was born as a result of propitiating many gods. He was named Achuthan. Patriarchs of the family naturally wished that Achuthan would turn into a great Vedic scholar. When he was eight, he was initiated by his father into learning Rigveda. Amazingly, he started writing Malayalam slokas in Sanskrit meters around that time. But his heart lye in drawing sketches and painting- a skill he would put to great advantage in his writing later.
He joined the college after passing the matriculation examination: but did not continue his studies further. Poetry sustained him all these years.
But it was his meeting with the legendary poet Edassery Govindan Nair that gave a new direction to his poetic pursuits. His first collection of poem came out in Three years later he got married; he celebrated it with another book of poems. Predictably, he started writing against the evil practices of his community with a reformatory zeal.
Those were the days when communist ideology was taking roots in Kerala. Nampoothiripad, with whom he had longstanding familial ties, was the writing primers on socialism and communism, Akkitham was initially drawn to communism by these writings. But, curiously, it was the Rig-Veda that reaffirmed his faith in communism.
Akkitham was initially drawn to communism by these writings. Akkitham asserts that the Samvaada Sookta of Rig-Veda which talks about the communism of minds is the first instance of proto-communist literature. He turned a fellow-traveler and remained so far nearly seven years, form to Akkitham had by then established himself as a poet of repute.
He had published many books of poems including a narrative poem depicting the story of an agrarian struggle. Wet by the blood of agricultural laborers shot dead by the police. He was also well known as a social activist. But it was difficult to come to terms with the theory of class war. Probably it was the Calcutta Thesis calling for armed revolution which settled the issue for him. Probably it was the death of his first- born which turned him towards spiritualism. He chose to publicly recant his faith in communism.
Initially he wrote three stanzas and thought it was all over. These stanzas now preface the poem. Written as the confession of a repentant communist, Akkitham waited for many months before he sent it to press. Finally it was at the behest of Edassery that he published it in the premier journal Mathrabhumi in August Here was Akkitham Independently essaying on the basic impiety of communism.
Again, as in the case of many classics, some couplets tend to out shadow and outweigh the poem itself. This is one of the most quoted couplets form modern Malayalam poetry. It would appear as though it has flown away from the appointed space in the poem and perched itself in totally different discursive spheres. Ranging from everyday speech to political cartoons, gaining in contra signification. People who unsuspectingly fell victims to the designs of the party and its leaders.
He was basically opposed to the inherent element of violence. Vengefulness, he asserted, cannot ever give birth to peace and happiness. Akkitham believes that, over the last fifty years, ground realities of international polity have proved him right. The poem has gained in eternal relevance considering the ideological metamorphosis the party itself has undergone. It would now seem that there are no points of serious divergence between what Akkitham wrote and the party now professes.
It is not just with the red flag and the rosary beads that Akkitham tussled. How he metamorphosed form the assertion. My tongue shall hence forth chant no names of gods to the exhortation, O tongue! Tradition, for him, is no fossil; it needs to be purposefully integrated into the modern times. So is it with the poetic tradition. In numerous poems he problematises the dichotomy between faith and reason- Why wear the scared thread?
He wrote about the untouchables not o account of a need to politically correct but because of his spiritual communion with them. He would be in the forefront of organizing yagas;but will not swerve from the ideal of popularizing Vedic studies among non Brahmins. Even the stupendous work of translating the Bhagavata into Malayalam was aimed at making it intelligible to all.
Culture is no preserve forest for him. Both folk tunes and intricate Sanskrit metres occur to him naturally. So do sonnets and muktakas. So will you find some of the best allegoric contemplative poetry in his oeuvre. Judge him in terms of verbal felicity, ease and abundance or by the parameters of copiousness, variety and subtlety, Akkitham would score on all counts.
But most probably his fame would eternally rest not on these accomplishments. Most likely it would rest on the limitless compassion reflecting in his poems compassion for children, compassion for the disabled, compassion for the underprivileged. Tears of this compassion irrigate his poetic landscape. Indeed the teardrop, around which he has woven new myths, is a major motif of his poetry.
Tears are nothing but life-giving water. It cannot be otherwise with a poet who wrote about the failure of a much acclaimed revolution. Connect through. Click for Malayalam font.
Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri
Love towards all things great and small has remained his ideal. Akkitham Connect through. Books by Akkitham Books about Akkitham Poems. Photos Audios Videos Hand Written. But Akkitham avers that he never consciously strived for such insights, they always visited him, Indeed, he claims it is not he who writes, but someone within. No wonder, his poetic career spanning over sixty years, does not lend itself for easy evaluation.
I cannot write poems for money: Akkitham
Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri born 18 March , popularly known as Akkitham , is an Indian poet and essayist of Malayalam language. He also worked as an assistant editor at Mangalodayam and Yogakshemam magazines. He was also associated with Anaadi , a literary initiative for popularising studies of Vedas. Akkitham is married to Sreedevi Antharjanam and the couple has a son, Narayanan and a daughter, Sreeja. The family lives in Amettikkara. Akkitham's literary works began to gain wide attention in the early s and Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam Epic of the 20th Century , a khandakavya is one of the first truly modernist poems in Malayalam literature , the book also won the Sanjayan Award in Upanayanam and Samavarttanam , two collections of essays, feature among the writings in prose.