Thiruvananthapuram: Noted Malayalam poet and film lyricist Pazhavila Ramesan died on Thursday morning. The 83-year-old, who was undergoing treatment for heart ailment, breathed his last at 6.15am.
The poet’s mortal remains would be taken from his house at Nathancode in Thiruvananthapuram to Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan for the public to pay homage on Friday morning. The funeral would be held at Thycaud Shanthi Kavadam with state honours at 2pm.
A native of Perinad in Kerala’ Kollam district, Pazhavila entered the world of poetry by first writing songs for dramas at the age of 14.
After completing his education, he joined the K Balakrishnan's ‘Kaumudi’ weekly. He joined the Kerala Basha Institute in 1968. He retired as its director.
Pazhavila made his debut in the cine world through the song 'Agniyavanmennikualikathanam...' of the 'Njattadi' directed by Bharath Gopi in 1979. Some of his noted film works are 'Aashamsakalode', ‘Malootty, 'Uncle Bun', and 'Vasudha'. He had received several awards too. Pazhavila had even acted in the movie ‘Shraadham’.
His main poetry works are ‘Pazhavila Rameshante Kavithakal’, 'Mazhayude Jalakam, 'Nervara', 'Njan Ente Kadukalileku', 'Mayatha Varikkal', 'Uyarthezhunnelpintte Udal', 'Prayana Purushan', and 'Ormakalude Varthamanam'.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan offered condolences over the death of the literary figure. Representing Malayala Manorama and Bhashaposhini, senior associate editor Jose Panachippuram laid wreath and paid homage to the noted poet.
The communist poet
A Left ideologist, he was a prominent figure in political, social and cultural spheres of the society.
N Ramesan decided to become a poet and communist during a time when following the Left's ideology was considered to be the beginning of doom.
The initial 'N' is his name stood for his grandfather Pazhavila Neelakandan, who had brought him up and was his guiding force after his parents separated months before his birth.
Pazhavila insisted that along with language and imagination, the poet should also have historical knowledge.
He led a poetic life even while standing firmly in communism. For someone who got a taste of the bitter lessons of life at a very young age, Communism became Pazhavila’s ideology. The words of Sree Narayana Guru strengthened his thoughts.
But he was against community-based activities. As a child, he had protested the custom of Pujaris hurling prasad to the hands of the believers. He wanted to break the untouchability practised by at least one Brahmin.
As an adult, his thoughts were channelled on how to break the barriers between human beings.
Veteran leaders including C Krishna Pillai had stayed at his house. He first learned about Communism from Krishna Pillai.
At the tender age of 15, he was assigned a task by the party.
'To sabotage a Hindu Mahamandala meet organised by R Shankar and Mannathu Padmanabhan.' Armed with crude bombs, Pazhavila went with another comrade. However, he did not get the signal to hurl the bombs. He said he took up the task for his love and diligence towards the party.
He was crestfallen when the party was split and even mulled suicide. In his grief, he also wrote a poem 'Chorapuranda Dhukam'. He criticised the party for losing out on its aggressive nature. When he felt that he party members were developing a Congress mindset, he abandoned ‘Janayugam’ and joined ‘Kaumudi’.
His meetings and interactions with other literary greats of the time were also noteworthy.
If he liked a book, he would directly go and meet the author. He went till Kodungallur to meet M N Vijayan after coming across his prologue for Vyloppilli poems.
When he first met author Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, Basheer and Mathai Manjooran were engaged in a wrestling match. Basheer invited Pazhavila for wrestling. Since he had been wrestling since the age of five, Pazhavila was able to take on Basheer.
His criticism of his friend and lyricist Vayalar Ramavarma had been a talking point after Pazhavila stated that 'he has been entangled in the world of cinema. Now there is no escape'.
Pazhavila's poems appear to be rough with little imagination. As he didn't seek awards, none came his way.
In 2001, his leg had to be amputated after his diabetes worsened.
He spent a lot of time talking to people who visited him after his leg was amputated. When his well-wishers pointed out that he was lucky to have wife Radha during these difficult times, an emotional Pazhavila would say "Yes, she is. But what about me? I can't even commit suicide without anyone's help.'
He is survived by wife C Radha, children Surya and Soumya, and son-in-law - Dr V Santhosh (planning board) and D Subhash Babu (business).