Renowned Malayalam author and screenwriter Madampu Kunjukuttan passed away on Tuesday at the age of 81 after he contracted Covid-19. Kunjukuttan was admitted to a private hospital in Thrissur where he breathed his last. Besides being a prolific writer, Kunjukuttan also acted in several movies like the 2006 movie Anachantham that depicted the story of a man obsessed with elephants, Mani Ratnam’s Agni Nakshatram, 2001 movie Kattu Vannu Vilichappol, and others like Agnisakshi, Chithrasalabham, Aaram Thampuran, Aswathamavu, Karunam, and Deshadanam among others.
Kunjukuttan also had a deep fascination with elephants and was well-versed with Mathanga Leela, a treatise in Sanskrit that described the life and behaviour of elephants. Kunjukuttan was also an avid reader of Vedas and philosophy. He won the prestigious Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for best novel in 1983 for his book Mahaprasthanam. His other famous books include Bhrashtu, Avighnamasthu, Thonnyasam, Mahanubhavulu, Ashwathamavu, Nishadam, Pathalam, Aryavartham, Amruthasya Puthra, and Entharo.
In his book Bhrastu, Kunjukuttan told the real-life story of Kuriyedath Thathri, who was expelled from the Namboodiri community. The novel highlighted the oppressive nature of the patriarchal system in the Namboodiri community,
In 2000, he won the National Award for Best Scriptwriter for the film Karunam. The movie was directed by Jayaraj and depicted the life of an old couple whose children have moved to the United States. The old couple is forced to move to an old age home after their plantations are sold off. Here they meet a caretaker who becomes more like a son to them. Kunjukuttan also wrote scripts of movies like Gourishankaram, Saphalam, Karuna, Makalkku, and Deshadanam.
Paying his tribute to the artist, actor Tovino Thomas tweeted a condolence message.
According to a reports, the writer’s funeral will be held today evening at Madampu Mana, Kizhanelloor, Thrissur. The state government has ordered that police honours be given at his funeral. Kunjukuttan was a native of Kiralur in Thrissur district.