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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ayyappan Passed Away

Doctors at the Government General Hospital yesterday announced the death of celebrated Malayalam poet A Ayyappan, one day after his unfortunate demise.
Ayyappan, 61, who was found lying unconscious in a busy street of downtown Thampanoor near the city’s railway station ,was shifted to the hospital by the police and residents, where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.
Doctors at the hospital, from where he was discharged last month after being treated for an alcohol-induced health condition, said his body was kept in the mortuary as unidentified before the doctor in charge yesterday during his routine round identified it at around 12 pm.
Ministers and officials soon rushed to the hospital where a large number of his admirers had already gathered and the body was shifted to the Medical College Hospital for autopsy.
Unmarried and leading a bohemian lifestyle, the poet known for his intensity, meditative beauty and romance in his poetry, was believed to be on his way to Chennai where he was to accept the prestigious Asan Poetry Prize today.
Organisers have said the ceremony has been cancelled and the award carrying a cash prize of Rs 30,000, citation and statuette would be presented to his relatives later.
Considered to be one of the highest literary awards in Malayalam, the previous awardees are ONV Kurup, Sugatha Kumari, NN Kakkad, P Bhaskaran, Ayyappa Panicker, Satchidanandan and Akkitham.
In his condolence message, Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan said he was a poet par excellence who broke conventions to produce quality poetry. Ministers MA Baby, M Vijayakumar, G Sudhakaran, Benoy Vishwam and Mullakkara Ratnakaran also expressed grief over the poet’s death.
Officials said his body would be cremated at 4pm on Monday after being kept at the Victoria Jubilee Town Hall from 12pm for the public to pay their last respects. The funeral will take place with full state honours.
Ayyappan wrote more than a thousand poems starting from his student days. His famous works include ‘Maalamillaatha Paambu’, Onakkazhchakal, ‘Buddhanum Aankuttiyum’ and ‘Veyil’. He also published a collection of short stories titled Onakaazhchakal. Police who conducted inquest in the hospital recovered the last poem from his shirt.
Ayyappan, who was born at Balaramapuram on the city outskirts in 1949 joined the Communist Party of India and worked with its mouthpiece Janayugom for a short period. His father committed suicide after consuming poison when he was a year old and his mother committed suicide when he was 15. He was supported by his sister Subbalakshmi and his brother-in-law V Krishnan who lives in Nemam here.He was a close friend of late filmmaker John Abraham, who was also known for a lifestyle similar to that of the poet.

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