10 May 1927|
Valapad, Kingdom of Cochin, , British India
|Died||26 March 2006
Thrissur, Kerala, , India
|Occupation||Poet and lyricist|
|Parent(s)||Njayapilly Illathu Neelakantan Moosath and Athiyarathu Narayani Amma|
|Awards||Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (1974, 1984)|
Kunjunni, popularly known as Kunjunni Mash (Mash is the Malayalam equivalent of teacher/master), was a noted Indian Malayalam poet. He was considered as a children's poet and his poems were short like him. He always led a humble life.
Early life and career
Kunjunni was born in the village of Valapad in Thrissur to Njayapilly Illathu Neelakantan Moosath and Athiyarathu Narayani Amma on 10 May 1927. Kunjunni started his career as a teacher at the Chelari school. He joined Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama High School in Kozhikode in 1953. He was an inmate of the Ashrama and taught, looked after and interacted with the hostel boys there. He retired from teaching in 1982 but continued to live in the Ashrama, which he had found to be most suitable for his unostentatious life and writings known for their simplicity, till he retired to his district for health reasons. Kunjunni died in his ancestral house at Valapad on 26 March 2006.
He was known for writing short poems which appeared to be childlike in form, but conveyed a message. Kunjunni handled the column for children in the Mathrubhumi weekly under the pseudonym "Kuttettan". He initiated three or four generations of aspiring writers into writing. Kunjunni returned to his native village in 1987 and became involved in social and cultural activities in the Thrissur area. He appeared in Bhoomigeetham, a film directed by Kamal. His autobiography, Enniloode, is noted for its candour, humour and simplicity.
One of his two line poems in Malayalam when translated would be like this.
- In Cross my Belief, In Purse my Relief.........
One of his famous lines in Malayalam:
- Kaakka Paari Vannu, Paara Melirunnu
Kaakka Paari Poyi, Paara Baakkiyaayi
His major works include:
- Oonu Thotturakkam Vare
- Pazhamozhi Pathayam
- Kunjunniyude Kavithakal
- Vithum Muthum
- Kutti Pencil
- Namboodiri Phalithangal
- Kuttikal Padunnu
- Undanum Undiyum
- Kutti Kavithakal
- Pathinanchum Pathinanchum
- Nonsense Kavithakal
- Kunjunni Ramayanam
- Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (1974, 1984).
- State Institute of Children's Literature Award (1982).
- Kerala Sahitya Akademi Lifetime Achievement Award (1988).
- State Institute of Children's Literature lifetime achievement award (2002).
- Vazhakunnuam Award (2002).
- V.A. Kesavan Nair Award (2003).
- Tomyas Award
Feature and short films
- 2014: 'Mayilpeeli thundum vala pottukalum': a docufiction. Kunjunni Mash is portrayed by Krishnan Namboothiri.
- "Big Big Kunjunni Mash". Mathrubhumi. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- "Big Kunjunni Mash". Manoramaonline. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
- Santhosh, K., "Kunjunni passes away", The Hindu, 27 March 2006, retrieved 24 January 2009
- "Kunjunni passes away". The Hindu. 27 March 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "Kovelan chosen for Tomyas award". The Hindu. 2 June 2008.