O. N. V. Kurup

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Padma Vibhushan
O. N. V. Kurup
ഒ.എൻ.വി. കുറുപ്പ്
Born (1931-05-27) 27 May 1931 (age 84)
Residence Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Malayali
Citizenship India
Education Master's
Alma mater
Occupation Poet, lyricist, professor
Notable work Agni Shalabhangal, Aksharam, Uppu, Bhoomikkoru Charamageetham, Ujjayini, Swayamvaram
Spouse(s) Sarojini
Children Rajeevan, Mayadevi
Parent(s) O. N. Krishna Kurup, K. Lakshmikutty Amma

Ottaplakkal Nambiyadikkal Velu Kurup (born 27 May 1931),[1] popularly known as O. N. V. Kurup or simply O. N. V., is a renowned Malayalam poet and lyricist from Kerala, India, who won Jnanpith Award, the highest literary award in India for the year 2007. O. N. V. Kurup is also a lyricist in Malayalam cinema. He has penned a lot of lyrics for dramas and TV serials also. He received the awards Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011, the fourth and second highest civilian honours from the Government of India. In 2007 he was bestowed an Honorary Doctorate by University of Kerala, Trivandrum. O. N. V. is known for his leftist leaning.[2] He was the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency for the Lok Sabha elections in 1989.[3]


O.N.V Kurup was born to O. N. Krishna Kurup and K. Lakshmikutty Amma, on 27 May 1931 at Chavara, Kollam (Quilon) in Kerala.[4] He lost his father when he was eight. His childhood days were spent in the village where he attended the public 'Government School, Chavara'. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Economics from SN College, Kollam, he moved to Thiruvananthapuram city (Trivandrum) where he joined Travancore University (now Kerala University) and pursued Master of Arts in Malayalam literature.

O.N.V. was a lecturer at Maharajas CollegeErnakulam, University College – Trivandrum, Arts and Science College – Kozhikode, and Brennen CollegeThalassery. He joined Government Women's College – Trivandrum as the Head of Malayalam Department. He was also a visiting professor at Calicut University. He retired from service in 1986.[4]

He received the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary honour, for the year 2007.[5] He is the fifth Jnanpith laureate from Kerala and the second Malayalam poet to win the prestigious award.[6] According to a statement by Bharatiya Jnanpith, the trust which presents the award, Kurup began his career as a "progressive writer and matured into a humanist though he never gave up his commitment to socialist ideology".[7]

He is now settled at Vazhuthacaud in Thiruvananthapuram, with his wife Sarojini. His son Rajeev works with the Indian Railways Authority, and daughter Dr.Mayadevi is a noted gynaecologist in Durham, United Kingdom. Malayalam playback singer Aparna Rajeev is his granddaughter.[8]


O. N. V.'s first published poem was 'Munnottu' (Forward) which appeared in a local weekly in 1946.[9] His first poetry collection, Porutunna Soundaryam, came out in 1949. He published a book named Dahikunna Panapatram (The Thirsty Chalice) which was a collection of his early poems during 1946–1956.[10]

Poetic works[edit]

ONV Kurup reciting his poem in a function at Thiruvananthapuram
List of Poetry by Kurup
# Name Translation in English Year of publishing
1 Daahikunna Paanapaathram The Thirsty Chalice 1956
2 Marubhumi The Desert
3 Neelakkannukal Blue Eyes
4 Mayilpeeli Peacock Feather 1964
5 Oru Thulli Velicham A Drop of Light
6 Agni Shalabhangal Fire Moths 1971
7 Aksharam Alphabet 1974
8 Karutha Pakshiyude Paattu Song of a Black Bird 1977
9 Uppu The Salt 1980
10 Bhumikku Oru Charama Geetham A Dirge for the Earth 1984
11 Shaarngka Pakshikal 1987
12 Mrigaya Hunting 1990
13 Thonnyaksharangal Nonsense Alphabets 1989
14 Aparahnam Afternoon 1991
15 Ujjayini Ujjain 1994
16 Veruthe Gratis (For Nothing)
17 Swayamvaram Swayamvara 1995
18 Bhairavante Thudi Drum of Bhairavan
19 Oyenviyude Ganangal * Songs of O.N.V.
20 Valappottukal ** Pieces of Bangle
21 Sooryageetham ** The Song of Sun

*Collection of 1500 songs. **Poems for children

Prose list[edit]

List of Prose by O. N. V.
# Name Translation in English Year of publishing
1 Kavitayile Samantara Rekhakal Parallel Lines in Poetry
2 Kavitayile Pratisandhikal Crisis in Poetry
3 Ezhuthachan – Oru Padanam Ezhuthachan – A Study
4 Patheyam Food carried
5 Kalpanikam Imaginative
6 Pushkin – Swatantrya Bodhatinte Durantagatha


In addition to the valuable contributions he had given to the Malayalam literature, he is one of the leading lyricists in Malayalam film/drama/album industry. He was the part of many dramas by Kerala People's Arts Club (KPAC) which has a major remark in the revolutionary movements of Kerala. Kalam Marunnu (1956) was his first film which was also the first film by the famous Malayalam composer G. Devarajan. Since then he has been active in film until date and was honoured with one national award and thirteen state awards (the most by a Malayalee). He has penned about 900 songs[11] in about 232 films and numerous songs for plays and albums. His partnerships with Salil Chowdhury and M. B. Sreenivasan was so popular in Malayalam film industry. He has made many hit songs with popular music directors, including G. Devarajan, V. Dakshinamoorthy, M. S. Baburaj, Raveendran, M. K. Arjunan, K. Raghavan, Shyam, Johnson, Mohan Sithara, M. G. Radhakrishnan, S. P. Venkatesh, Ouseppachan, Vidhyadharan etc..


Civilian honours[edit]

Literary awards[edit]

O. N. V. has won numerous awards for his literary works.[15][16]

Film awards[edit]

National Film Awards
Kerala State Film Awards
O. N. V. Kurup with singer Yesudas

ONV won the Kerala State Film Award for the Best Lyricist thirteen times:

  • 2008 – Best Lyricist (Film – Gulmohar)
  • 1990 – Best Lyricist (Film – Radha Madhavam)
  • 1989 – Best Lyricist (Film – Oru Sayahnathinte Swapnathil, Purappadu)
  • 1988 – Best Lyricist (Film – Vaishali)
  • 1987 – Best Lyricist (Film – Manivathoorile Ayiram Sivarathrikal)
  • 1986 – Best Lyricist (Film – Nakhashathangal)
  • 1984 – Best Lyricist (Film – Aksharangal, Ethiripoove Chuvannapoove)
  • 1983 – Best Lyricist (Film – Adaminte Variyellu)
  • 1980 – Best Lyricist (Film – Yagam, Ammayum Makkalum)
  • 1979 – Best Lyricist (Film – Ulkkadal)
  • 1977 – Best Lyricist (Film – Madanolsavam)
  • 1976 – Best Lyricist (Film – Aalinganam)
  • 1973 – Best Lyricist (Film – Swapna Nadanam)
Filmfare Awards
Asianet Film Awards
  • 2001 – Best Lyricist Award -Meghamalhar
  • 2002 – Best Lyricist Award -Ente Hridayatinte Udama

Positions held[edit]

ONV has served and headed various office of state and central government organisations. Notably:

  1. Executive Member, Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi from 1982–86.
  2. Chairman, Kerala Kalamandalam – the State Akademi of Classical performing Arts(1996).
  3. Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Academy in 1999.

He also has been the part of various delegation at international events. Some of the notable among them being:

  1. Visited USSR as member of an Indian Writers Delegation to participate in the 150th birth anniversary of Leo Tolstoy.
  2. Represented India in the Struga Poetry Evenings, Yugoslavia (1987)
  3. Attended CISAC Asian Conference in Singapore(1990).
  4. Visited USA to participate in FOKANA Conference(1993).
  5. Visited USA to inaugurate literary seminar in Kerala Centre, New York (1995).
  6. Presented poems on Beethoven and Mozart in the Department of German, University of Bonn.
  7. Indian delegate to the CISAC World Conference held in Berlin (1998).


  1. ^ "നിറവിന്റെ സൗന്ദര്യം" (in Malayalam). 25 സെപ്റ്റംബർ 2010. Retrieved 5 നവംബർ 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  2. ^ "O.N.V. Kurup honoured". The Hindu. 21 September 2006. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  3. ^ Partywise comparison of Lok Sabha Elections Election Commission of India
  4. ^ a b "O.N.V.Kurup". Kerala Tourism Development Corporation. Retrieved 25 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "Malayalam, Urdu writers claim Jnanpith awards". The Hindu. 25 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Jnanpith goes to Malayalam poet-lyricist Kurup". The Indian Express. 25 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "Jnanpith for Malayalam poet Kurup, Urdu scholar Shahryar". The Times of India. 25 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Profile
  9. ^ Poetry for the soul
  10. ^ Authors and their works
  11. ^ "MSI Malayalam Song Search – Writers = ONV Kurup". malayalasangeetham.info. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  12. ^ http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/govt-announces-padma-awards-81520
  13. ^ "D.Litt for ONV" (PDF). 
  14. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  15. ^ Literary Awards. Public Relations Department, Government of Kerala. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  16. ^ Awards for O. N. V.. Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Honour for Wordsmith". The Hindu. 6 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  18. ^ "ONV and Mukundan gets Kamala Surayya award". Mathrubhumi. 2 March 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "O N V Kurup wins Thoppil Bhasi Award". The Times of India. 10 November 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "ONV receives Ezhuthachan Puraskaram". The Hindu. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "O.N.V. Kurup gets Jnanpith Award". The Hindu. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "O.N.V. receives Vallathol Award". The Hindu. 17 October 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  23. ^ "The 59th Idea Filmfare Awards 2011(South)". Retrieved 8 July 2012. 

External links[edit]