Oru Sankeerthanam Pole

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Oru sangeerthanam Pole
Cover picture of the book Oru Sankeerthanam Pole.jpg
46th edition cover (March 2011)
Author Perumbadavam Sreedharan
Cover artist T.A.Joseph
Country India
Language Malayalam
Genre Novel
Publisher Ashramam Bhasi, Sankeerthanam Publications, Kollam
Publication date
September 1993
Pages 223[1]
ISBN 978-812400354-1

Oru Sankeerthanam Pole (Malayalam: ഒരു സങ്കീർത്തനം പോലെ) is a widely acclaimed novel written by Perumbadavam Sreedharan, first published in September, 1993. Set in the city of Saint Petersburg, it deals with the life of the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky and his love affair with Anna who would later become his wife. This book broke Malayalam publishing records in 2005 by selling more than 100,000 copies in just 12 years after its initial publication.[2] It won numerous awards, the most prestigious one being the 1996 Vayalar award.[3]


The novel revolves around the life of Dostoyevsky from the time of his meeting with Anna till their union. Dostoyevsky had promised his editor Stellovsky that he would complete the novel The Gambler within a few months, but he had not written a single page yet. On the advice of a friend, he recruits a stenographer, Anna to speed up the completion. Anna had great respect for the novelist. But he was nothing like she imagined. On the surface, Dostoyevsky was an alcoholic, gambler and epileptic who could evoke revulsion in anyone. But Anna slowly discovers deeper characteristics in his personality, which slowly progresses into the emotion of love.

The novel delves deep into the mind of Dostoyevsky and exposes its loneliness, weaknesses, pain and spiritual agony. His own emotions of being a gambler and alcoholic gets portrayed in his novel The Gambler. The string of failed relationships, poverty and diseases haunt him. The presence of Anna gives him great relief. In the end, he communicates his love to her. They decide to be together.


Perumbadavam Sreedharan, in his introduction to the book, thanks Anna's memoirs for giving inputs for the theme of the book. The details of the life and personality of Dostoyevsky were derived from his various novels and biographies.

Unlike other biographers of Dostoyevsky, Perumbadavam does not crucify him for his weaknesses and manias. In the introduction to the book in a reprint in 2006,[4] he says that the agonies that life gave Dostoyevsky purified him into a saint. He argues that only a saint could have produced such great works as Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. Dostoyevsky's epileptic seizures, gambling mania and alcoholism are not considered as mere weaknesses of his heart, but as symbols of creative agony and internal conflicts of a great writer.


  • Dostoyevsky - Russian author
  • Anna - Dostoyevsky's stenographer
  • Fedosya - Dostoyevsky's elderly maid
  • Gregory Yakov - Old man who lends money for gambling
  • Stellovsky - Cruel publisher of Dostoyevsky's books
  • Alonkin - House owner
  • Polina Suslova - Earlier lover of Dostoyevsky
  • Pasha - Dostoyevsky's stepson
  • Ivan - Young man who wishes to marry Anna


The book was first published in September, 1993. It sold more than 50,000 copies in the first 6 years and more than 100,000 copies in the first 12 years. The latter feat was celebrated at Thiruvananthapuram on August 3, 2005.[5] The book was translated to many Indian and foreign languages including Hindi and English.[6][7]


  1. ^ "Title at Indulekha". 
  2. ^ "Celebrating a milestone". The Hindu. Dec 17, 2005. 
  3. ^ "List of Vayalar Award Winners". 
  4. ^ Oru Sankeerthanam Pole (Reprint ed.). Ashramam Bhasi, Sankeerthanam Publications. 2006. pp. 7–14. 
  5. ^ Oru Sankeerthanam Pole (Reprint ed.). Ashramam Bhasi, Sankeerthanam Publications. 2006. p. 14. 
  6. ^ One India (1 June 2004). "Oru Sankeerthanam Pole to be released in Hindi". Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Oru Sangeerthanam Pole in Arabic". The Hindu. August 7, 2010.