P. K. Balakrishnan

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P. K. Balakrishnan
P. K. Balakrishnan.gif
Edavanakkad, Ernakulam, Kingdom of Cochin
DiedApril 3, 1991
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
OccupationNovelist, historian, critic, essayist, Journalist freedom fighter
Notable awardsVayalar Award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award,SPBF Award, Prof Velayudhan Endowment Award,Kesari Award
SpouseK Bhageerathi
ChildrenHarikesh, Harikrishnan, Jayalekshmy

P. K. Balakrishnan (1926–1991) was a Malayalam novelist, critic and historian.[1] His interests included politics, journalism, public speaking and creative writing. Balakrishnan was a prolific writer from his student days. His recorded journey as an author starts from the anthology ‘Narayana ‘Guru’, a comprehensive work on the great reformer and spiritual leader of Kerala. Most of Balakrishnan's works are critical works. He has written a number of seminal critical works on fiction, on poetry and on society.[2] His studies on Chandu Menon (the first widely accepted Malayali novelist), the art of poetry through Kumaran Asan (the doyen of Malayalam literature) Vyasa Bharatha & Ezhuthachan (the father of Malayalam poetry) and the art of the novel are works that enriched critical literature and earned him name as a critic.[3]

In his writings, he first dealt with Kerala history in the anthology on Narayana Guru, the great social reformer of Kerala who changed the face of its caste-ridden society. He brushes with Kerala history again to study why Tipu Sultan, an able ruler and administrator is perceived as an aggressor and a religious fanatic. The culmination of these studies over 3 decades was his work on the social history which departed from the established narration, titled Jaathivyavasthayum Kerala Charitravum (The Caste System and History of Kerala).[4]

His most popular work is his second novel Ini Njan Urangatte[5] (And Now Let Me Sleep), a Mahabharata inspired novel which was quite a departure from his first novel ‘Pluto’ which is the story of his dog. Balakrishnan has also written several articles over his lifetime of which selected articles were published. Of the four collections published, two were published after his lifetime.[6]


  • Narayana Guru (1954) - an anthology on the social reformer of Kerala.
  • Chandu Menon - Oru Padanam (Chandu Menon - a Study) (1957) - on the author of the first Malayalam novel 'Indulekha'
  • Kavyakala Kumaranasaniloode (The Art of Poetry through Kumaran Asan) (1970) - on Malayalam poet Kumaran Asan[7]
  • Ezhuthachante Kala - Chila Vyasa Bharatha Padhanangalum (The Art of Ezhuthachan) (1982) - a work on the father of Malayalam literature and some studies on The Mahabharata[8]
  • Novel: Sidhiyum Sadhanayum (Novel: Gift of Genius and Nurturing) (1965) - a work on the craft of novel writing
  • Balakrishnante Lekhanangal (Articles of Balakrishnan)(2004)
  • Keraleeyatayum Mattum (The Essence of Kerala etc.) (2004) - a collection of 20 articles published in various periodicals over a time
  • Pluto Priyapetta Pluto (Pluto, my dear Pluto) (1963) - the story of his real life dog named after the Walt Disney counterpart
  • Ini Njan Urangatte (And now, Let me Sleep) (1973) - A work originating from the great Indian epic Vyasabharatha (Mahabharath).[9] Ini Njan Urangatte won the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award (1974)[10] and The Vayalar Award (1978)[11]
  • Tippu Sultan (1959) an historical biography
  • Jaathivyavasthithium Keralacharithravum (The Caste system and History of Kerala) (1983) - a work in Kerala history.
  • "Veritta Chintakal" (Thoughts Apart) (2011) Commentaries on social and political history of India triggered by contemporary events. Collected from articles written in Malayalam daily 'Madhyamam'
  • "Oru Veerapulakathinte Katha" (The Story of a Heroic Thrill) (2015) a collection of articles.

Translations of Ini Njan Urangatte:

  • English: 'Battle Beyond Kurukshetra', 2017, Translator: Jayalekshmy PK (Publisher Oxford University Press)
  • Tamil: 'Ini Njan Urangattum', 2001 Translator: A. Madhavan (Publisher: Kendra Sahitya Akademi)
  • Kannada: 'Naninnu Nidrisuve', 2000 Translator: Sara Aboobacker (Publisher: Kendra Sahitya Akademi)
  • Hindi: 'Ab Mujhe Sone Do', 2016 Translator: G. Gopinathan (Publisher: Kendra Sahitya Akademi)


  1. ^ "Profile P K Balakrishnan". Kerala Sahitya Akademi.
  2. ^ "A Short History of Malayalam Literature by Dr. K. Ayyappa Paniker, P 119,Information & Public Relations Department Kerala State, April 2006".
  3. ^ "Criticism in Malayalam Literature". Dept of Cultural Affairs, Govt of Kerala.
  4. ^ "A Differing Viewpoint on Kerala History".
  5. ^ "An Epic in Modern Idiom". The Hindu, Oct 21, 2003.
  6. ^ "Author's Website".
  7. ^ "Memoir-Compendium of Works on Kumaran Asan". State Government of Kerala. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Mahabharata Inspired Works".
  9. ^ "A literary giant". The Hindu. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award".
  11. ^ "Winners of Vayalar Award". keralaculture. Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala. Retrieved 23 March 2017.

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