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P. Kunjanandan Nair, better known by his pen name Thikodiyan (1916 – 28 January 2001) was a Malayalam author. He was born in Thikkodi, a small village in Kozhikode district, in the Indian state of Kerala, after which he took his pen name.

Thikodiyan has written plays, novels, screenplays, and lyrics.[1] In his autobiography Arangu Kaanatha Nadan (The actor who had never been on stage), Thikodiyan portrayed the Malabar's social and cultural development in the post independent period and captured the charm of Kozhikode. This work won him the Kendra Sahithya Academy Award (Malayalam) in 1995[2] and Vayalar Ramavarma Award in the same year.[3]


He was born to M. Kunjappa Nair and P. Narayani Amma.[citation needed] He inherited his love for theatre from his grandfather, who brought him up after his parents died.[citation needed] His primary education was at Basel Mission Middle School, Koyilandy. Later he completed teachers training and joined the same school as a teacher in 1936.[citation needed] He imbibed the spirit of the age of nationalism and social awareness. Private schoolteachers were a neglected lot in British Malabar. Thikkodiyan protested against the inequity and was expelled from the school in 1938 for participating in a strike.[citation needed] He then undertook social work and became an active worker of the Bharat Seva Sangham. Until his last days, he had striven to promote the Nayanar Balika Sadanam, an orphanage in Kozhikode. He joined All India Radio in 1950 as a script writer, and retired in 1979 as a producer. He had joined the AIR after a brief stint as editor of the Malayalam daily, Dinaprabha.[citation needed]

He married in 1942 and was widowed in 1949. He had only one daughter. He died at his residence in Kozhikode on 28 January 2001 aged 85 years.[citation needed]


P. Kunhananandan Nair began his literary career writing poetry in the pen name Anand. He also wrote many satirical along with renowned humorist Sanjayan.

He was rechristened Thikkodiyan by Sanjayan. He took to writing plays in the early 1950s, while serving as a scriptwriter at the Kozhikode station of the All India Radio. Urged by his friends such as S. K. Pottekkatt, Uroob, N. V. Krishna Warrier, M. V. Devan, V. Abdulla and K. A. Kodungalloor, Thikkodiyan wrote a play, Jeevitham, which was staged in 1954. This drama had topped a competition conducted by the Kendra Kala Samithy. On the one hand, he portrayed social realities and poignant human situations (Pazhaya Bandham, Attupoya Kanni), while on the other he set off on flights of fancy, offering a larger-than-life vision (Pushpavrishti, Mahabharatham). Kanyadanam which is based on the Christian life of Malabar proclaims the value of perseverance. Apart from plays, he had also written novels, including Chuvanna Kadal, Aswahridayam and Pazhassiyude Padavaal. Drawn against the background of the sea and the Portuguese invasion, Chuvanna Kadal was among the major historical novels in Malayalam.

Thikkodiyan had written radio skits, features and lyrics, some of which had been set to tune by composers such as K. Raghavan. He made a foray into cinema, writing the story, screenplay and dialogue for Kunchako's Pazhassi Raja. He also scripted legendary director G. Aravindan's maiden work, Uttarayanam.

His autobiography was Arangu Kaanatha Nadan (The Actor Who Had Never Been on Stage).


  • Kanyadanam (Play)
  • Pushpavrishti (Play)
  • Puthiya Thettu (Play)
  • Alkkarady (Play)
  • Prethalokam (Play)
  • Ore Kudumbam (Play)
  • Kannaadi (Play)
  • Ekankangal (Play)
  • Nirahara Samaram (Play)
  • Prasavikkatha Amma (Play)
  • Puthuppanam Kotta (Play)
  • Yagashila (Play)
  • Chuvanna Kadal (Novel)
  • Aswahridayam (Novel)
  • Pazhassiyude Padavaal (Novel)
  • Arangu Kaanatha Nadan (Autobiography)


  • Pazhassi Raja (1964) (Story, screenplay, dialogues)
  • Nrithasala (1972) (Story)
  • Udayam Kizhakku Thanne (1974) (Story, screenplay, dialogues)
  • Uttarayanam (1974) (Story, screenplay, dialogues)
  • Sandhya Ragam (1979) (Story, screenplay, dialogues)
  • Ithiri Poove Chuvanna Poove (1984) (Story)
  • Marikkunnilla Njan (1988) (Story, screenplay, dialogues)



Further reading[edit]