P. Kunhananandan Nair, better known by his penname Thikodiyan (Malayalam: തിക്കോടിയന്) (1916 – 28 January 2001) was a well-known Malayalam author. He was born in Thikkodi, a small village in Kozhikode district, in the Indian state of Kerala. He was a multi-faceted personality, being a poet, playwright, novelist and a producer at All India Radio.
Thikodiyan has written a number of plays, novels, screenplays, and lyrics. 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 and Vayalar Ramavarma Award in the same year.
He was born in Thikkodi, a small village in Kozhikode district, in the Indian state of Kerala, to M. Kunjappa Nair and P. Narayani Amma. He inherited his love for theatre from his grandfather, who brought him up after the untimely death of his parents. 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. 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. He then plunged into full-time social work and became an active worker of the Bharat Seva Sangham. Till 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.
He got married in 1942, and widowed in 1949. He had only one daughter. He died at his residence in Kozhikode on 28 January 2001. He was 84 and had been ailing for the past few months.
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 Fifties, 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. As a playwright, his range was amazing. 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. Despite their foibles, his characters were lovable. Even the works that told the most tragic tales, radiated hope. Apart from 30-odd 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 countless 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, Arangu Kaanatha Nadan (The Actor Who Had Never Been on Stage), sketched Malabar's social and cultural development, profiled some of its noted residents, and, above all, captured the charm of Kozhikode.
- 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)
- 1974: Kerala State Film Award for Best Screenplay for Uttarayanam (with G. Aravindan)
- 1992: Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Arangu Kaanaatha Nadan
- 1992: Odakkuzhal Award for Arangu Kaanaatha Nadan
- 1995: Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for Arangu Kaanaatha Nadan
- 1995: Vayalar Award for Arangu Kaanaatha Nadan
- 2000: Kerala Sahitya Akademi Fellowship
- State Professional Drama Award by Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi
- Various authors (2000). Prof. K. Gopalakrishnan, ed. Thikkodiyan: Vyakthiyum Sahithyavum: Critical Study of the Life and Works of Thikkodiyan. Kottayam, India: Sahitya Pravarthaka Co-operative Society.
- Arangozhiyatha Thikkodiyan (Biography). Kozhikode, India: Mathrubhumi Books. 2008.