Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai

Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai is one of the greatest writers of Malayalam literature. He is popularly known as Thakazhi, after his place of birth. In the year 1984 he received the highest literary honour of India – Jnanpith for his most popular novel, ‘Kayar’ (Rope). His next popular work is Chemmeen written in the year 1956, which became the classic movie of Malayalam later. His works are filled with social status and social life of normal people of Kerala. He has written several novels and over 600 short stories to place him among the top Indian writers of 20^th century. Through his novels and works, it’s easy to know about the social status and life style of common man of Kerala during middle 1900’s and his works are used as reference for studies.

Sivasankara Pillai was born in the village of Thakazhy, Kuttanad in Alappuzha district of Kerala on April 17, 1912. He started his writings at a younger age and his hidden talents were found and nourished by his high school headmaster Kainikkara Kumara Pillai. He was introduced to modern European literature and thoughts by another popular writer of Malayalam, Kesari A Balakrishna Pillai.

His novel Thottiyude Makan (1947) s considered a pioneer work in Malayalam realistic novel which beautifully portrays three generations of a working class family of Alapuzha. Randidangazhi (1948) was a political novel written by Thakazhi. This novel was later made to a film for which Thakazhi wrote the screenplay. The movie received a certificate of merit at the National Film Awards in 1958. Though Chemmeen is regarded as his most popular novel, Kayar got the position of calling it, classic. He won Kendra Sahitya Academy Award in 1958 for Chemmeen. The novel adapted as a movie is still regarded as the best movie ever produced i Malayalam screen and still leads in box office collection (if inflation figures are adjusted). The movie directed by Ramu Kariat won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in 1965.

Other works of Thakazhi are categorized under short stories and autobiographies. His autobiographies are Ente Balykala Katha, Ormayude Theerangalil, Oru Kuttanadan Katha and Jeevitathinte Oru Edu.His short stories are Teranjedutta Kathakal, Inquilab, Pativrata and Kure Kathapatrangal.