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    Edasseri Govindan Nair - Biography and his great works.

    We must surely have heard of Edasseri Govindan Nair who is a pioneer in Malayalam poetry. His works were very well known here in Malayalam literature. His great works include "Poothapattu" and "Oru Pidi Nellikka". His has gifted about 300 works to Malayalam literature. Now let us look down a lot more about him.......


    Edasseri Govindan Nair was one od the best poets in Kerala. He wrote a large number of books and poems in Malayalam flanguage. His works include 19 books and over 300 poems in 10 anthologies, 6 books of plays and a collection of essays.


    Edasseri Govindan Nair.

    Edasseri Govindan Nair was born two days before christmas in 23 December 1906. He was born in Kuttippuram, in Malappuram District in Kerala. He was born in a nair family and his father was P. Krishna Kurup and mother was Edasseri Kalathil Kunjukutty Amma. He was called Govindan. His family had fallen down to an increased poverty and so that Govindan has to end up his education much below in the primary level. His mother saw the interest in Govindan for studying and wanted him to go to High school. But she could not fight the condition in which they have fallen. He had studied only till class 8. But he tried hard and learn Sanskrit an English on his own.

    But this did not defeat Edasseri. He tried to work on his own and thus he would be able to gain money and raise up his family. It was later he went to the town and after years he started a tution in Allapuzha and was able to receive a small amount which he would often send to mother. But one day, his mother died of small pox. Edasseri was unhappy after this. It was his mother he loved more than anyone else in the world.

    Then after a few months he joined as an assistant clerk to M Krishna Menon. It was at this time that he came in contact with Manjoor Parameshwaran Pillai who became best friends. They spent their time talking about famous works in Malayalam literature. It was at this time Edasseri was attracted more to Malayalam literature including the works of Cherrusheri, Ezhthachan and many others.

    Edasseri was married to Edakkandi Janaki Amma in 1938. Even though his friend gave him money he was not able to come out of poverty. He searched for jobs in many areas and had even planned to go to Singapore for job opportunities but fate did not made him do so.

    We cannot exactly say when Edasseri started writing stories. When he was just a small child merely 12 years old he wrote poems to improve his talent. His poetic talent was influenced by two people. One was his own mother who used to recite Ramayana down to him. Also his Malayalam teacher Shankunni Menon used to recite songs beautifully which largely admired him. Also Nalapatt Narayana Menon who was a well known poet at that time also helped him to develop his career.

    In addition of being a poet Edasseri was a great nationalist who struggled for the Independence of our country. He was a supporter of Gandhi. His participation was greatly involved in Quit India movement which was lead against the Britishers. He had started a newspaper named Free India which protested against the colonial rule.

    Thus Edasseri gave a large contributions not only to Kerala but down to India too. This great poet moved away from the world in October 16 1974 due to a massive heart attack in front of his wife and younger daughter. Thus another nationalist and a great poet has left this world forever. A memorial is erected on his name- Edasseri Smaraka Samithi. An award is set up in his name for the best book of the year from among the young writers.

    Edasseri Govindan Nair and his wife.


    Edasseri believed that it was his drama named "Koottukrishi" which actually introduced him as a writer in Malayalam literature. This drama was chosen for an award by the Madras government. In the poem "Budhanum Njanum Nariyum" he is bringing out the idea of Gandhism. His poem named "Bhimasarente Edayan" was considered as his best works. In it he also brings about his love towards his mother and his grievences in her death. His works like "Oru Pidi Nellika" and "Kaville Pattu" won awards. The masterpiece of Edasseri Govindan Nair was his poem "Poothapattu" which is largely recognized all over Kerala. This poem depicts the story of a mother's love toward his son Unni who is caught by a Pootham or demon. This poem also gives a moral that love cannot be matched with anything else. His other famous works include "Karutha Chettichikal", "Puthan Kalavum Arivalum", "Ange Veetileku", "Kunkuma Prabhatam", "Kuttipuram palam", "Anthithiri", "Nellukuthukari Paruvinte katha", "Alakavali" and "Ambadiyilekku veendum".


    Edasseri Govindan Nair recieved several award for his great works in Malayalam literature. Some of the awards he got are listed below....

    * Government of Madras Award for the play Koottukrishi
    * Government of Madras Award for the collection of poems called Puthan Kalavum Arivalum
    * Kerala Sahithya Academy Award for the collection of poems Oru Pidi Nellikka – 1969
    * Sahitya Academy Award for the collection of poems Kavile Pattu – 1970
    * Kumaran Asan Prize for the collection of poems Anthithiri – 1979


    The life and the works of Edasseri Govindan Nair has great impact on society. Today he has a large number of readers and also has found out a significant places even in the critics today. He is considered as an important poet by the world today. His poems also represent the ambivalent reaction of a Third World poet of his time. He is the poet who had brought about a large number of changes. Thus we should try to understand these facts about Edasseri. We should try to read his poems which create a likeness towards Malayalam literature.
  • #7392
    Thanks for a beautiful writing on Edasseri Govindan Nair. Don't feel bad. You have to take some more care in fine tuning the post.

    Thank You
    Jeevan Mathew

  • #7418
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  • #7419
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  • #7877
    Nice post thanks Jose for sharing useful content.

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