This year's (2012) Vayalar Award goes to Akkitham Achuthan Nambudiri, a notable Malayalam poet. He, at the age of 86, though resting at his house, 'Devayanam' is still active in the world of poems and comes out occasionally with poems having social significance.
Achuthan Nambudiri is shortly known as Akkitham, which stands for his patriarchal family name. He was born in 1926 to the couple Akkitham Vasudevan Nambudiri and Chekoor Parvathy Antharjanam. (Woman belonging to Nambudiri community is generally referred as Antharjanam). His house, originally called Amettoor Akkithath Mana, is located at Kumaranelloor of Palakkad district in Kerala.
After his school education he had his college education also, but did not complete his degree. However he did get exposition in several other fields which include Sanskrit, Music, Astrology and even drawing and painting. (His brother Akkitham Narayanan Nambudiri is a world famous painter and sculptor settled in Paris).
Akkitham actually started his career as a journalist. It was through a small magazine called 'Unni nambudiri', a magazine brought out by the Nambudiri Organization working in those period. Also he worked with two other magazines, 'Mangalodayam' and 'Yogakshemam' as Assistant Editor. Later in 1956 he joined All India Radio, Kozhikkode as a script writer and continued there until 1975. Then he shifted to Thrissur to work as the Editor of the programme, 'Vayalum Veedum' (Paddy field and Home) in AIR Thrissur. He was having a major assignment with 'Anaadi', a magazine brought out for popularising Vedas and related issues.
Akkitham's contributions to Malayalam literature are innumerable as well as remarkable. The three small Epics, 'Irupatham noottandinte ithihasam', 'Desa sevika' and 'Balidarshanam' have attracted the attention of almost every lovers of Malayalam literature. More than 18 collections of poems have also come out from his creativity. 'Saagar sangeeth' by C,R. Das has been translated into Malayalam by Akkitham in the same, 'Sagara sangeetham'.
'Unnikkinavukal', Oru kula Munthiringa' and 'Kalikkottilil' are three collections of poems for children. Two collections of songs and a collection of stories by name 'Avathalangal' have also come out in his name. 'Upanayanam' and 'Samavarthanam' are two collections of articles. He has tried his creativity in drama also and has brought out one by name 'Ee ettatthy Nunaye Parayoo'. This drama has been in several school stages, presented by school students during their anniversary celebrations.
Some of Akkitham's poems has been selectively included in the compilation, 'Akkithathinte Theranjedutha Kavithakal' (1986).
Akkitham has received several literary awards. Kerala Sahitya Academy Award for 'Karathalamalakam', Kendra Sahitya Academy Award for 'Bali Darsanam' and Odakkuzhal' Award for 'Nimisha Kshethram' are among them. His 'Irupatham Noottandinte Ithihasam' has been well discussed since it gives a picture of very important social issues which have affected our nation.
Some of Akkitham's lines are very often quoted, like:
"Oru Kanneer kanam mattullavarkay njan pozhikkave
udikkayanennathmavil aayiram soura mandalam"
"Velicham dukha manunni
thamassallo sukha pradam"