TRIVANDRUM, 4 January 2003 — N.P. Mohammed, a leading writer in Malayalam and chairman of Kerala Sahitya Akademi, died of pneumonia at a private hospital in Kozhikode yesterday morning at the age of 74.
Mohammed writings, set in the rustic Malabar milieu, are widely acclaimed. He has received several prestigious awards.
Mohammed was admitted to hospital two days back as his condition worsened. He was shifted to the intensive care unit, but his health did not improve. The end came at 5 a.m.
Hundreds of people, including ministers, writers and social workers, arrived at his residence in Aazhchavattom to offer their condolences. His body was taken to the Shaduli Masjid in the city for burial in the evening.
Born to freedom fighter N.P. Abu and Imbichi Pathumma Beevi, he is survived by his wife Imbichi Pathumma and seven children, including noted storywriter and artist N.P. Hafiz Mohammed. Congress leader N.P. Moideen is his brother.
The burial took place with full state honors. Information and Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NoRKA) Minister M.M. Hassan laid a wreath on behalf of the state government while District Collector T.O. Sooraj laid the floral tribute for Chief Minister A.K. Antony.
His long-time associate and co-author of Arabipponnu, the Jnanpit laureate M.T. Vasudevan Nair, was seen weeping beside his friend’s body, as were many others. “He was a true human being in every sense. Everybody with whom he had been associated with experienced his warmth and friendliness” writer U.A. Khader said.
Author of several books, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, a travelogue, he was writing a novel based on the life and times of Mohammed Abdurrahiman Sahib, the freedom fighter, before he was bedridden.
Mohammed published his first novel in 1953 and went on to receive the literary award the same year from the then Madras government, to which Malabar was a part, for Thoppiyum Tattavum. He had won many literary awards since, including those of Kendra Sahitya Akademi and Kerala Sahitya Academy and the Muttathu Varkey Award. He had also served as the resident editor of Kerala Kaumudi.
His famous works include Ennappadam, Pinneyum Ennappadam, Arabipponnu, Guha, Hiranyakashipu, Daivathinte Kannu, Kavithakal Variyellukal, Naalpathirandam Veettil Chekuthan, Presidentinte Aadyathe Maranam, Veerarasam CV Krithikalil, Maanushyakam, Mandahasathinte Mounarodhanam and Saraswathiyum Pukakkuzhalum. Poet Yusuf Ali Kecheri’s debut film Maram was based on his story.
Daivathinte Kannu received the Kendra Sahithya Akademi award for 1993 and the Samastha Kerala Sahithya Parishad award. Presidantinte Aadyathe Maranam bagged the Kerala Sahithya Akademi award in 1869 and Ennappadam got him the same award in 1980. Veera Rasam CV Krithikalil had won the CV Raman Pillai award.
The Kerala Sahithya Akademi had also honored him with an award for his overall contributions to literature.
He had also translated the Bosnian leader Elija Izzetbegovic’s Islam Between East and West into Malayalam. He was also a founder member of the Islam and Modern Age Society.
In his condolence message, Chief Minister A.K. Antony said Mohammed’s contributions to enrich Malayalam literature were precious. Culture Minister G. Karthikeyan said Mohammed’s works, written in a simple but powerful language, would last as long as Malayalam language is alive. Ministers T.M. Jacob, M.V. Raghavan, P. Sankaran, M.K. Muneer, K.M. Mani, K.B. Ganesh Mumar and K. Sankaranarayanan also condoled the death of the writer.