The author had an expansive literary career, and in 2015 had won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his collection of short stories, Ilakkiya Chuvadukal
Tamil writer A Madhavan passed away on January 5 due to age-related illness. He was 87. The author had an expansive literary career, and had won the Sahitya Akademi Award 2015 for his collection of short stories, Ilakkiya Chuvadukal that withheld regular stories and struggles of people in Thiruvananthapuram’s Chalai market. Incidentally, he too ran a small business there. He was 82 at that time. In 2010, he was awarded the Vishnupuram Award.
In an interview with The Times of India just after the Akademi win, the author traced the origin of the book. “I used to observe things that used to happen around my shop in Chalai market. The evil faces of human beings always shocked me. My idea was to write what I felt. I was not at all interested in any awards. But still, [the award] is a recognition.” The market greatly influenced his writing.
“Chalai is my literary world. All my stories come from the market, where I used to run a provision store. It was a busy and crowded street. I have seen human life taking the most atrocious forms there,” he had said.
A profile of his in SBS Tamil mentions that the author’s first collection of short stories was titled Mohapallavi. It was published in 1974. However, it was his other collection Kadaitheru Kathaigal published in the same year that put him on the literary map. His work included details of life as he saw it, enlivened with his photographic memory.
Madhavan was a supporter of the Dravidian Movement and was born and brought up in Thiruvananthapuram. A report in The Hindu quotes him saying, “Probably I would have joined politics if I have lived in Tamil Nadu.”
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