ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Edappally Raghavan Pillai

The Nearly Forgotten Hero of Ramanan

Malayalam classic Ramanan is both an elegy for a dear friend and a poet’s angst seeking answers and redemptive action to prejudices, inequality, and societal injustice.

The celebrated Malayalam poet Changampuzha Krishna Pillai (1911–48) penned his immortal classic Ramanan (1936) based on the love story and suicide of his friend, poet Edappally Raghavan Pillai (1909–36). Changampuzha bequeathed his pastoral elegy to his friend with the words “In dear memory of my beloved friend, I tender this brotherly gift with tears before his tomb.”

Ramanan has sold several lakhs of copies since 1936. The pastoral elegy, the only one of its kind in Malayalam poetry conti­nues to be a trendsetter and a bestseller. Ramanan was prescribed as a text by the University of Kerala following the sensation it had become. Changampuzha was then still a college student. He is perhaps the only poet ever who had to study and annotate his own work for a university examination!

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Updated On : 27th Oct, 2022
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