Kavalam Naraayana Panicker
Kavalam Naraayana PanickerFacebook

Well-known dramatist, theatre director and poet Kavalam Narayana Panicker died at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram due to age-related ailments on Sunday, June 26. He was 88.

The funeral will take place on Tuesday, June 28 in his home town in Kavalam, Alappuzha with the state honours. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the thespian as one who was always willing to experiment in his field. "His passing away is going to create big void in the fields that he excelled and is going to be an irreparable loss to Kerala," said Pinarayi.

Often known as Kavalam, he has written more than 26 Malayalam plays, including "Madhyamavyayogam" (1979), Kalidasa's "Vikramorvasiyam" (1981, 1996), "Shakuntalam" (1982), "Karnabharam" (1984, 2001), Bhasa's "Uru Bhangam" (1988), "Swapnavasavadattam" and "Dootavakyam" (1996). He was honoured with the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2007.

The legendary dramatist won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1983 and received Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2002. He also bagged the Kerala State Film Award for best lyrics twice in 1978 and 1982. He also penned the lyrics of the songs for the musical romantic Malayalam entertainer "Amen" in 2013.

Kavalam is survived by his wife Saradamani and son singer Kavalam Sreekumar. His eldest son Harikrishnan died in 2009.

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