Popular Kerala Writers

Vaikom Muhammad Basheer

Vaikom Muhammad Basheer (b. at Thalayolaparampu in Vaikom, 21 January 1908; d. at Beypore in Calicut, 5 July 1994) is an important figure in modern Malayalam literature. He is well known as a novelist and short story writer. He also took part in the Indian independence movement.

Before finishing his primary education, he ran away from home to take part in the freedom struggle. He was arrested for participating in the civil disobedience movement of 1930 inititated by Mahatma Gandhi. Later, for about ten years he travelled all over India and spent time as an ascetic with Hindu saints and Sufi mystics. After returning to Kerala, he continued to contribute to the independence movement through his writings for which he was jailed many times.

Basheer is known for his unconventional style. An astute observer of human character, he skillfully combines humour and pathos in his works.

His Works

Premalekhanam [The love letter] (Novel) (1943)

Baalyakaalasakhi [Childhood friend] (Novel) (1944)

Kathaabeejam (Drama) (1945)

Janmadhinam [Birthday] (Short stories) (1945)

Ormakkurippu [Jottings for memory] (Short stories) (1946)

Anarkhanimisham [Invaluable Moment] (Short stories) (1946)

Shabdhangal [Voices] (Novel) (1947)

Viddikaludaey swargam [Fools' paradise] (Short stories) (1948)

Ntuppooppaakkoraanaendaarnnu [Me gran'dad 'ad an elephant] (Novel) (1951)

Maranaththintaey nizhalil [In the shadow of death] (Novel) (1951)

Muchcheettukalikkaarantaey makal [The daughter of the card-shark] (Novel) 1951)

Paavappettavarudaey vaeshya [The courtesan of the poor] (Short stories) (1952)

Sthalaththaey pradhaana divyan [The main divine of the place] (Novel) (1953) Aanavaariyum Ponkurishum [Elephant-scooper and Golden cross] (Novel) (1953)

Jeevithanizhalppaadukal [The shadows of life] (Novel) (1954)

Vishwavikhkhyaathamaaya mookku [The world-renowned nose] (Short stories) (1954)

Vishappu [Hunger] (Short stories) (1954)

Paaththummaayudaey aadu [Paaththumma's goat] (Novel) (1959)

Mathilukal [Walls] (Novel; basis for a film (1989) by Adoor Gopalakrishnan) (1965)

Oru bhagavadgeethayum kuraey mulakalum [A bhagavadgeetha and some breasts] (Short stories) (1967)

Thaaraa specials (Novel) (1968)

Maanthrikapoochcha [The magic cat] (Novel) (1968)

Nerum nunayum [Truth and lie] (Commentary and letters) (1969) Ormmayudaey arakal [The cells of memory] (Memoirs) (1973)

Aanappooda [Elephant-hair] (Short stories) (1975)

Chirikkunna marappaava [The laughing wooden doll] (Short stories) (1975)

Bhoomiyudaey avakaashikal [The inheritors of the earth] (Short stories) (1977)

Anuraagaththintaey dhinangal [The days of desire] (Novel; originally titled Kaamukantaey diary [The diary of the paramour]) (1983)

Bhaargavinilayam [The house named Bhaargavi] (Screenplay for a film (1964) by A. Vincent; adapted from the short story Neelavelichcham [The blue glow]) (1985)

M. P. Paul (Memoir) (1991)

Shinkidimunkan (Short stories) (1991)

Cheviyorkkuka! Anthimakaahalam!! [Hark! The final clarion-call!!] (Speech) (1992)

Yaa Ilaahi! (Oh God!) (Short stories published posthumously) (1997)

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