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Popular Detective Novelist Kottayam Pushpanath Passes Away

Renowned detective novelist Kottayam Pushpanath passed away this morning at his residence in Kottayam at the age of 80. He was suffering from various age related ailments and was under treatment.

Kottayam Pushpanath was Pushpanathan Pillai’s pen name. He started his career as a teacher. His popularity began with the publication of his novel ‘Chuvanna Manushyan’ in Manorajyam daily in 1968. After that, Manorama weekly and Janayugam published his novels.

Novels Parallel Road (Manorama) and Dial 00003 (Janayugam) increased his popularity among Malayali readers. He was, without doubt one of the pioneers of detective fiction in malayalam literature.

Drakulayude Makal, Devil, Over bridge, Level cross, The Murder, The Blade etc. popularized his characters detective Pushparaj and detective Marxin. He started writing fantasy novels From 1980s. Kardinalinte Maranam, Tornado, Murder Gang, Dinosaurs, Thurankathile Sundari, Nepoliayante Prathima, Yakshikkavu, Rajkottile Nidhi, London Kottarathile Rahasyangal etc. are some of his prominent works.

These novels played an important role in popularizing the rural libraries and Unmesh Sivaraman observes that these detective novels were the starting point of serious reading for many youngsters in the 80s and 90s. Kottayam Pushpanath’s novels are beyond mainstream literature and against its elitist reasoning, he added. He also said that Kottayam Pushpanath is an undying memory for the rural readers of Kerala.

Pushpanath wrote more than 300 novels. Many of his novels have been translated to Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. His novels Bmarakshassu and Chuvanna Anki have been adapted as films. He started writing in his school days.

After completing schooling from Good Shepherd LP School and MT Seminary High School, he passed TTC from CNI Training School. He has worked in Devikulam Government High School, Kallarkutty High School, Nattakam Government High School, Aarppookkara Government High School and Karappuzha Government High School.

He was published in school magazines and later he wrote for Detector magazine of Chambakkulam BKM books. A major share of the prolific author’s works came out in the 1970s and 1980s. He has worked in kodiyathoor private school, devikulam government highschool, Kallarkutti Government High School, Nattakam government HSS, Karappuzha Government HSS etc.

After retirement he fully indulged in writing. It was his mother who was also a teacher, who introduced him to the wold of reading. It was Kottayam Pushpanath who translated Bram Stoker’s Dracula into Malayalam. His son Salim Pushpanath, a wildlife-travel photographer, had died last month.

Pushpanath’s funeral will take place at Kottayam CSI Cathedral Church cemetery on Friday evening. He is survived by wife Mariyamma and two children Seenu and Jameela.

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