Dubai: Keralites in the UAE paid rich tribute to legendary Malayalam poet and lyricist O.N.V. Kurup at a daylong event held in Dubai to mark his first death anniversary on Friday.
Hundreds of Malayalis and big names from Malayalam film and literature circles were present at the event titled Harithamaanasam held at the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
Organised by an international foundation set up in his name in Dubai, the event was a celebration of veteran writer Ottaplakkal Neelakandan Velu Kurup, endearingly known as just ONV, and his rich contributions to Malayalam literature and beyond.
He was one of the few Malayalam poets to have won Jnanpith Award, the highest literary award in India. In fact, his award announcement had come during one of his visits to Dubai in 2010.
Acclaimed filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan, noted poets V. Madhusoodanan Nair and Alankode Leelakrishnan, novelist George Onakkoor and expat writer Basheer Thikkodi attended various sessions held as part of the event. ONV’s son Rajeev recited a poem, paying tribute to his father.
Canada-based Sri Lankan Tamil poet and scholar Dr Cheran Rudramoorthi was awarded the first ONV International Literary Award at the event. ONV Young Poet Award was presented to Arya Gopi, a college lecturer in Kozhikkode, Kerala.
The event was also aimed at rekindling Malayalam poetry among the young expat generation. One session saw recitation of ONV’s poems by schoolchildren who were selected after a country-wide competition.