|Born||1st June, 1910|
|Career||Dialogue (19), Screenplay (13), Story (11), Production (2)|
|First Movie||Navalokam (1951)|
Ponkunnam Varkey was a writer and activist lived in Kerala, India. He is considered a leading figure of the 'progressive' school of Malayalam fiction.
Varkey was born on June 1, 1910 in a Syrian Christian family of Edathua village in Kuttanad, Alappuzha district (Alleppey), to Katappuram Varkey Joseph and Annamma Joseph. After his father's death Varkey went to his mother's house at Ponkunnam in Kottayam .While studying in school, he was attracted to Indian independence movement and the subject matter of his early writings was related to this theme. After high school studies he passed the Malayalam 'Vidwan' examination and then worked as a teacher.
His first collection of short stories 'Thirumulkazhcha' won the award of the Madras government in 1939. Soon he resigned his job and jumped into the freedom struggle and was imprisoned. He was associated with the Communist Party for some time and was the secretary of Purogamana Sahithya Sanghadana' (progressive writers' forum) for five years. His short stories 'Manthrikkettu' and 'Model' were banned in 1946 by the government of the princely state of Travancore on the charge of treason and Varkey was imprisoned for six months .
He was one of the founders of S.P.C.S, world's largest writers' publishing cooperative and functioned as its president. In 1973 he was nominated as the president of Kerala Sahitya Academy. In 1997 'Ezhuthachan Puraskaram' the highest literary honour of the Kerala government was awarded to Varkey . He died on July 2, 2004.
The recurrent themes of Varkey's writings are the decadence in the echelons of power and the corruption among the clergy. His style is direct, simple and instentanious and the characters of his stories are ordinary rural folk, mostly farmers and workers.
Varkey has published 24 volumes of short stories, 16 volumes of plays, two collection of poems one collection of essays and a volume of autobiography .He wrote screen plays for several films and produced two films.
His script writing debut was for the film Navalokam in 1951 which was followed by many movies like Kadalamma, Kattupookkal, Althara etc. Varkey has produced two movies namely, Chalanam and Makam Piranna manka.
Adapted from Wikipedia
Prepared by: Sreedevi Pillai