Ottaplakkal Neelakandan Velu Kurup

Prof. Padmavibhushan Dr.
O. N. V. Kurup
Born (1931-05-27) May 27, 1931 (age 83)
Residence Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Malayali
Citizenship India
Education Master's
Alma mater
Occupation Poet, lyricist, professor
Notable work(s) Agni Shalabhangal, Aksharam, Uppu, Bhoomikkoru Charamageetham, Ujjayini, Swayamvaram
Spouse(s) Sarojini
Children Rajeevan, Mayadevi
Parents O. N. Krishna Kurup, K. Lakshmikutty Amma

Ottaplakkal Nambiyadikkal Velu Kurup (Malayalam: ഒറ്റപ്ലാക്കല്‍ നമ്പിയാടിക്കൽ വേലു കുറുപ്പ്[1]), popularly known as O. N. V. Kurup or simply O. N. V., is a renowned Malayalam poet and lyricist from Kerala, India, who won Jnanpith Award, the highest literary award in India for the year 2007. O. N. V. Kurup is also a lyricist in Malayalam cinema. He has penned a lot of lyrics for dramas and TV serials also. He received the awards Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011, the fourth and second highest civilian honours from the Government of India. In 2007 he was bestowed an Honorary Doctorate by University of Kerala, Trivandrum. O. N. V. is known for his leftist leaning.[2] He was the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency for the Lok-Sabha elections in 1989.[3]


O.N.V Kurup was born to O. N. Krishna Kurup and K. Lakshmikutty Amma, on May 27, 1931 at Chavara, Kollam (Quilon) in Kerala.[4] He lost his father when he was eight. His childhood days were spent in the village where he attended the public 'Government School, Chavara'. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Economics from SN College, Kollam, he moved to Thiruvananthapuram city (Trivandrum) where he joined Travancore University (now Kerala University) and pursued Master of Arts (postgraduate) in Malayalam literature.

O.N.V. was a lecturer at Maharajas College - Ernakulam, University College - Trivandrum, Arts and Science College - Kozhikode, and Brennen College - Thalassery. He joined Government Women's College - Trivandrum as the Head of Malayalam Department. He was also a visiting professor at Calicut University. He retired from service in 1986.[4]

He received the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary honour, for the year 2007.[5] He is the fifth Jnanpith laureate from Kerala and the second Malayalam poet to win the prestigious award.[6] According to a statement by Bharatiya Jnanpith, the trust which presents the award, Kurup began his career as a "progressive writer and matured into a humanist though he never gave up his commitment to socialist ideology".[7]

He is now settled at Vazhuthacaud in Thiruvanathapuram, with his wife Sarojini. His son Rajeev works with the Indian Railways Authority, and daughter Dr.Mayadevi is a noted gynaecologist in Durham, United Kingdom. Malayalam playback singer Aparna Rajeev is his granddaughter.[8]


O. N. V.'s first published poem was 'Munnottu' (Forward) which appeared in a local weekly in 1946.[9] His first poetry collection named Porutunna Soundaryam, came out in 1949. He published a book named Dahikunna Panapatram (The Thirsty Chalice) which was a collection of his early poems during 1946-1956.[10]

Poetic works

List of Poetry by Kurup
# Name Translation in English Year of Publishing
1 Daahikunna Paanapaathram The Thirsty Chalice 1956
2 Marubhumi The Desert
3 Neelakkannukal Blue Eyes
4 Mayilpeeli Peacock Feather 1964
5 Oru Thulli Velicham A Drop of Light
6 Agni Shalabhangal Fire Moths 1971
7 Aksharam Alphabet 1974
8 Karutha Pakshiyude Paattu Song of a Black Bird 1977
9 Uppu The Salt 1980
10 Bhumikku Oru Charama Geetham A Dirge for the Earth 1984
11 Shaarngka Pakshikal 1987
12 Mrigaya Hunting 1990
13 Thonnyaksharangal Nonsense Alphabets 1989
14 Aparahnam Afternoon 1991
15 Ujjayini Ujjain 1994
16 Veruthe Gratis (For Nothing)
17 Swayamvaram Swayamvara 1995
18 Bhairavante Thudi Drum of Bhairavan
19 Oyenviyude Ganangal * Songs of O.N.V.
20 Valappottukal ** Pieces of Bangle
21 Sooryageetham ** The Song of Sun

*Collection of 1500 songs. **Poems for children

Prose list

List of Prose by O. N. V.
# Name Translation in English Year of Publishing
1 Kavitayile Samantara Rekhakal Parallel Lines in Poetry
2 Kavitayile Pratisandhikal Crisis in Poetry
3 Ezhuthachan - Oru Padanam Ezhuthachan - A Study
4 Patheyam Food carried
5 Kalpanikam Imaginative
6 Pushkin - Swatantrya Bodhatinte Durantagatha

As a lyricist

In addition to the valuable contributions he had given to the Malayalam literature, he is one of the leading lyricists in Malayalam film/drama/album industry. He was the part of many dramas by Kerala People's Arts Club (KPAC) which has a major remark in the revolutionary movements of Kerala. Kalam Marunnu (1956) was his first film which was also the first film by the famous Malayalam composer G. Devarajan. Since then he has been active in film until date and was honoured with one national award and thirteen state awards (the most by a Malayalee). He has penned for about 900 songs[11] in about 232 films and a numerous songs for plays and albums. His partnerships with Salil Chowdhury and M. B. Sreenivasan was so popular in Malayalam film industry. He has made many hit songs with popular music directors, including G. Devarajan, V. Dakshinamoorthy, M. S. Baburaj, Raveendran, M. K. Arjunan, K. Raghavan, Shyam, Johnson, Mohan Sithara, M. G. Radhakrishnan, S. P. Venkatesh, Ouseppachan, Vidhyadharan etc..


Civilian honours

Literary awards

O. N. V. has won numerous awards for his literary works.[14][15]

  • 2011 - Kamala Surayya Award for Dinantham[16]
  • 2011 - Thoppil Bhasi Award[17]
  • 2010 - COSINE Award
  • 2009 - Ramashramam Trust Award
  • 2008 - Ezhuthachan Award[18]
  • 2007 - Jnanpith Award for his overall contributions to Malayalam literature (Announced on 24 September 2010)[19]
  • 2006 - Vallathol Award[20]
  • 2003 - Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam Sahitya Award
  • 2002 - P. Kunhiraman Nair Award for Ee Purathana Kinnaram
  • 1993 - Aasan Prize
  • 1990 - Odakkuzhal Award for Mrigaya
  • 1982 - Vayalar Award for Uppu
  • 1981 - Soviet Land Nehru Award for Uppu<
  • 1975 - Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award (Malayalam) for Aksharam
  • 1971 - Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (Poetry) for Agni Salabhangal

Film awards

National Film Awards
Kerala State Film Awards

ONV won the Kerala State Film Award for the Best Lyricist thirteen times:

Filmfare Awards
Asianet Film Awards

Positions held

ONV has served and headed various office of state and central government organisations. Notably:

  1. Executive Member, Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi from 1982-86.
  2. Chairman, Kerala Kalamandalam - the State Akademi of Classical performing Arts(1996).
  3. Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Academy in 1999.

He also has been the part of various delegation at international events. Some of the notable among them being:

  1. Visited USSR as member of an Indian Writers Delegation to participate in the 150th birth anniversary of Leo Tolstoy.
  2. Represented India in the Struga Poetry Evenings, Yugoslavia (1987)
  3. Attended CISAC Asian Conference in Singapore(1990).
  4. Visited USA to participate in FOKANA Conference(1993).
  5. Visited USA to inaugurate literary seminar in Kerala Centre, New York (1995).
  6. Presented poems on Beethoven and Mozart in the Department of German, University of Bonn.
  7. Indian delegate to the CISAC World Conference held in Berlin (1998).


External links

  • O. N. V. - Master of verse
  • Swaralaya to honour O. N. V.
  • Official Website of Information and Public Relation Department of Kerala

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.