Thoppil Mohamed Meeran played a crucial role in integrating social and cultural life in South India with literature

Thoppil Mohamed Meeran (75), who passed away on May 10, 2019, who was at ease with both Tamil and Malayalam Literature, had played a pivotal role in terms of integrating social and cultural life in South India with literature.

Thoppil Mohamed Meeran played an crucial role in integrating social and cultural life in South India with literature

Born on September 26, 1944, to Mohamed Abdul Khader and Fathima at Thengai Pattanam in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, Meeran pursued his schooling from Thengai Pattanam Amsi High School and later joined the TS Hindu College and graduated in Malayalam Literature. Meeran was adept at handling both Tamil and Malayalam. Meeran was one of the four siblings of the renowned MOM Family.

Meeran’s known novels in Malayalam was such as Oru Kadalora Kiramathin Kathai, Thuraimugam (1991 Harbour)Koonan Thoppu (1993 The Grove of a Hunchback), Saivu Narkali (1995 The Reclining Chair) and Anju Vannam Theru (2011 Five Coloured Street). His Tamil works include Anbukku Mudhumai Illai, Thangarasu and Ananthasayanam Colony. Meeran’s works have been translated into Malayalam, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and English languages. What is more, his novel, Oru Kadalora Graamathinte Katha, which was translated in Tamil, had a record sales of 20,000 copies. Also, the same novel’s English translation, The Story of a Seaside Village was shortlisted for the Cross Word Award. In all, Meeran had published five novels and six short story collections.

Meeran’s short story collections include Anbuku Muthumai Illai, Thankarasu (1995), Ananthasainam Colony, Oru Kutty Thevin Varipadam, Thoppil Mohammed Meeran Kathaigal and Oru Maamaramum Konjam Paravaigalum. He has written an anthology titled, Varekalin Pechu.

Meeran had won eight awards including Tamil Kalai Ilakkiya Perumantam Award in 1989 and Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award in 1997. Meeran was the subject of discussion in many a debates and he had also faced lot of criticisms and animosity in equal measure. His work, Saivu Narkali fetched him the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award. Meeran is survived by his wife, Jaleela and children, Shameem Ahamed and Mirzad Ahamed. Though, Meeran’s mother tongue was Tamil, nevertheless, his schooling was in Malayalam. After obtaining BA Malayalam degree, Meeran forayed into Malayalam literature, thanks to the humongous inspiration he received from Malayalam literary doyen, Vaikkom Mohammed Basheer. After his initial brush with Malayalam Literature, Meeran realised that his strength lied in Tamil. Eventually, he took to writing in Tamil and went on to become an excellent writer in that language. In the initial stages, he would seek the help from his friends to jot down his thoughts in Tamil. Subsequently, Meeran began managing his writing too in Tamil.