VJ James to receive Muhammad Basheer Award 2018 for his novel Nireeshwaran (Atheist) on January 21, 2019

Muhammad Basheer Award 2018 to be conferred on Malayalam novelist VJ James for his novel Nireeshwaran (Atheist)

Malayalam author VJ James bag Muhammad Basheer Award 2018 for his novel Nireeshwaran (Atheist). Photo: Ajunaith, Wikimedia

VJ James, one of the contemporary Malayalam writers has bagged Muhammad Basheer Award 2018 for his novel, Nireeshwaran (Athiest). Instituted in the name of late Malayalam author Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, the Vaikom Muhammad Basheer Memorial Trust will confer the Award to James on the former’s birth anniversary on January 21, 2019 at Basheer Smaraka Mandiram in Talayolapparambu, Kottayam. The Basheer Memorial Award costitutes a cash prize of Rs.25,000. In addition to that, VJ James will also receive Basheer Award instituted by Kerala Bhaasha Institue (Kerala Language Institute), along with Thoppil Ravi Award for the same novel.

“All these awards are coming to me in the name of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. Perhaps that would be due to the blessings of Beypore Sultan (Basheer lived in Beypore in Calicut and he was known as Sultan (Monarch) of Beypur).”

VJ James, Ravi DC and Arundhathi Roy.

The news came to VJ James, when he was attending the Kerala Literature Festival 2019 (KLF 2019) being held in Kozhikode Beach from January 10 and the event will conclude today. When VJ James received the media report that he had bagged the Muhammad Basheer Award 2018 on his WhatsAPP, he was in cloud nine.

Authors TD Ramakrishnan,VJ James and Arundhathi Roy

He had met several of his fellow writers. Today he is participating in the morning session of the Festival. Meeting old and new writers, VJ James was feeling very nostalgic. Rewinding his memory back to August 29, 1999 at the DC Books Silver Jubilee concluding session, when he not only received the award from author Arundhathi Roy for his novel, Purappadinte Pusthakam, his joy knew no bound. VJ James had reason to, for, the novel was earlier released by Arundhathi Roy, who shot into limelight with her first English novel, God of Small Things. Years later, when VJ James met Ravi DC and going down memory lane. When VJ James met Arundhathi Roy at the KLF 2019, he was telling her that though during the interval he was fortunate to write a dozen odd books and was telling her that it was the luck when Roy had presented the first award to him that fetched him more success, she replied that during the long interval, Arundhathi Roy could only write two books, that was when he realised her humility. VJ James met a cross section of fellow writers and friends including TD Ramakrishnan and Benyamin.

VJ James is a Malayalam author, who was born in Vazhapally, Changanassery in Kottayam district of Kerala. His childhood was spent in Vazhapally where he pursued his schooling from the Saint Theresa’s Higher Secondary School and Saint Mary’s Higher Secondary School in Champakulam. Later VJ James joined Saint Berchmans College in Changanassery and continued his ccollege education. VJ James also pursued Mechanical Engineering from Mar Athanasius College of Engineering and he now serves the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram.

Though by vocation and profession VJ James is an engineer, he is equally passionate about writing. What prompts him to write amidst his tight schedule at VSSC, James says, “I am a keen observer of things that happen around me. I observe everyday life quite closely and that helps me immensely to write about a common man’s life with such finesse and authenticity.”

Rightly so, VJ James’ works deals with complex subjects, but narrated in a lucid way to that any layperson can understand the depth of the story without any hassle. VJ James’debut novel, Purappadinte Pusthakam was published by the DC Books in 1999, which was followed by novels such as Dathapaharam, Leyka, Chorashasthram, Ottakalam Kakka, Nireeshwaran and Anticlock. VJ James’ short story collections include Shavangalil Pathinaraman, Bhoomiyilekkulla Thurumbicha Vaathayangal, Vyakulamathavinte Kannadioodu and Pranayopanishath.

Author VJ Jame, Publisher DC Ravi, writer Madhavi Kutty (Kamala Das) Kamala Surraya and writer Thomas Mathew. Photo VJ James FB Album.

The Malayalam cinema, Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumobol (When the Grapevines Sprout) is the film adaptation of the VJ James’ Malayalam short story, Pranayopanishath. A wonderful family drama, Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol, starring Mohanlal and Meena is directed by Jibu Jacob and story written by Sindhu Raj and produced by Sophia Paul.

VJ James has also bagged the DC Silver Jubilee Award, Malayattor Prize in 1999, Rotary Literary Award for Purappadinte Pusthakam, Thoppil Ravi Award, Kerala Bhasha Institute Basheer Award (2015) for Nireeshwaran. The Indian.News wishes VJ James well in all his future endeavours.