SIBF 2019: “Manhunt,” English Translation of Malayalam novel Ushnarashi-Karappurathinte Ithihasam released
‘Manhunt,’ the KV Mohan Kumar authored Malayalam novel, Ushnarashi-Karapurathinte Ithihasam’s English translation by Dr. Manjula Cherkel was released on November 4, 2019 at the Writers Forum in the ongoing Sharjah International Book Festival 2019 (SIBF 2019).
The English version of the KV Mohan Kumar (IAS) authored famous Malayalam novel, Ushnarashi, titled as ‘Manhunt’ was released on November 4, 2019 at the Writers Forum, SIBF 2019. The Lulu Group Chairman, Padmasri MA Yusuff Ali gave the first copy of Manhunt, was given to Eram Group Chairman, Dr. Siddeek Ahmed. The Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, Rashid A Leem, Chairman of SEWA, Mohan Kuma, External Affairs Executive, SIBF; translator of the novel, Dr. Manjula Cherkel, the Malayalam publisher, Lipi Publication’s Lipi Akbar and writer Basheer Thikkodi were present on the release of Manhunt, which was published by Vitasta, New Delhi.
Manhunt is the seashore saga of the famous Punnapra-Vayalar Uprising which happened in Kerala. In his foreword, renowned Malayalam film maker, Adoor Gopalakrishnan wrote: “Saga of a desparate uprising by ruthless authority that reverbrates into the present. Written with empathy and understanding. A must-read.”
Mohan Kumar has bagged the prestigious Vayalar Ramavarma Award for Ushnarashi-Karappurathinte Ithihasam. One cannot strictly term the book as a historical work. Rather, it is a contemporary novel with historical background. The novel explains in great detail about the politics from the 1930s to 2013. The peculiarity of the uprising of Punnappara-Vayalar was that it was an age where there were umpteen number of communists who were sincere to to the core. There was a mass force that emerged as a resistance to the tyranny of the landlord and the ruling class through the organization of the working class during that time. A lot has since then. The methodologies of communism itself has changed since then. The novel is also replete with the analysis and criticism that it has shifted from an old fashioned committed communism.
KV Mohan Kumar is the native of Cherthala in Alappey born to K. Velayudhan Pillai and Lakshmi Kutty Amma. Starting his career in the media as a journalist initially in Kerala Kaumudi and later in Malalayala Manorama, eventually KV Mohan Kumar joined the State Civil (Executive) Service. Subsequently, he served as a Revenue Divisional Officer and Deputy Collector. Later in his career, KV Mohan Kumar also has served as District Collector in both Palakkad and Kozhikode. He wrote the script for the children’s film, Kesu, which fetched him the National Award. Also, his debut novel, Sraadhasesham was made into Malayalam movie, Mazhaneerthullikal, which was followed by writing another script for the Malayalam cinema, Clint.
KV Mohan Kumar had a successful stint as an IAS officer holding several positions including board secretary of Kerala State Khadi and Village Industries, Secretary of Kerala Chalachitra Academy; Managing Director of Bekal Resorts Development Corporation Tourism and Resorts Kerala Limited; Director (Operations) of Tsunami Rehabilitation Programme; Director of NORKA; CEO of NORKA Roots; Director of Higher Secondary Education Board; Rural Development Commissioner and Director of Public Instruction (DPI). Now KV Mohan Kumar is the Chairman of Kerala State Food Commission, a Quasi-Judicial Authority constituted under National Food Security Act 2013.
KV Mohan Kumar’s published works in Malayalam includes Sraadhashesham (After Death Memorial), Hey Ram, Jaranum Poochayum (Paramour and the Cat), Ezhamindriyam (Seventh Sense), Pranayathinte Moonam Kannu (Third Eye of Love), Ushnarashi-Karapurathinte Ithihasam and Edakkaalakudi Pranaya Rekhakal. His short stories include Akam Kazhchakal, Knaavaliyile Kuthirakal, Aliveni Enthu Cheyvu, Bhoomiyude Anupantham, Asannamaranannan, Ente Gramakathakal and Karappuram Kathakal. In addition to that, KV Mohan Kathakal Appooppan Marum Aakasha Pookkalum, Ammuvum Manthrika Petakavum and Meenukkutti Kanda Lokam. Other genres of his writing includes Aligayile Kalaapam, a novelette, Devi Nee Parayarundu/Jeevante Avasanathe Illa memoirs, Romila Oru Ormachithram, memoirs and Devarathi, travalogue. KV Mohan Kumar has won 15 literary awards and the most notable among them was in 2018, where he bagged the Vayalar Award for Ushnarasi.