A commemorative postage stamp on Thakazhi, a Malayalam novelist and short story writer [a part of the series ‘Jnanpith Award Winners : Malayalam‘] :
Issued by India
Issued on Oct 9, 2003
Issued for : The Jnanpith awards for literary excellence, covering all the languages listed in the VIII Schedule of the Constitution of India, symbolises the unity of vision in Indian culture. They celebrate the vibrant creative energy of Indian literature by recognising the masters whose writings have enthralled readers in different parts of the country. Continuing with the series on Jnanpith laureates, which started in 1997, the Department of Posts now issues a set of three commemorative postage stamps on three writers in Malayalam, namely G. Sankara Kurup, S.K. Pottekkatt and Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai.
Design : The stamp designs incorporate visuals that recall the life and times of the three writers, apart from their portraits. Thus, the stamp on G. Sankara Kurup carries pictures of the writing desk and chair reminiscent of his intense intellectual pursuits. The next stamp, featuring S.K. Pottekkatt who was a legendary traveller, has a vintage steam locomotive chugging away in the distance. The third stamp which honours Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai has water wheel in the background, a regular sight in the paddy field of Kuttanad, the background of most of his stories.
Stamp : Namboodiri
FDC & Cancellation : Alka Sharma; based on the ‘Bhartiya Jnanpith‘ publications.
Type : Horizontal Se–tenant Strip of 3 Stamps, Mint condition
Colour : Two colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Overall size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Printing size : 2.90 x 3.91 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m Adhesive Gravure Coated stamp paper in Sheets 50.8 x 53.5 cms.
Stamps Printed : Eighty Thousand Mixed Sheetlet
Number per issue sheetlet : 15
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
Name : Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai
Born on Apr 17, 1912 at Thakazhi, Alleppey, Kerala, India
Died on Apr 10, 1999 at Thakazhi, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
- Telling rustic stories of Kuttanad (the rural belt from where he hailed), Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai (1912-1999), through his homespun, multi-layered narrations taking a loving view of that land and its people, transcended the boundaries of space and emerged as a chronicler of mankind. Concern for the underprivileged came through strongly in his works; but the portrayals, clearly, were characterised by objectivity, not sentimentalism. Such concerns dominated his early novels like Thottiyude Makan (Scavenger’s Son) and Randidangazhi (Two Measures), which held hard-hitting social messages. The trend began to change with the popular classic Chemmeen (Shrimps), where the story per se and the techniques of story-telling had received increased attention from the author. Thakazhi’s dichotomous perception of ‘art’ and ‘life’ evolved further through his subsequent works like Enippadikal (Rungs of the Ladder) and Chukku (Dried Ginger) and culminated in Kayar (The Coir Rope), considered by many as his magnum opus. Apart from his immensely popular novels, Thakazhi also wrote numerous articles, biographical notes and travelogues.
- Text : Based on inputs from Bhasha Samanwaya Vedi – Kerala, Department of Culture, Government of Kerala and Sahitya Akademi publications.