Kottayam Pushpanath was a household name among Malayalam fiction lovers in the 70s and 80s. The prolific writer had earned his popularity through his science thrillers, horror and detective novels. The Facebook page in the writer's name is a testimony to the impact author and his stories had left on generationss and how they still hold sway on the young readers of today. Now, the Kottayam Pushpanath Publications has announced the re-release of 5 novels from the prodigious writer's Dracula series.
Bram Stoker's gothic horror novel 'Dracula' had influenced Pushpanath so much so that he began translating the novel to Malayalam and then ended up writing as much as 20 novels featuring the infamous Count in the central role. These thriller novels filled with suspense and horrifying mysteries raised the heartbeats of the readers of their times. The announcement of the republishing of these novels got stupenous response from readers of Pushpanath all over the world. In the first phase, 5 Novels from the Dracula series titled 'Draculayude Nizhal,' 'Draculayude Anki,' 'Draculayude Makal,' 'Dracula Asiayil' and 'Dracula Unarunnu.' Due to the prevailing pandemic situation, a virtual book release will be held through the Facebook pages of celebrity authors and movie directors.
Rayan, Kottayam Pushpanath's grandson, who had started a Facebook page in the name of the celebrated writer, says that the page has been receiving a lot of messages requesting republication of many of Pushpanath's works. “This is what has led me to revive Kottayam Pushpanath Publications, the publications my grandfather began in 1977 when the popularity of his novels was at its peak,” says Ryan. During Pushpanath's last years, before his demise on 2 May 2018, he had discussed with Rayan about digitising the former's works.
The childhood memories of Rayan, who grew up with his grandparents in the ancestral home in Kottayam, revolve around the towering personality of his grandfather. However, Rayan was not allowed to read Pushpanath's works at his tender age. Even though he spent much of the time playing inside grandfather's library, he never ventured into reading any of the books there. It all began one day during a summer vacation when one of his cousins brought him the novel 'Draculayude Kotta' from the library without their grandfather's knowledge. “I finished reading the book by evening and from then on I started reading grandfather's novels one by one till the end of the vacation,” he says. Rayan always cherished his journeys with his grandfather in their red Omni van listening to his stories and experiences. Rayan says he wishes to bring those fascinating stories of his grandfather to the vibrant young readers now.
'Detective Marxin' and 'Detective Pushparaj', the two detective characters created by Kottayam Pushpanath, are still fresh in the minds of his readers. Kottayam Pushpanath Publications has already republished novels from the Marxin series and Pushparaj series and some of the novels are made available as e-books and audiobooks as well. The publications, in view of the changes in the trends and the new choices of readers of this age, is planning to release more e-books; recordings for audiobooks are also in progress.
Kottayam Pushpanath had readers not just in Malayalam. Many of his novels were translated into different languages in India such as Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and so on. Rayan with the intention of taking Pushpanath's novels to other Indian languages travelled to various parts of the country and met translators. He was astonished by the overwhelming response. ''There are even higher plans to adapt the thrillers by Pushpanath to web series and if everything goes well, soon we can watch Detective Marxin and Pushparaj on their breathtaking adventures on platforms of streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime,” quips Rayan.
The Publications team is now behind the work of creating new era stories with the celebrated characters created by Pushpanath for new readers. Last year's Manorama weekly published a story by Rayan bringing detective Marxin to modern times using the newest of technologies in his mission. A translation of Kottayam Pushpanath's first novel 'Chuvanna Manushyan' by Rayan himself will hit the bookstores soon.