M Mukundan's viral post saves Punathil's tomb from oblivion

M Mukundan's viral post saves Punathil's tomb from oblivion
The photograph of writer Punathil Kunjabdulla's tomb posted by M Mukundan on social media.

Kozhikode: A photograph of the tomb of Punathil Kunjabdulla, who passed away in October last year, posted by writer M Mukundan on social media had gone viral. The tomb, abandoned in a burial ground of a mosque in Madappally, was soon the topic of discussion, on how a celebrated writer like him could be ignored less than a year after his death. Writer V R Sudheesh, who sent the photograph to Mukundan, said the mosque authorities had agreed to clear the undergrowth around the tomb.

“A friend of Kunjikka (Punathil), who was abroad, could not attend the rituals of burial. When he arrived in Kozhikode during holidays, he visited the tomb and felt sad. He took a photo and sent to me. I forwarded it to Mukundan and informed the mosque authorities too. They have agreed to clear the bushes and the cleaning has already begun, ” he said.

It is also a strange coincidence that Punathil's masterpiece 'Smarakasilakal' (memorial stone) was also written in the background of a mosque and its burial ground. He was quoted as saying that it was his only novel and the rest were alterations of 'Smarakasilakal.' In the celebrated novel, written in Malayalam, the novelist explains the tales every tomb has to say. A story-teller himself, he had expressed his longing for a cremation and to immerse his ashes. However, avoiding room for a controversy, his body was buried according to Islamic tradition, in a burial ground attached to a mosque.

The state government has already announced a memorial in the name of Punathil at Vadakara. The department of cultural affairs, has already found a spot for the same, said Sudheesh. In Kozhikode, a group of literature lovers under 'Literature Foundation' has come forward to construct a memorial in the name of Punathil, he added.

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