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Vinoy Thomas: In Malayalam literature, stand-ins for Kerala ethos are giving way to pluralism

An earlier short story by Vinoy Thomas, "Kaligeminarile Kuttavalikal", became the basis for Lijo Jose Pellissery's film Churuli.

January 25, 2023 / 12:14 PM IST
The bilimbi tree plays an important role in the narrative of 'Anthill'. (Photo: Joygeorgek via Wikimedia Commons 3.0)

The bilimbi tree plays an important role in the narrative of 'Anthill'. (Photo: Joygeorgek via Wikimedia Commons 3.0)

Vinoy Thomas won the 2021 Kerala Sahitya Akademi award for his novel Puttu - Anthill, its English translation by Nandkumar K, was released on January 15, 2023.

But you might already know his writing for a different reason - he wrote "Kaligeminarile Kuttavalikal", the story that Lijo Jose Pellissery's film Churuli is based on.

As in Churuli, the village (Perumpadi) in Anthill has a backstory of its own - a refuge for those on the run from the law and from society, it is described as a land of sinners. Indeed, child molesters rub shoulders here with cashew smugglers and con women claiming to have divine vision.

Vinoy Thomas (Photo by Vinayaraj via Wikimedia Commons 4.0) Vinoy Thomas (Photo by Vinayaraj via Wikimedia Commons 4.0)