Ottaplakkal Nambiyadikkal Velu Kurup, popularly known as O. N. V. Kurup or simply O. N. V., is a Malayalam poet and lyricist from Kerala, India, who won Jnanpith Award, the highest literary award in India for the year 2007. He is considered one of the finest living lyrical poets in India. O. N. V. Kurup is also a lyricist in Malayalam cinema. He received the awards Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011, the fourth and second highest civilian honours from the Government of India. In 2007 he was bestowed an Honorary Doctorate by University of Kerala, Trivandrum. O. N. V. is known for his leftist leaning. He was the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency for the Lok-Sabha elections in 1989.
O.N.V Kurup was born to O. N. Krishna Kurup and K. Lakshmikutty Amma, on May 27, 1931 at Chavara, Kollam (Quilon) in Kerala. He lost his father when he was eight. His childhood days were spent in the village where he attended the public 'Government School, Chavara'. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Economics from SN College, Kollam, he moved to Thiruvananthapuram city (Trivandrum) where he joined Travancore University (now Kerala University) and pursued Master of Arts (postgraduate) in Malayalam literature.
O.N.V. was a lecturer at Maharajas College - Ernakulam, University College - Trivandrum, Arts and Science College - Kozhikode, and Brennen College - Thalassery. He joined Government Women's College - Trivandrum as the Head of Malayalam Department. He was also a visiting professor at Calicut University. He retired from service in 1986.
He received the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary honour, for the year 2007. He is the fifth Jnanpith laureate from Kerala and the second Malayalam poet to win the prestigious award. According to a statement by Bharatiya Jnanpith, the trust which presents the award, Kurup began his career as a "progressive writer and matured into a humanist though he never gave up his commitment to socialist ideology".
He is now settled at Vazhuthacaud in Thiruvanathapuram, with his wife Sarojini. His son Rajeev works with the Indian Railways Authority, and daughter Dr.Mayadevi is a noted gynaecologist in Durham, United Kingdom. Malayalam playback singer Aparna Rajeev is his granddaughter.
O. N. V.'s first published poem was 'Munnottu' (Forward) which appeared in a local weekly in 1946. His first poetry collection named Porutunna Soundaryam, came out in 1949. He published a book named Dahikunna Panapatram (The Thirsty Chalice) which was a collection of his early poems during 1946-1956.
As a Lyricist
In addition to the valuable contributions he had given to the Malayalam literature, he is one of the leading lyricists in Malayalam film/drama/album industry. He was the part of many dramas by Kerala People's Arts Club (KPAC) which has a major remark in the revolutionary movements of Kerala. Kalam Marunnu (1956) was his first film which was also the first film by the famous Malayalam composer G. Devarajan. Since then he has been active in film until date and was honoured with one national award and thirteen state awards (the most by a Malayalee). He has penned for about 900 songs in about 232 films and a numerous songs for plays and albums. His partnerships with Salil Chowdhury and M. B. Sreenivasan was so popular in Malayalam film industry. He has made many hit songs with popular music directors, including G. Devarajan, V. Dakshinamoorthy, M. S. Baburaj, Raveendran, M. K. Arjunan, K. Raghavan, Shyam, Johnson, Mohan Sithara, M. G. Radhakrishnan, S. P. Venkatesh, Ouseppachan, Vidhyadharan etc...
Awards from State / Central Governments
O. N. V. has won two major awards from the Kerala State and two from the Indian government.
2011 - Padma Vibhushan
2007 - Jnanpith Award Announced on 24th September 2010
1998 - Padma Shri
1982 - Vayalar Award for Uppu
1975 - Kendra Sahitya Academy Award Malayalam for Aksharam
1971 - Kerala Sahithya Academy Award for Agni Salabhangal ..