George Onakkoor (born on 16 November 1941, Travancore) is an Indian novelist who writes in Malayalam language. He was a Malayalam professor for over three decades at Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum, Kerala.
Onakkoor is well acknowledged in various capacities as novelist, short-storywriter, critic, script and travel writer. He was the former Director of Kerala State Institute of Children's Literature, State Institute of Encyclopaedic Publications and Kerala State Literacy Council. He also served as the first Non-official Chairman of the State Resource Centre.
The awards he received include The Jawaharlal Nehru Award for his excellent service as Chief Editor of the Children's Encyclopaedia; the award for the best research thesis submitted in Indian Universities in the field of Art and Literature, the Kesava Dev Centenary Memorial Award, Thakazhi Sahithya Award, C. Achutha Menon Award, Mother Theresa Award, KCBC Award, Kerala Shree Award, Kesava Dev Award etc. He is also the recipient of the prestigious SBT 'Suvarna Mudra'. He has been honoured by the Government of Kerala for his contributions to Language and Literature. The Award for the outstanding Indian writer given by the Euro-American Expatriate Literary Association was yet another laurels he received. The Kerala Sahithya Academy Award has been conferred on Dr. George Onakkoor twice for his novel (Illam in 1980) and travelogue (Adarunna Akaasham in 2005).
Some of his writings are: Akale Akasham, Uzhavuchalukal, Ulkkadal, Illam, Kalthamara, Kamana, Ezhuthapurangal, Samathalangalkkappuram, Hridayathiloru Vaal, Parvathangalile Kaattu, Pranaya Thazhavarayile Devadaru, Yordan Ozhukunnathu Evidekku (Novels), Orchid, Kamana, The Sword in the Soul, The Wind in the Mountains, The Sea Within (Translations of his five novels), Ivar Enikku Arayirunnu? (Memoirs)etc.
- Father:Late Naduviledathu Kuriakose
- Mother: Late Mariamma
- Spouse: Valsa George
- Children: Darsana George, Adarsh Rio George, Anaswara Chintu George
- Grand Children: Avinash Sudheer, Amrit Geo Adarsh, Alok Geo Amith, Allene Mary Amith, Ankit Tom Adarsh and Adit Geo Amith.
Literary Critic and Novelist Author of Forty books
1. Akale Akasam (Novel)- 1972
2. Ulkkadal (Novel)- 1975
– The Sea Within (English translation)- 2013
3. Kalthamara (Novel)- 1977
– Orchid (English translation)- 1978
4. Ezhuthappurangal (Novel)- 1978
5. Illam (Novel)- 1979
6. Kamana (Novel)- 1981
– Kamana (English translation)- 1981
7. Uzhavuchalukal (Novel)- 1985
8. Nalu Poochakkuttikal (Stories)- 1985
9. Njan Kathirikkunnu (Novel)- 1986
10. Njan Oru Kaioppu Matram (Stories)- 1988
11. Rachanayude Rahasyam (Children’s Literature)- 1989
12. Thapovanathile Sooryan (Children’s Literature)- 1989
13. Olivumarangalude Nattil (Travelogue)- 1989
14. Marubhumiyude Hridayam Thedi (Travelogue)- 1990
15. Maria Goretti (Children’s Literature)- 1991
16. Mahatma Gandhi (Biography)- 1994
17. M. P. Paul, Kalapathinte Thiruseshippukal (Biography)- 1994
18. Nadu Neengunna Neram (Stories)- 1995
19. Samathalangalkkappuram (Novel)- 1996
20. Arshajnanathinte Pravachakan (Biography)- 1999
21. Puthiya Sahasrabdham: Samasyakal (Study)- 2002
22. Adarunna Akasham (Travelogue)- 2004
23. Samaya Soochikal Nischalam (Stories)- 2005
24. Hrudayathil Oru Wal (Novel)- 2005
– The Sword in the Soul (English translation)- 2007
25. Rachanayude Nervazhi (Children’s Literature)- 2006
26. Kuttikalude Sampoorna Bible (Children’s Literature)- 2007
27. Parvathangalile Kattu −2007 (Based on the life on Mrs. Indira Gandhi)
– The Wind in the Mountains (English translation)- 2008
28. Ente Sanchara Kathakal (Stories)- 2009
29. Pranaya Kathakal −2009
30. Manalkkattinte Sabdam (Biography) – 2010
31. Ivar Enikku Arayirunnu? (Memoirs) -2010
32. Kathakal Onakkoor (Collection of Short Stories) – 2010
33. Pranaya Thazhvarayile Devadaru (Novel)- 2012
34. Yordan Ozhukunnathu Evidekku (Novel)- 2013
35. Kerala Bhasha Ganga (Literary Criticism)- 1963
36. Yuga Prathibha (Literary Criticism)- 1963
37. Sahitya Sameepanam (Literary Criticism)- 1968
38. Ithihasa Pushpangal (Literary Criticism)- 1969
39. Nayakasankalpam Malayala Novelil (Thesis)- 1986
40. Kalathinte Thiricharivukal (Essays)- 2011
• Contributed, Story, Screenplay and Dialogue for nine feature films in Malayalam:
2. Ente Neelakasam
4. Katha Parayum Kayal
• Contributed Script for Twelve Documentary films.
• The Film 'Ulkkadal' won number of Awards in 1979.
• The Film Yamanam won the Indira Gandhi Award for the best thematic content.
- The novel 'illam' won the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 1980 for the Best Novel written during the period from 1977 to 1979.
- The novel 'Kamana' won the Mar Ivanios Cultural Award in 1984.
- The PhD thesis 'Nayakasankalpam Malayala Novelil' won the first K.M. George Sapthathi Award for the best thesis produced in Indian Universities in Language, Literature and Culture during the period from 1980 to 1985.
- The Film Critics Award for the Best Story Writer in 1991; Film Yamanam based on the novel 'Kamana'.
- The film Yamanam won the National Award for the Best Social Theme in 1992.
- Honoured with Jawaharlal Nehru Award, instituted by the Mathrubhumi Study Circle, for the outstanding contributions to Children's Literature in 1993.
- 'Akale Akasam' and 'Illam' were prescribed as textbooks for the Degree Examinations of the University of Kerala.
- 'Orchid'—the translation of the novel 'Kalthamara'—was prescribed as a textbook in the Clark Atlanta University, Georgia, USA
- 'M. P. Paul: Kalapathinte Thiruseshippukal’ won the Sahodaran Ayyappan Award for the best Biography in 1996.
- The biography ‘Arshajnanathinte Pravachakan’ won the Delhi Malankara Association Bi-Decennial Literary Award in 1999.
- Darsana Award for the outstanding contribution to the field of culture in 2000.
- Milan Award (Michigan Malayalee Literary Association of North America Award) for the unique contribution in Art, Literature and Culture in 2002.
- Kesava Dev Birth Centenary Award for the total contribution to the Malayalam Novel in 2003.
- The travelogue “Adarunna Akasam” won the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 2005.
- First Euro-American Pravasi Award for the outstanding Indian Writer in 2005.
- ‘STATE HONOUR’ by the Govt. of Kerala for the Distinguished Contributions to the Language & Literature (2005).
- The Novel ‘Hrudayathil Oru Wal’ won the K.C.B.C. Award, the prestigious Thakazhi Award and Kerala Sree Award(2006).
- Kesava Dev Award for the Novel 'Parvathangalile Kattu' in 2009.
- C. Achutha Menon Award for the total Contribution to Indian Literature in 2010.
- SBT 'Suvarna Mudra' for the Outstanding Contribution to Language, Literature and Culture in 2012.
- Honoured by the Indian Media Forum (IMF), Dubai on the 50th Year of Creative Writing.
- Honoured by Thiruvananthapuram Public Library on the 50th Year of Creative Writing in 2013
- Honoured by Dubai Art and Literary Association in 2013.
- Goodness Excellence Award for the total contribution to Literature in 2014.
- Chairman, State Resource Centre, Kerala: 3 years
- Director, The State Institute of Encyclopaedic Publications: 2 years
- Director, The Kerala Saksharatha Samithi: 2 years
- Director, The State Institute of Children’s Literature: 5 years
- Head of the Department of Malayalam, Mar Ivanios College, Thiruvananthapuram: 29 years
- Member, Director Board & Executive Committee of SPCS (Sahitya Pravarthaka Cooperative Society), Kottayam: 3 years
- Member, Managing Committee, Kerala Sahitya Academy: 2 years
- Member, Managing Committee, ‘Thonnackal Asan Smarakam’:3 years
- President, Kerala Film Critics Association: 4 years
- Chairman, SPCS Publication Committee: 5 years
Positions in Academic, Cultural Bodies
- Member of the Kerala Sahitya Academy General Council and Finance Committee from 1974 to 1977 and from 1981 to 1984 and member of the Managing Committee from 1984 to 1986.
- Member of the Kerala University Senate from 1984 to 1988 (Government nominee representing the authors).
- Member of the Business Advisory Committee of the Kerala University Senate from 1984 to 1988.
- Member of the Board of Studies in Malayalam, Gandhiji University, Kottayam from 1984 to 1987.
- Member of the Board of Studies in Malayalam, University of Kerala from 1984 to 1990.
- Member of the Advisory Board of the Correspondence Course, University of Kerala from 1977 to 1981.
- Member of the Advisory Board, Department of Publications, University of Kerala from 1985 to 1988.
- Member of the Director Board and Executive Committee of the Sahitya Pravarthaka Co-operative Society from 1980 to 1983.
- Member of the Advisory Panel of the Regional Film Censor Board from 1984 to 1989 and again from 2007 – 2012.
- Member of the ‘Thonnackal Asan Smarakam’ from 1985 to 1988.
- Member of the School Syllabus Reforms Committee in 1983.
- Member of the School Library Committee from 1983 to 1988.
- Member of the Thiruvananthapuram Public Library Committee from 1982 to 1986 and from 2011 till date.
- Member of the Media Committee, Kerala Saksharatha Samithi from 1991 to 1993.
- Member of the National Executive of Encyclopaedia Makers.
- Member of the Language Advisory Committee of the Encyclopaedic Publications, Govt. of Kerala.
- Member of the Judging Committee for State Award, Professional Dramas.
- Chairman of the State Award Committee for the Best Book on Cinema.
- Member of the Selection Committee for Sponsored Programs, Doordarshan.
- Member of Language Committee, Bharatiya Jnanapith Award.
- Member of the Script Selection Committee of the National Film Development Corporation.
- Member of the Book Selection Committee, Operation Black Board Scheme.
- Member of Kerala State Pre-primary Education Advisory Board.
- Member of the Kerala State Curriculum Committee.
- Member of the Swadeshabhimani Memorial Trust.
- Vice-President of the Indo-Ukrainian Friendship Society, Kerala Chapter.
- Vice-President of the C. Achutha Menon Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram Chapter.
- Expert Member of the Official Language Commission, Govt. of Kerala.
- Member of the Raja Ram Mohun Roy Library Foundation of India.
- Member of the Programme Advisory Committee, Prasar Bharathi.
- Member of the Senate – CUSAT (Cochin University of Science & Technology ) 2007 – 2012 (Nominated by the Chancellor of the University – Governor – State of Kerala, representing the authors).
- Member of the Advisory Board of the Thunchathu Ezhuthachan Malayalam University
- Expert Member of the School Curriculum – Department of Education, Government of Kerala
- President of the C.V. Raman Pillai National Foundation
- President of the P. Kesava Dev Foundation
- President of ‘Margi’, Centre of Classical Art Forms.
- Total 33 years of Teaching at College Level
- Research Guide, University of Kerala from 1984 onwards. Ph.D Produced: 14
Visited United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Jordan, United States, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab of Emirates.
Novel by George Onakkoor (Synopsis)
Rahulan, the chief protagonist of the novel comes across as a romantic & poet. The novel unveils as he reaches the city from his village and joins college for his PG. The loner Rahulan becomes friends with Davis & Jayasahankar. As the friendship grows, Rahulan also gets close with Reena, Davis’s sister. Romance unfolds and it was only natural that Reena, the budding painter and Rahulan the poet were attracted to each other. But both brother – who had also found love in Susanna – and sister are wary about the profound presence of an orthodox father, James who will never approve his children finding soul mates outside their religion. Remember the Novel is set in 70s Kerala where religion and caste boundaries were sacrosanct.
The sudden twist in the story comes as fate becomes villain and Davis dies in a Motorbike accident leaving his sweetheart, Susanna astray. Rahulan gets a job as college lecturer and his heart still longs for Reena. James who could not bear the death of his only son turns a heart patient and Rahulan is forced to leave behind his unfulfilled love. Time moves on and we see Rahulan nursing his broken heart and living a life in despair.
Enter Meera, the student who falls in love with her lecturer. She uses her cunningness and outspoken nature to get him close and in very less time their romance becomes the talk of the town.
Destiny had something else in store; Rahulan meets Susanna again, but this time as Prof Paul’s daughter in law! Rahulan comes to know about Susanna’s brother’s wedding plans with none other than Reena.
Rahulan gets engaged to Meera. There is little he could do as he lets himself to be a puppet in fate’s hands. As he reaches home form his engagement he is surprised to see Reena who has come to him leaving behind her home. Rahulan is caught between his love for Reena and engagement to Meera. The Novel reaches climax as Meera’s father encounters Rahulan & Reena together, leaves the scene calling off the engagement. Rahulan wastes no time and welcomes Reena into his life.
Ulkadal written by George Onakkoor was adapted into a movie with the same name and won accolades as the first ever movie in India fully based out of college campus. Ulkadal was the trend setter for a series of campus movies, a genre successfully explored by many film makers later in Indian cinema.
Prepared By Geetha Mary Jimmy