Writer Iringattiri returns home, leaving a vacuum in literary arena


Saudi Gazette

– Abu Iringattiri, renowned short story writer and novelist from the southern Indian state of Kerala, leaves for India for good after an eventful life featuring remarkable contributions in the literary field spanning over quarter of a century.

Several Keralite organizations and literary forums organized farewell parties in honor of the prolific writer, who has authored more than a dozen books, mainly collections of short stories and novels. He had been working with Binzagr Company in various capacities and leaving it after holding the post of senior finance analyst. He had also worked as sales coordinator and accountant in a number of other companies since his arrival in Jeddah in 1993.

Cultural and literary forums such as Sameeksha Literary Forum, Grandappura Jeddah, Arangu Art and Cultural Forum, and Jeddah Islamic Dawa Center (IDC) organized separate farewell parties for their favorite author.

The speakers included Dr. Ismail Maritheri of King Abdulaziz University, K.U. Iqbal, Gopi Nedungadi, M. Ashraf, P.M. Mayinkutty, V.K Rauf, Srikumar, Shibu Thiruvananthapuram, Abdullah Mukkanni, Naseer Vavakunju, Naser Veliyankode, V. Khalid, C.K. Shakir, Jaleel Kannamangalam, Naser Chavakkad, Aruvi Mongam, Shaju Athanikkal, Assain Illikkal, Latha Gopi, Faizu Mampad, Shuhaiba, Faisal Mampad, Salam Olavattoor, and Muhammad Shihab.

They spoke about the immense contributions of Iringattiri to Malayalam fiction and story writing. In his speeches, Iringattiri dealt with the vast and unique experiences he had during his 25-year-long life as an expatriate and a writer in the Kingdom.

The stories of Iringattiri have all the typical ingredients of Eranadan style and culture of Malappuram. He dreams of a richful post-expat life by dedicating the remainder of life to literary works and cultural activities.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, Iringattiri unveiled plans to write a fiction about Jeddah. “I wrote my novel Drishtanthangal, based on my native place of Cherumb, while I was in Jeddah. Now, I am eager to pen down the unique story revolving around the life in Jeddah after settling down back home in Cherumb.”

He said that the life as an expatriate taught him many lessons, the most important of which was how to become successful in life while fighting against odds and showing empathy and sympathy to fellow beings.

“The interaction with people of various nationalities gives new insight into diverse aspects of life and the intricacies of the world where we live in apart from embracing the qualities of patience and fortitude to meet any potential challenges. Such experiences will enrich a writer in his future writings,” he said.

Iringattiri underscored the need for highlighting the positive elements of life in the Gulf countries. “There is a growing trend among some writers to highlight only the negativities of their expatriate life. By this, they are doing injustice to the huge number of benevolent people who stood as stellar pillar in supporting millions of expatriates to make ends meet in addition to supporting the poor and needy,” he said while rejecting misleading stereotype imageries created by some writers about the Gulf.

Abu Iringattiri is the pseudonym of Aboobacker Kavilkuth, who hails from Malappuram district. K.P. Rahma is his wife and the couple has three sons — Ajamal Reckab, Amal Reckab and Rasal Reckab. Iringattiri is a commerce graduate from the University of Calicut and holder of diploma in journalism & mass communication from the Cochin-based Kerala Press Academy.

Earlier, in India he worked as a teacher, proof reader, and sub editor of Madhaymam daily. He used to write columns namely “Chuttuvattam” in the Gulf Madhyamam newspaper and “Akkareyikkare” in Malayalam News daily. His first short story was published in a leading Malayalam weekly magazine called Chandrika in 1978 while he was a secondary school student.

Iringattiri has authored nine collections of short stories such as Sooryan Oru Chan Akale, Avayavangal, Sulaikha Swoyamvaram, Uchaveyilinte Unmadam, Vavvalukalude Vazhikal, Alivumaram, Iringattiriyum Chila Cheriya Kathakalum, Pankuvekkaan Pattaattha Chila Drishyangal, Cherumbile Kaakkakal, in addition to one novel — Drishtanthangal and two novelettes — Sugandhappukayum Swornatherum, and Thambran Khaleefah. He is also author of a memoir, titled ‘Low Voltejil Oru Bulb (A bulb in low voltage).

Iringattiri has won several prestigious awards and honors and that included Pulikkottil Hyder Puraskaaram, Ankanam Pravasi Puraskaram, Jeddah Arangu Award, Khamis Mushayth Samskrithi Sahithya Puraskaaram, and Voice of India Award.