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Malayalam theatre veteran Kavalam's funeral on Tuesday

The funeral of late Malayalam theatre veteran Kavalam Narayana Panicker, known as one who simplified the nuances of this art form, will be held on Tuesday.

He passed away late on Sunday night after suffering from age-related sickness. He was 88.

His last rites will be held in his home town in Kavalam in Alappuzha district on Tuesday, with the state government planning on giving him a state funeral.

Condolences started to pour in for Kavalam. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the thespian as one who was always willing to experiment in his field.

"His passing away is going to create big void in the fields that he excelled and is going to be an irreparable loss to Kerala," said Vijayan.

Even though a lawyer by profession, Kavalam, as he was popularly known, branched out to his pet profession, the theatre.

And since being nominated as the secretary of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi in 1961, he had no reason to look back and was a most popular playwright, theatre director, poet and lyricist.

Writing plays and staging them had always been his passion, and he staged his plays globally.

In his long professional career, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship and he was also decorated with the Padma Bhushan.

He wrote over 26 Malayalam plays, many adapted from classical Sanskrit dramas and even William Shakespeare's works. He is credited for being the founder-director of theatre troupe Sopanam and also of the Centre for Performing Arts, Training and Research here.

Known for his humility and his simple approach, Kavalam was always surrounded by a crowd wherever he went as he had no airs.

He also turned lyricist for a few Malayalam films, which twice fetched him the Kerala State Film Award for the Best Lyrics.

Kavalam was one who forayed into folklore and even had his own distinctive style, which was hugely popular in the state.

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