Poet, film personality Yusufali Kechery dead

Kochi: Veteran poet and film personality Yusufali Kechery passed away at a private hospital here on Saturday evening, said family sources. He was 80.

Since the beginning of this year, Kechery's health was deteriorating and was in the hospital for long.

A poet of the modern era, he had won several awards for his poetry which include the Odakkuzhal, Kerala Sahitya Academy and Vallathol awards.

He also wrote film lyrics, produced and also directed Malayalam films. A multifaceted personality, he began his career as a lawyer and also did freelance writing.

Beginning his film career in the early 1970s, he wore several hats - of that of a producer, lyricist and also director.

Winner of numerous film awards, he also won a National Award for a Sanskrit song written for the Malayalam film "Mazha" (Rain) released in 2000.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy described Kechery's death as a loss for the state.

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