Veteran screenwriter and actor in Malayalam entertainment industry P Balachandran passed away early this morning. Balachandran, who was 69, was said to be undergoing treatment for meningitis for the past eight months. His cremation will be held on the premises of his residence in Vaikom at 3pm on Monday.
Padmanabhan Balachandran Nair was born on February 2, 1952 to Padmanabha Pillai and Saraswati Bhai at Sasthamkotta, Kollam.
An alumnus of School of Drama, he began his career with theatre. A noted playwright, Balachandran is best known for the play Paavam Usman for which he won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi and Kerala Professional Nataka Award in 1989. While he kicked off his acting career with Richard Attenborough’s 1982 film Gandhi as an extra and went on to appear in films such as Ivar, Beautiful, Trivandrum Lodge and One, he started his career as a scriptwriter with the 1991 Mohanlal movie Uncle Bun.
His works like Punaradhivasam and Kammatipaadam won him accolades. If the former won him a national award and two state awards, the latter, grabbed four state awards. A teacher with School of Letter attached to the Mahatma Gandhi University, Balachandran directed Ivan Megharoopan, based on the life of poet T P Kunhiraman Nair, in 2012. The film won several honours at the Kerala State Film Awards.
Balachandran, whose last script was for the Tovino Thomas starrer Edakkad Battalion 06, was last seen on screen in the Mammootty starrer One.
Meanwhile, the film fraternity and fans alike are flooding social media with tributes for the late artiste. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled his death. Film maker VK Prakash who has worked with Balachandran for movies such as Punaradhivasam, Police, Beautiful and Trivandrum Lodge, wrote that he was fortunate to have worked with the late screenwriter for several projects.
Actor and producer Jayasurya shared a photo of Balachandran on his Facebook page and wished for peace for Balachandran’s soul.
Balachandran is survived by his wife, Sreelatha, former chairperson of Vaikom municipality, and children Sreekanth and Parvathy.