July 29, 2002 

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Balan Putheri, Karippur, Malappuram

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How many writers can sell 1500 copies of their 1st book in a single day?  How many would have the curious experience of have to flee from an exhibition stall since the available copies of the book are sold out and still more prospective buyers are in a riotous mood outside?

Balan Putheri, Karippur, Malappuram is a writer of uncommon distinctions.  Or who would have thought of doing a ‘thulabharam’ at Guruvayoor temple with his own books.

Yes, that was when he published his 50th book, which was about ‘Guruvayoor Ekadasi’.  The domain of Balan’s writing is legends of temples, Hindu beliefs, Hindu dharma and rituals etc.  He has so far written around 70 books.  In between he wrote a book on 21 revolutionaries of India’s freedom struggle.

46-year-old Balan is blind since the last 2 years – the culmination of a wasting ailment, which affected his eyes when he was a student.

After completing the manuscript, Balan does not wait for publishers.  He prints the books himself, without financial assistance from anyone.  And once the book is published he does not wait for distributors either.  He goes to exhibition venues and public meetings with his books.

It was during one such visit that he went to Rayiranelloor mount with his book, ‘Narayanathu Branthan and Rayiranelloor mount’.  When people came to know that the book was about the legendary philosopher-saint, all copies were sold out immediately.  And the author had to run for his life to avoid a near stampede.


Courtesy: A.P.Rajendran (text), Unny Kottakkal (photo), Sree, Malayala Manorama, October 7, 2001

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