Author Balan Putheri receives Padma Shri amid news of wife's demise
Despite the pain of his beloved's demise, Balan Putheri decided to accept the award as Shanta wanted. Balan said it was Shanta's greatest wish that he received the award.
"Every time you come across a moment of happiness, grief always comes along too... " That's what Balan Putheri had to say when Asianet News reached out to him in New Delhi wherein some hours later he was to receive the Padma Shri award. His wife, Shanta, had just passed away.
Moments before he was to receive the honour from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Putheri received news that his life partner had passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Putheri, a littérateur who has authored over 210 books, has been struck a cord through his works, but Shanta had been his real strength. Putheri lost his eyesight over two decades ago, yet he kept his passion for literature going. Putheri published his first book in 1983. In 1997, Putheri published his 50th book, Guruvayoor Ekadashi. The country announced the Padma Shri award for Putheri in January this year.
Putheri told Asianet News that it was his wife's wish that he collect the award (Padma Shri). He said, "I never dreamt of getting such a major award in my lifetime. I am fortunate enough to receive the honour. Yet, every time you come across a moment of happiness, grief always comes along too."
In keeping with her wishes, Putheri stayed back in New Delhi to receive the Padma Shri award. Meanwhile, Shanta's last rites were performed at 3 pm at their home in Karipur, Malappuram. Although Balan Putheri's roots are in Kozhikode's Farook, he now resides in the Malappuram district.