Ashita was a versatile writer who wrote short stories, children’s literature, and translated many spiritual texts.

Kerala writer PK Ashita passes awayFacebook / Pk Ashita
news Obituary Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 12:26

Much-known writer PK Ashita passed away on Tuesday at 12.45 am at the age of 63. She was fighting cancer, and was at a hospital in Thrissur. She was cremated at the Thrissur Santhikavadam at 12 noon on Wednesday.

Though Ashita had survived cancer after fighting it for about six years, she was again diagnosed with the illness recently.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has condoled her death in a Facebook post. “Ashita was a writer who used her stories for gender equality. She tried to protest the attacks on women in public spaces, through her stories. She led a life of resistance and this language of resistance was reflected in her stories. Ashita was a writer who touched the hearts of readers. She always took a different path in her life and was able to take readers to unique realms of experience over the past decades. She showed through her literary life that stories can be filled with new experiences and novelty. The death of writer Ashita is an irreparable loss to Malayalam literature.”

Ashita has written books of short stories, poems, children’s literature, and translations. She won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award for her story collection Ashitayude Kathakal in 2015. Vismaya Chinnangal won her the Edasseri award in 1986, and Thathagatha got her the Padmarajan award in 2000. She also got the Lalithambika Anterjanam Smaraka Sahitya Award in 1994.

For Mathrubhumi magazine's cover story on her in November last year, Ashitha spoke about the brutal punishment from her dad for writing a novel. She was 17 then, she says, and her dad made her lie down on his lap and beat her from head to toe. "Every situation was that brutal," Ashita was quoted in the magazine.

What is lesser known about her perhaps is her spiritual side, wherein she became a disciple of Guru Nitya Chaitanya as a young woman. Her friend and writer-filmmaker Sreebala Menon says she used whatever she learnt from him to give strength to others, to make a positive difference in their lives. “There were few who were as versatile as her. She has written children’s stories, short stories, done translations of spiritual texts. She is the one who taught me the importance of writing for children,” Sreebala says.

Ashita led a silent private life, Sreebala says. “A unique personality and writer who did not get the recognition she deserved.”