Obituary
Balakumaran, an accomplished novelist, had also written dialogues for films like 'Nayakan' and 'Baasha'.
Twitter

Stop anyone in Tamil Nadu and ask them 'Neenga nallavara? Kettavara?' (Are you a good person or a bad one?) or exclaim 'Naan oru dhadava sonna...nooru dhadava sonna maari' (If I've said it once, I've said it a 100 times), they will get the popular culture references immediately. Such is the immense recall value of the lines penned by the prominent writer, novelist and scriptwriter V Balakumaran. On May 15, the literary stalwart breathed his last in Chennai. 

According to reports, the writer was admitted in Kauvery Hospital for severe breathing trouble earlier on Tuesday. He was 71 years old.

The writer had penned scripts for over 20 Tamil films including blockbusters like Nayakan, Gentleman, Guna, and Baasha. His dialogue writing skills have been a great asset to the industry, catapulting actors who mouthed them to greater fame. This includes Kollywood giants Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. 

While his brilliance has been appreciated by many, in an interview to The Hindu, the writer said that he only did it for the money. His work in Kollywood also includes Dhanush’s Pudupettai.

Balakumaran had also written over 150 novels and 100 short stories, contributing to important Tamil periodicals such as Kalki, Ananda Vikatan and Kumudam.

Some of his famous, award-winning works include Irumbhu Kudhiraigal, Mercury Pookal, Kadarpalam, Sugajeevanam among others. Irumbu Kudirai won the Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar Award and Mercury Pookkal won the Ilakkiya Chinthanai award. His historical fiction Udayar is very famous for telling the tale of Raja Raja Chola from a different perspective.

He had also won the Cinema Express Award for his contribution to Kamal Haasan’s Guna and the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Dialogue Writer for Shankar’s Kaadhalan. He had also received the Kalaimaamani Award from Government of Tamil Nadu.

In January this year, on Thiruvalluvar Day, he was honoured with Thamizhthendran Thiru.Vi.Ka Award by the Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswamy.

Balakumaran directed the 1988 comedy film Idhu Namba Aalu starring Bhagyaraj. The writer has had two coronary bypass operations and was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2012.

Condolences poured in for the writer on Twitter: