Veteran Tamil novelist Balakumaran died on Tuesday. Balakumaran was suffering from breathing-related issues. He was 71 and is survived by two wives, a son and a daughter.

Balakumaran works remained a link between serious and populist writing in Tamil. Balakumaran was a recipient of a number of awards, including the state government’s ‘Kalaimamani’ honour. Balakumaran worked in several movies like Nayagan, Guna, Gentleman, Jeans, Baasha and Citizen. He wrote over 150 novels in Tamil and worked as screenplay and dialogue writer over 20 films. Balakumaran had also directed K Bhagyaraj-starrer Idhu Namma Aalu.

Mercury pookkal, Irumbhu kudhiraigal, Kadarpala and Krishna Arjunan were some of his well-known novels. The dialogue from Rajinikanth’s Baasha, ‘Naan Oru Thadava sonna, nooru thadava sonna madhiri remains one of the most popular dialogues written by him. Irumbu Kudirai won the Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar Award and Mercury Pookkal won the Ilakkiya Chinthanai award.