The world has been battling the novel coronavirus for more than one and a half years, with the infectious disease claiming the lives of millions and also causing a massive economic slowdown. Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have also been several prominent celebrities and personalities from Tamil cinema, who have succumbed to the disease, including various other afflictions and ailments. It has now come as distressing news that eminent writer and Tamil poet Francis Kiruba passed away in Chennai on Thursday due to prolonged illness. 

Hailing from Pathiniparai village near Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district, Francis Kiruba has penned several revered poems, including 'Ezhuvaal Natchathiram', 'Malligai Kizhamaigal' and 'Sammanasu Kaadu' to name a notable few. Despite having only a school education, his writings fetched him big fame among literary lovers, with his name being referenced by many leading poets and Tamil writers. Kiruba has also had a presence in Tamil cinema over the years and has penned songs in films like Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai, Kurangu Bommai, and many others. He has also written the screenplay and dialogues for the biopic on former Chief Minister Kamaraj, with his work going on to be widely appreciated at the time. 

During the course of his literary career, Francis Kiruba earned several accolades, including the prestigious 'Sundar Ramaswamy' Award from the Neidhal Ilakiya Amaipu. He was also felicitated with the Writer Sujata Award for his poetry collection book titled 'Sammanasu Kaadu'. Condolences have been pouring in from the literary world, including Tamil cinema personalities and fans taking to social media to pay their tributes.