Novelist and National Artist Mom Luang Srifa Mahawan, better known to her readers as Srifa Ladavalaya, died on Tuesday evening at the age of 83 after succumbing to reduced blood flow in the brain.
Her royally-sponsored bathing rite will be held at Wat Debsirindrawas Ratchaworawiharn today, April 18, at 6.30pm.
Department of Cultural Promotion chief Chai Nakhonchai said yesterday that Srifa succumbed to the illness at 5.45pm on Tuesday at Phra Mongkutklao Hospital. After the bathing ceremony, her family and students will lead funerary recitals of the Abhidhamma at Wat Debsirindrawas Ratchaworawiharn’s Panurangsi Pavilion in Bangkok every evening from until April 24. During 100 days of merit-making, Srifa’s family will apply for a royally-sponsored cremation.
Chai said that the ministry would provide Bt20,000 towards the funeral costs and up to Bt150,000 for funerary publications.
Srifa was born on January 26, 1930 at Mahasawt Palace to Mon Rajawongse Sanan Ladavalaya and wife Buachab Ladavalaya na Ayutthaya. Her mother passed away when Srifa was five. After graduating from Saint Joseph Convent School, she studied at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy. She taught at Saint Joseph Convent Sri Racha School, Phranakorn Commercial Technological College and Bopitpimuk Commercial College until 1973 before quitting to become a professional novelist. She was married to businessman Boonthat Mahawan.
Under three pen names – Srifa Ladavalaya, Sifa and Jullada Pakdeephumin – Srifa produced some 100 short stories and novels, including “Prasat Meud” (Dark Castle), “Khao Nok Na” (Wild Rice Paddy), “Khamin Kab Poon” (Cumin and Lime), Boung (Chain) and “Kanok Lai Botan” (Kanok Motif).
Srifa’s younger sister, ML Srithong Ladavalaya (Khor Khakkharapan), was also a novelist, producing “Pharp Athan” (A Cursed Painting), “Dao Phra Suk” (Venus) and “Dok Sok” (Sad Flower).