Veteran Malayalam writer and orator Sukumar Azhikode has expressed his willingness to bury the hatchet with Mohanlal, saying the superstar need not apologise to him publicly but the two should meet.

"I make it very clear that my ego will not be a barrier to ending the problems we have had in the past. There need be no public apology from him at all. All that needs to be done is to meet each other, privately," Azhikode told IANS.

Azhikode had filed a criminal defamation petition at the Thrissur chief judicial magistrate court's in February this year following which the superstar had to take bail in June this year.

"I will have no problems if someone comes as an intermediary to make ground for a meeting to settle the issues we have had. I filed a defamation petition because that was the legal advice I got," added Azhikode.

The war of words broke out between the two last year when the superstar called Azhikode a mentally deranged person. Azhikode asked Mohanlal to either apologise or face legal action.

The spat began when Azhikode spoke in support of thespian Thilakan, who was served a show cause notice by AMMA (Association of Malayalam Movie Artists) and subsequently booted out of the body on grounds of indiscipline.

Azhikode said Mohanlal has become old and should limit himself to roles matching his age. 

But Mohanlal hit back a few days later, saying Azhikode must be having some "hallucinations" and that he considered Azhikode's statements as some "aged uncle's joke".

In 1986, Azhikode retired as pro-vice chancellor of Calicut University. He has won 12 awards, including the Indian Sahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahithya Academy Award, Vayalar Award and the Rajaji Award. In January 2007, he refused to accept the Padma Shri conferred on him stating such honours are against the constitution.