WHERE ARE MY LOST ILLUSTRATION

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Chans

I was drawn to painting from childhood itself. After completing high school, I was in such a situation that it became difficult to continue higher studies. I had to find a job to pursue my aspiration to study painting. Found a contractual position at a ceramics factory that manufactured electrical appliances. I was on night duty and decided to study painting during the day. All painters as part of their growth would either acquire the art by way of tradition or by learning painting under famous artists. My artistic journey was not blessed in that sense.

I enrolled for  Arts,  and became an arts teacher. During studies and as teacher later, also provided leadership for organizational activities. Those days, the Communist Party office was situated next to the Deshabhimani newspaper bureau. I had great many friends over there. Through Chathunni master who was an old acquaintance, I was introduced to Deshabhimani weekly editor M.N. Kurup. He entrusted me with the stories due for publication in the imminent Deshabhimani Onam edition. I drew. And as an artist received my first paycheque of Rs.35.

It was an association that lasted 38 years with Deshabhimani during which I was also given permission to draw for other leading publications such as India Today, Madhyamam, Kalakaumudi, Chithrabhumi, Vanitha etc. when artist Namboothiri resigned from Mathrubhumi and invited me to take over from him. An invitation that I turned down as I felt obliged to Deshabhimani for how it helped me grow.

After leaving Deshabhimani, I am currently with Indian Express’s “Samakalika Malayalam” weekly. In 2014, as I was heading back from Canada after an exhibition, I lost 65 artworks and 7200 dollars due to the negligence of the airline company. As a visual artist, it pains me that neither the Government nor competent authorities did anything to retrieve it.

Kalapoorna Monthly, 2015