Museum celebrating life, legacy of Basheer to be opened today
For admirers of Malayalam literature, it gives a glimpse into the lives of a young Pathumma and her beloved goat or a romantic Keshavan Nair who weaves his dreams around a charming Saramma. Standing at the entrance to this imaginary world is a granite bust of the plucky humourist who narrated us those lovely stories, with his characteristic warmth.
The followers of Vaikom Muhammad Basheer have a treat in store as the first museum celebrating the life and legacy of the Beypore Sultan is all set to open at Thalayolapparambu, his birthplace. The museum is coming up at the office of the Basheer Smaraka Trust at Palamkadavu on the banks of the Muvattupuzha river.
Cultural Minister Saji Cheriyan will declare open the museum on the occasion of the author’s 27th death anniversary on Monday.
The exhibits inside the art gallery include illustrations of iconic scenes and characters from the 10 major works of the author, including Premalekhanam, Bhoomiyude Avakashikal and Mathilukal.
Veteran journalist M.P. Surendran, who coordinates the project, said the museum intended to create the feeling one got when one read one of his books. “Instead of just narrating particular scenes, these drawings seek to highlight ‘the Basheerian splendour’ and his universal theme, Nature. You get these feelings from his books when you are immersed in his stories,” he said.
C.M. Kusuman, secretary of the trust, said the project sought to offer a tour through the literary world of Basheer while also helping the visitors learn about the places and cultures that inspired the writer.
“In the next phase, the gallery will be hosting more illustrations and a digital interactive platform where the visitors can even watch small films based on his books. Additionally, statues of some of the key characters from his major works will come up on the concrete pillars to be erected along the river bank,” he said.
It took the trust a couple of years to zero in on the ideal piece of rock for carving the author’s bust. “Doing a portrait on granite is indeed an intricate affair and sculptor V.K. Rajan spent a considerable time and effort to complete the work in a gratifying manner,” he added.
The project was realised with the support of the Thrissur-based Stone Kerala Foundation.
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