Lately, I think I have become some sort of a feminist. Not the type who holds billboards for woman’s rights and stuff , but the library feminist who picks up books by woman authors. I am caught onto Anita Nair so much these day that I am actually getting high reading her lines. Madhavikutty has become some sort of a family figure now, always accompanying me in my bag wherever I am. There is this comfort of the known like dosas loaded with gingely oil for breakfast at home. There is also Moni Moshin ( the hilarious butterfly series) where I am deeply empathizing with Butterfly Khan that I fear I might develop some sort of split personality soon! I am also reading Meenakshi reddy Madhavan though it feels more like a blog and not books so far.
So on my last visit to the library, (I have started borrowing books from the Eroor lending library on press club road due to space shortage to cram my books at home) even I was surprised when I walked into the Malayalam section and after picking up a regular MK, I strolled deeper into the darkest corners and my finger traced the specs of dust on the book cases that touched the ceilings and finally rested on the name – P.Padmarajan!
There was a heap of his books, short stories, novellas and even some popular movie screenplay like the legendary Thuvanathumbikal and Peruvazhiambalam. A lot of images passed through my mind, characters from his movies, the vineyards and the dreamy life, the rain that accompanied Clara, the Rudraksha on Bhama’s necklace to call her Gandharvan (celestial lover)…
I took a thick book of screenplay and opened a page randomly. It was the scene where Jayakrishnan was writing the letter to Clara as mother superior. And I could easily visualize the Mannarathodi house, the room where he sits near the window on a wooden chair, an letter in front of him, the roar of thunder, the rain and even the background music. I closed the book and immediately the music stopped in my ears! I kept it back and picked up a book named Lola which was considerably thinner.
Later that night, after the house was deep in dreams, when the moonless night made my soul restless like it did sometimes, I opened the windows facing the thick growth on the south side of the house, where a fine breeze always lingered and switched on the table lamp and slumbered into the diwan with Lola. Page after page the fascination just grew in figures.
After the first story Lola, I felt euphoric, ecstatic. I knew then that I can forget his stories but I can never forget the thoughts, the way his mind worked and the fascination of pure magic he created with his words. It just grew to a level that I had to keep the book down from time to time when I felt my heart beating too fast to decipher. I had seen some of his interviews when I was in school and he was quite ordinary, in words and style if I remember correctly. Still, his words haunted me. I realized that I am in love with a dead man’s mind, and his words and the irony of it.
Outside it had started raining and I saw a firefly flutter in the darkness…
Pic courtesy : Google Images