In memory of Basheer

In memory of Basheer.[/caption]July 5 – It’s 19 years exactly, since the great doyen of Malayalamliterature left us all. His write ups were so simple that anybody with a basic knowledge of Malayalam could easily follow him. With light hearted humor he made the readers laugh and at the same time weep also. When he told us the story of the downtrodden, that became more lively and artistic. He always lived in a world of fantasy full of prisoners, beggars, prostitutes, the starved and gays. He gave equal importance to all living things in the world including the human beings. He wrote, there is only one Basheer in Malayalam, so there is no need to say Vaikkam Mohammad Basheer.

He was a novelist, story writer and over and above all a freedom fighter. He was otherwise known as the Beppoor Sulthan. In 1982 the Indian govt: honoured him with the ‘Padamasree’. He was one of the most read writers in the Malayalam literature.

He was born on January 21, 1908 as the son of Abdul Rahman and Kunjachumma. His life was very adventurous and funny. His life’s turning point came when he went absconding while studying in the 9thstandard. He came to Ernakulam on foot and from there he went to Kozhikode by train, ticketless. There he participated in the freedom movement and joined the Indian National Congress. Participating in the Salt Satyagraha he got beaten up and jailed. After that he organized an extremist set up in Bhagath Singh style. The fiery articles written by him in the mouthpiece magazine of this extremist organization were the first creations of Basheer. Later he started roaming around all over India. About 9 years he spent moving from place to place and learned different languages. Thus he got an opportunity see the different sides of life like poverty, misery and jealousy. You can see in his creations the reflection of all the scenes he has seen during this long aimless journey.

Whoever reads his creations would surely fall in love with them. Balyakalasakhi, Premalekhanam, Pathummayute Aatu, Entuppappakkoru Aanayuntarnnu, Mathilukal are some such glaring examples. Let ‘shed a few drops of warm tear over his tomb.