Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Aravindan G

Govindan Aravindan (born January 21, 1935 in Kottayam — died March 15, 1991 in Trivandrum) who was popularly known as G. Aravindan seized attention of book-loving malayalees by his path-breaking venture in graphic novel- Cheriya Manushyarum Valiya Lokavum . It was the surging 60's and the meek protagonist in the weekly column, RAMU reflected the angst and frustration of the young malayali office-job-seeker. The end of the serial shows Ramu having arrived finally , wading the slimy waters of compromises to shoulder with the coterie of insensitive unsweating men of the society. The decadence had been announced. The aura of simplicity and compassion about this man are ever gone. The story of untold decadence trails to the present.

Then, Aravindan switched arena, to the celluloid. Soon, he became known for his unorthodox way of film-making, changing his cinematic forms consistently and experimenting with story telling without regular narrative styles.
A clutch of avante garde films catapulted him as one of the best ever film makers of this country. He had also worked with documentaries and theatre. The present day Malayali knows him more as a film man than the cartoonist with a bend for the caricatures and the public-shy musician that he was.

The Kerala Cartoon Academy pays homage to this illustrious cartoonist through a handful of Aravindan caricatures made by the members. Characters from his epic graphic novel have been given towards the end.

Have a tour :)

Self Caricature by G Aravindan

Cover illustration by Namboothiri


P V Krishnan


Ajoy Kumar D

T V G Menon

Ratheesh K R

Thomas Antony

Raju Nair


Prasannan Anikkad

Hari G



K V M Unny


Joy Kulanada

Suresh K K

E Suresh

Sudheer Nath

Shiju George

Shaji Malayalapuzha


Prashanth A V



Karthika Kattanam

Balakrishnan Annat
Jayaraj Vellur




Sanal Kumar




Aadi, Yesudasan's grandson

Aravindan's RAMU & Others


Guruji inspires him intellectually but...

mostly spiritually...

The copy book parents with familiar concens...

and Ramu does his part but...

the local postman often douses dreams of posting orders

while Swamy, Ramu's bench mate for many PSC exams
kills even his lingering expectations at the exam hall

Ramu has seen his sister Rema going through this ritual
so many times in the past...

It is the local boy Abu who inspires and soothes Ramu with occasional smokes

when his heartthrob Leela was not around..

The graphic novel is replete with Ramu's brief encounters like this
at small govt. offices with smaller men & women till and even after .....

Ramu floors his kitchen-destined mom with his first pay packet....

The occasional surprise from the Calutta based Gopi
who introduces Robindra Sangeeth through his Bengali wife

The LIC agent promises a kingdom but fades away midway

Meanwhile, the dancer with the tinsel craving for Kodambakkam and

the bard with semi-poetic tongue repeatedly beat the hell
out of Ramu and Guruji

Ramu's job hunts continued from
Accountant to
Manager to


we reach the end of the story !

No one has heard of Ramu, everafter..


cartoonist sudheer said...

Dear Prasannan jee and Sajjivejee and team, Well done and congratulations! The fruit of your labor is sweet, and I must say you deserve it.

shenoy said...

അരവിന്ദന്റെ ചിത്രങ്ങള്‍ കണ്ടു വളര്‍ന്നതിനു ശേഷമുള്ള തലമുറയിലെ ആളാണ്‌ ഞാന്‍. വല്ലപ്പോഴും അദ്ദേഹത്തെപ്പറ്റി ലേഖനങ്ങള്‍ കാണാറുണ്ട്‌, ഷാജി എന്‍. കരുണിനെ ഇന്റര്‍വ്യൂ ചെയ്യുന്നവര്‍ അരവിന്ദനെപ്പറ്റി ഒരു ചോദ്യമെങ്കിലും ചോദിക്കാതെ പോകാറില്ല എന്നതും ശ്രദ്ധിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട് - എല്ലാം അരവിന്ദന്റെ സിനിമാ ജീവിതത്തെപ്പറ്റി. എന്നാല്‍ ഗ്രാഫിക് നോവല്‍ മേഖലയില്‍ അദ്ദേഹം നല്‍കിയ സംഭാവനയെപ്പറ്റി എന്നെ ഓര്‍മപ്പെടുത്തിയത് ഓക്സ്ഫഡ് സര്‍വകലാശാലയില്‍ ഡീഫില്‍ ചെയ്യുന്ന ഒരു ബംഗാളി യുവതി - മാലിനി റോയ്. ഒരു ദിവസം ലൈബ്രറിക്ക് പുറത്തു നിന്ന് നടത്തിയ സാഹിത്യ ചര്‍ച്ചയ്ക്കു പിന്നാലെ അവരുടെ ഒരു ഇമെയില്‍ എത്തി, അരവിന്ദനെപ്പറ്റി: "some people attribute the first graphic novel written in India to G. Aravindan, as though his various other achievements weren't enough :) " നല്ലത്, മലയാളികള്‍ അനുസ്മരിച്ചില്ലെങ്കിലും ബംഗാളികള്‍ ഓര്‍ക്കുന്നുണ്ടല്ലോ, അതും ബ്രിട്ടന്‍ പോലൊരു അന്യ ദിക്കില്‍ . (ഈ എക്സിബിഷന്‍ കലക്കീട്ടോ, കിടിലന്‍!)

Thommy said...

GA was a master of many trades. His talents should be an inspiration to both cartoonists (first) and filmmakers (second).
I grew up enjoying and learning from ചെറിയ മനുഷ്യനും വലിയ ലോകവും…..He was a pioneer….we miss him dearly.

Thommy said...

Also, what Mr. Shenoy wrote is very true....not just for GA.
Our own PKS Kutty is more beloved in Bengal than in Kerala.

Mr. Shenoy : I would like to get in touch with you and Mr. Malini.

Kerala Cartoon Academy said...

Sudheer, Shenoy, Thommy,

KCA thank all participants for making this venture a thumping success ! This was much more than we ever hoped to achieve in 4 days.

Thanks to Shri Kaladharan who offered his Nanappa Gallery for 4 days, in line with his culture of seeing we cartoonists as family, unlike most painters.

More shows are being planned in the same venue.