Black, white, lines, colours: Namboodiri has mastery over all of them. He can create sculptures in stone, wood and cement. He is the proprietor of multifaceted accomplishments. This work proves to us that he has the power to transform words that —devoid of pomp or adornment—into beautiful writing.
This piece lists 5 heartwarming instances from the artist’s life.
“Attu was an extremely intelligent man…..However, he was always interested in helping people. It was he who took me to Veembur to study Sanskrit.”
“In the days when I used to visit Varikkasserry, I used to make figures out of clay—but not to show them to anyone, I never did. One day, Poonthottam Namboodiri, the artist, found out about them and congratulated me: ‘Your efforts aren’t bad at all!’”
“Whenever he visited Varikkasserry, he would speak to me about what he was doing and I would listen attentively. A year went by in this way. One day, Kavu Namboodiri said to me: ‘Come with me to Madras, you can stay with me.’….. The next I knew, I had a letter from him. ‘You have to come here, Karuvadu.’ It was a turning point in my life.”
“I used to call K.C.S. ‘Master’. I began to meet him quite often….One day, Master said to me: ‘Vassevan, attend the painting class as well.’ And so a rare opportunity came my way: to be able to paint with the fi nal-year students in the advanced course in painting.”
“Time went by and one day, I heard a piece of news that saddened me deeply. That Master had a cancer of the stomach. …When we arrived at the hospital, Master, his wife and his son were just coming out after he had been examined.‘So, Vassevan?’ he asked….I had nothing to say. My face fell, I knew I was going to break down. I had to accept the situation. Master patted my shoulder and said, ‘It doesn’t matter. It had to happen sometime, Vassevan.’ I cannot think of anyone who faced death so fearlessly.”
In Sketches, Namboodiri has sketched certain people and events that linger in his memory. They are not in chronological order. Nor is this an autobiography that follows a given arrangement. These are glimpses that touched an artist’s heart and because of this, its composition is unique.