Doodling on pieces of paper was always a favourite pastime for Dr K Madhavankutty.
Though a trained medical practitioner, Madhavankutty was more passionate about the art of teaching and so he decided to become a professor in Physiology. Over the years he has held prominent positions as Principal at the Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Thrissur and Kozhikode Medical Colleges. He wrote and published 72 books and 4,000 articles on medicine, edited four encyclopedias and published a health dictionary. He, however, had no plans of becoming an artist, let alone be known as one.
With no inspiration backing his imagination, he found pleasure in doodling images towards the beginning of his career. All his doodles have a profound emotional or a spiritual connection. Speaking about his drawings, “I am not a religious person but I am very spiritual. My spirituality is evident in my doodles. Many of my works have a basic structure of the ‘Sri Chakra’ or the ‘Kalamezhuthu’.
“Madhavankutty’s doodles are famous amongst his friends, relatives and colleagues. When asked about how and when he finds time to doodle between his busy schedule, “It’s not that I am not listening to the events at the meeting. In fact my concentration is at its peak when I doodle. It gives a sort of mental peace and helps me release emotional stress. I doodle with whatever pen and paper I have with me at the time without any particular intention of how it is supposed to turn out. Surprisingly most of my doodles have takers.”
Madhavji, Test Tube Baby of Mahbhartha, NGO Strike, Dual faces of medical science, AKG, Fish Missile, Vishamavrutham, Shaktheyam, Twin Veena, Kalom 1, Crown, Kalom 2 and Soundarya Lahari were the thirteen drawings exhibited at the Lalithakala Art Gallery, KOzhikode. Among them one doodle portrays Madhavankutty’s connection with his longtime friend, classmate and RSS leader P Madhavji, and another doodle drawn out of respect for communist leader AKG on the day he passed away.
One of his drawings captures the emotion and attitude of the Malayali during the NGO Hartal in 1977. Though sketched three decades ago, most of his doodles look like a crossover between surrealism and abstract art with a new age feel to it. Art enthusiast and critics visited the exhibition to get a feel of this unique art. The one-week long exhibition aptly named ‘Kazhchakalkappurathe Vaidyam’ provided food-for-thought with its contemporary depiction of thoughts and images beyond medical science.