Photo album helps Khasak fans take a trip down memory lane

As O V Vijayan’s 13th death anniversary looms large, one of his devoted fans, professional photographer D Manoj, is helping fellow readers take a trip down memory lane.

Published: 19th March 2018 03:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th March 2018 03:08 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Legendary writer O V Vijayan’s ‘Khasakkinte Ithihasam’ has been enchanting readers for nearly half a century by leading them through the mysterious terrain of Thasrak, the setting of his celebrated work.As the writer’s 13th death anniversary looms large, one of his devoted fans, professional photographer D Manoj, is helping fellow readers take a trip down memory lane.

D Manoj

Manoj takes the readers into the illusory world of Thasrak through his photographic journey, which has culminated in a photo album titled ‘Karmaparamparayile Kannikal’.Chintha Publishers came forward to help him realise his dream project.Trying to recapture each and every moment that Vijayan depicted in his legendary work, Manoj clicked more than 3,000 photographs. Later, he embarked on the challenging task of selecting less than 100 for the album.

As author Asha Menon says in the foreword, only when a photographer identifies himself with a visual that he can reach into its soul. Manoj’s pictures are not abstract, even though it is the photographic representation of the scorching sun, moonlight or snow. In the process, the photographer transforms himself into an artist, he says.In his efforts to recreate Thasrak, Manoj made several trips between his pictures and the images in Khasak. He has also been able to depict Thasrak not only as a space but also as time, he says.

“One of the interesting features of his work is that he could depict the different phases of a the day like pre-dawn hours, noon, dusk and twilight. Interestingly, he has not bothered to bring representations of Kuppuvachan, Mollakka, Khaliar, Abida, Maimuna or Kunhamina. But it is certain that the viewer will remember them while enjoying the beauty of certain pictures,” he says.

Adds Manoj, “The hurt that Khasak inflicted in my heart will take more time to heal. The poignant feeling still lingers in my heart. It is not the hangover of reading just a novel. The feeling for Khasak is very special.”

The photographic journey was also an effort to shed light on the degradation and destruction of nature surrounding Thasrak. “You cannot see the red-hued soil paths anymore in Thasrak. The palm trees that had been bordering Thasrak are nowhere in the vicinity. Our landscape is changing along with the mindscape,” he laments.

“As I read Ithihasam for the first time at the age of 13, I could not have comprehended it completely. But as a teenager, the narratives of Vijayan about Maimuna and others ignited a curiosity to know more,” he recalls.

He says his camera could recapture the misty morning, the dark sunset and the grey sky over palm trees reminiscent of the typical Vijayan characters.A native of Vaikom, Manoj has conducted 21 exhibitions of his photo essay on Khasak, including one at the Sharjah International Book Festival.


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