THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Satire writer and cartoonist MS Ajoy Kumar still cherishes a poignant letter he received a few years ago from a UK-based doctor, Sajay Achuthan. In the letter, the anesthetist described how his late nonagenarian mother, who had lost her tongue to cancer, rediscovered the joy of laughter after reading Kumar’s book Angane Oru Mambazhakalam (AOM).
That was the most touching feedback he ever received, says Kumar, a senior Southern Railways official, who is a growing sensation on social media with over 35,000 followers from various age-groups. Every day, he pens humorous anecdotes, along with his cartoon sketches, on his Facebook page. Fans compare Kumar, who is in his early 50s, to Vaikom Muhammed Basheer for his style of writing.
Former chief secretary K Jayakumar, who is an accomplished poet and the founding vice-chancellor of Malayalam University, too, noted in Angane Oru Mambazhakalam’s foreword about Kumar rekindling Basheer’s writings.
“I have definitely been influenced by VKN and Basheer’s writings,” says Kumar, who hails from Chettikulangara in Thiruvananthapuram . “Maybe the readers see similarities between my writings and their works. I got the state award for AOM under the best children’s literature category, and also the Indian Ruminations award. But what I have understood from the readers’ feedback is that AOM, which is in its sixth edition, has been accepted by all age-groups.”
Kumar’s sketching skills, too, are impressive.Though not formally trained, he takes just a couple of minutes to draw the cartoons for his stories.Notably, the Southern Railway has utilised his skills for its animation films and cartoon strips.
Kumar’s sixth book, Janthu Puranam, has currently hit the Kindle market. His other works include Kalkkanda Kanavukal, Naranga Muttayi, Guru Shishya Kathakal and Ente Facebook Anweshana Pareekshanangal.