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Capturing a quest into essence of reality



M.N. Vijayan

WHEN M.N. VIJAYAN talks, the whole of intellectual and political Kerala pauses to listen. His words, uttered calmly and softly, create waves that reach far and wide, often reaping startling results. His journey is a long one. From the quiet and studious scholar of his college days, Mr. Vijayan's transformation into the much-feared thinker, who minces no words while targeting the social and political forces that he terms `reactionary,' has been directed by his ever-inquisitive quest into the essence of reality.

A new documentary, aptly titled Vijayan Mash (master), directed by Sofiya Bind, a freelance journalist, traces the path of his life's journey. How a man who had entertained serious reflections on sanyasa, could utter words that held the attention of beedi workers of Kannur, and what all quests he passed through. The film progresses through these queries.

The film opens with a shot of the beedi workers, bent upon their task, listening to one among them reading out a newspaper (a practice common among them). Vijayan Mash is talking with them. The camera, wielded by Joselyn J. Alphonze, follows him through the different places significant in his life's journey, starting with the Government Model High School, Kodungalloor, where his education began. Later, it follows him into Maharaja's College, Ernakulam. He joined the college in 1945, two years before Independence and the agitation launched by students protesting against hoisting the Maharaja's flag on the campus on August 15, 1947.

Walking along the campus, Mr. Vijayan remembers the olden days. Then comes his Madras days, where he was a student. Mr. Vijayan's own conversations act as narrative and sound track for the visuals. T.K. Ramachandran, Mangad Ratnakaran, N. Sasidharan, E.P. Rajagopalan, K.C. Umesh Babu and Azad chat with him.

The 45-minute documentary is produced by Desire India, a Thalassery-based group. Editing is by Abul Fazal and music by Ravi Varma.

By Renu Ramanath

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