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Bedaduka’s RACONTEUR

Anasuya Menon
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Chatline Scenarist and short story writer Santhosh Echikkanam tells Anasuya Menon that his creativity is fuelled by his ‘petrol bunk of memories’ – his village in Kasaragod

B edaduka was a world by itself. It had no libraries, not many schools, not even a newspaper man. But it had lush fields, a very blue sky and a permanent breeze. About 30 years ago, the only house in this village in the interiors of Kasaragod district that subscribed to a newspaper belonged to Santhosh Echikkanam’s grandfather. The paper would arrive around midday in a bus. Santhosh would never get to read it until the next day, after his grandfather had devoured it.

Going to school and back warranted a 14-kilometre walk though the fields, an incredibly lonely exercise. Bribing a friend who hated school with stories earned Santhosh a companion. “The story had to keep going. The day it stopped, he would stop going to school. So I just had to go on and on,” he says.

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