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An insider’s view of historical Madurai

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of Good old days: Collector S.S. Jawahar handing over the first copy of ‘Enadhu Madurai Ninaivugal’ to Appellate Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes P. Devendra Boopathy in Madurai on Thursday. Author Manohar Devadoss (second from left) and publisher K. Gandhi Kannadasan are seen.
of Good old days: Collector S.S. Jawahar handing over the first copy of ‘Enadhu Madurai Ninaivugal’ to Appellate Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes P. Devendra Boopathy in Madurai on Thursday. Author Manohar Devadoss (second from left) and publisher K. Gandhi Kannadasan are seen.

D. Karthikeyan

Illustrative skills of Manohar come to the fore

MADURAI: The contours of memory attempting to capture the factual sense of the past with historical markers, landscapes and local histories with a flavour not only to reproduce or recapture but also to show how each object implies events, people, a web of relationships and ways of living. This was done in elegant style by Manohar Devadoss whose beautiful illustrations using pen and ink with minutiae about the everyday experiences underwent by him in Madurai.

The Tamil translation of ‘The Greenwell Years,’ ‘Enadhu Madurai Ninaivugal,’ published by Kannadasan Pathipagam is ample proof of the literary and illustrative skills of Mr. Manohar. The book was released here on Thursday by Collector S. S. Jawahar, and the first copy received by Appellate Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes P. Devendra Boopathy.

Lyricist Kannadasan’s son Gandhi Kannadasan, the publisher of the book, appreciated the efforts and passion of the author whose book depicted the social ethos of the city. The book was a common man’s perception of the Temple City, as against the elitist narratives. He had elucidated the transformations of the city in different eras. Mr. Manohar had recorded the rise of Dravidian movement, Periyar’s influence and remote incidents of Hindu-Muslim riots that happened in Madurai, he said.

Mr. Jawahar said that the book made the reader feel that he was part of the author’s journey. It would surely create an enormous impact on the reader as it was a treasure trove once its essence was internalised.

An archive

The author complimented N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, who persuaded him to draw more sketches and capture the post-colonial history of the city, which could hence become a pictorial as well as textual archive in the years to come. Mr. Manohar thanked Charukesi who, along with him, translated the book in Tamil.

Michael Pellatier, son-in-law of Mr. Devadoss, said that one of the ways of discovering and discerning Madurai was to read another book of him.

The advance royalty amount of the book was donated to ‘Govel Trust Mahema Endowment Award’ at Aravind Eye Hospital.

The Tamil version of the book has three new drawings. They are of Alagarkoil, Imperial cinema hall and Madura Mills.

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