It is a particular kind of joy when we connect immediately to something out there, most of the time. Just like in the case of the street art that has surfaced on Kochi walls from this anonymous bandwagon, Guess Who.
A certain generation of Malayalees since the 1980s grew up with the two comic book characters Kuttoosan and Dakini. Balarama a children’s magazine in Malayalam was published from the newspaper giant, Malayala Manoroma since 1970s (1972 or 74). Mayavi became part of it in 1984 or so.
Kuttoosan and Dakini are part of this series titled Mayavi created by NM Mohan along with Pradeep Sarthe (Sarthe was part of ACK and Indrajal for a long time, so many of our known comic characters were drawn by him) … where these two old people are a wizard and a witch, they live in a forest and play villains along with their little red devil Lutappi to a seemingly innocent school going pair of Raju and Radha. Mayavi is Raju’s and Radha’s friend, he is their friendly spirit who comes to their help all the time but who is also in constant threat from being trapped in a bottle by the villainous trio, so the rescue acts is circular.
This was our staple weekly/fortnightly reading, a few pages long, and short enough to have an episode as part of one issue of Balarama.
To find these two characters in the guise of Superman and Superwoman.. wow! Guess Who folks have done right, 4 characters we have grown up with put together in one picture in a frame of the trending topic of #Kissing and the kiss of love campaign which brings back memories of all four and a perspective and a new spin on them as well. Now, the thought never crossed my mind that Kutooosan and Dakini were living together but they could have been, one does not know 😛 neither did the thought that Raju and Radha as a pair.. they looked more like siblings at that time…
In hindsight, I realize that the creators of Mayavi did not let us think of such angles.. such is also the case in Manichitratazhru.., (a different genre, and a different argument all together … ) where as a audience for the first time, we never realized that Ganga played by Shobana was the one causing all the ruckus… something in the way stories are narrated…
Kochi opens up to Graffiti and street art.. I’m glad… the icons they have chosen are just right.. they are outright funny as they fuse together what is very Malayalee to the Western world mostly. The one with the Joker was impressive. I love their brains and thoughts, of whoever is behind these ideas and execution.
On second thoughts.. I just noticed that Lutappi is spotting a robe in the above picture. Has he grown up, or was there a popular demand for a robe to cover him up.. I wonder.. because as far as I can remember, Lutappi was this red coloured devil with just one piece of garment, like in this picture. Wonder what are the other changes..
Sitting far away from Cochin, more than a few of us love these posts from GuessWho on FB 🙂 I’m itching to get back there to see all this in real, photos of pics.. slightly doubly removed from reality .. (Plato may be impressed with me for once 😛 :P)