Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Aravindan G

Govindan Aravindan (born January 21, 1935 in Kottayam — died March 15, 1991 in Trivandrum) who was popularly known as G. Aravindan seized attention of book-loving malayalees by his path-breaking venture in graphic novel- Cheriya Manushyarum Valiya Lokavum . It was the surging 60's and the meek protagonist in the weekly column, RAMU reflected the angst and frustration of the young malayali office-job-seeker. The end of the serial shows Ramu having arrived finally , wading the slimy waters of compromises to shoulder with the coterie of insensitive unsweating men of the society. The decadence had been announced. The aura of simplicity and compassion about this man are ever gone. The story of untold decadence trails to the present.

Then, Aravindan switched arena, to the celluloid. Soon, he became known for his unorthodox way of film-making, changing his cinematic forms consistently and experimenting with story telling without regular narrative styles.
A clutch of avante garde films catapulted him as one of the best ever film makers of this country. He had also worked with documentaries and theatre. The present day Malayali knows him more as a film man than the cartoonist with a bend for the caricatures and the public-shy musician that he was.

The Kerala Cartoon Academy pays homage to this illustrious cartoonist through a handful of Aravindan caricatures made by the members. Characters from his epic graphic novel have been given towards the end.

Have a tour :)

Self Caricature by G Aravindan

Cover illustration by Namboothiri


P V Krishnan


Ajoy Kumar D

T V G Menon

Ratheesh K R

Thomas Antony

Raju Nair


Prasannan Anikkad

Hari G



K V M Unny


Joy Kulanada

Suresh K K

E Suresh

Sudheer Nath

Shiju George

Shaji Malayalapuzha


Prashanth A V



Karthika Kattanam

Balakrishnan Annat
Jayaraj Vellur




Sanal Kumar




Aravindan's RAMU & Others


Guruji inspires him intellectually but...

mostly spiritually...

The parents, concened like any...

and Ramu does his part but...

the local postman brings not job offers .....

while Swamy his bench mate for many PSC exams
kills the lingering expectations at the exam hall

Ramu has seen his sister Rema doing these rounds
so many times in the past...

Local boy Abu inspired and soothed Ramu with occasional smokes

when his heartthrob Leela was not around..

The graphic novel is replete with Ramu's brief encounters like this
at small govt. offices with smaller men & women till and even after .....

Ramu flooring his mom with his first pay packet....

The occasiona surprise in the Calutta based Gopi
who introduces Robindra Sangeeth through his Bengali wife

The LIC agent promises a kingdom but fades away midway

To add to the total tragedy, the dancer with the tinsel craving for Kodambakkam and

the bard with pseudo-poetic blabber repeatedly beat the hell
out of Ramu and Guruji
Finally the compulsive job-seeker perches in a white collar post.
Ramu's fights end. We see his ascension from
Accountant to
Manager to
Partner to

we reach the end of the story !

No one has seen Ramu since.


  1. Dear Prasannan jee and Sajjivejee and team, Well done and congratulations! The fruit of your labor is sweet, and I must say you deserve it.

  2. അരവിന്ദന്റെ ചിത്രങ്ങള്‍ കണ്ടു വളര്‍ന്നതിനു ശേഷമുള്ള തലമുറയിലെ ആളാണ്‌ ഞാന്‍. വല്ലപ്പോഴും അദ്ദേഹത്തെപ്പറ്റി ലേഖനങ്ങള്‍ കാണാറുണ്ട്‌, ഷാജി എന്‍. കരുണിനെ ഇന്റര്‍വ്യൂ ചെയ്യുന്നവര്‍ അരവിന്ദനെപ്പറ്റി ഒരു ചോദ്യമെങ്കിലും ചോദിക്കാതെ പോകാറില്ല എന്നതും ശ്രദ്ധിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട് - എല്ലാം അരവിന്ദന്റെ സിനിമാ ജീവിതത്തെപ്പറ്റി. എന്നാല്‍ ഗ്രാഫിക് നോവല്‍ മേഖലയില്‍ അദ്ദേഹം നല്‍കിയ സംഭാവനയെപ്പറ്റി എന്നെ ഓര്‍മപ്പെടുത്തിയത് ഓക്സ്ഫഡ് സര്‍വകലാശാലയില്‍ ഡീഫില്‍ ചെയ്യുന്ന ഒരു ബംഗാളി യുവതി - മാലിനി റോയ്. ഒരു ദിവസം ലൈബ്രറിക്ക് പുറത്തു നിന്ന് നടത്തിയ സാഹിത്യ ചര്‍ച്ചയ്ക്കു പിന്നാലെ അവരുടെ ഒരു ഇമെയില്‍ എത്തി, അരവിന്ദനെപ്പറ്റി: "some people attribute the first graphic novel written in India to G. Aravindan, as though his various other achievements weren't enough :) " നല്ലത്, മലയാളികള്‍ അനുസ്മരിച്ചില്ലെങ്കിലും ബംഗാളികള്‍ ഓര്‍ക്കുന്നുണ്ടല്ലോ, അതും ബ്രിട്ടന്‍ പോലൊരു അന്യ ദിക്കില്‍ . (ഈ എക്സിബിഷന്‍ കലക്കീട്ടോ, കിടിലന്‍!)

  3. GA was a master of many trades. His talents should be an inspiration to both cartoonists (first) and filmmakers (second).
    I grew up enjoying and learning from ചെറിയ മനുഷ്യനും വലിയ ലോകവും…..He was a pioneer….we miss him dearly.

  4. Also, what Mr. Shenoy wrote is very true....not just for GA.
    Our own PKS Kutty is more beloved in Bengal than in Kerala.

    Mr. Shenoy : I would like to get in touch with you and Mr. Malini.

  5. Dear Aniyove! ( Read 121 kilo!)

    Talking about Aravindan is 'passe' now, since many of our renowned members have done so already. I therefore want to focus on your 'Bhiman Effort'( pun implied intended:-)of creating a website for this 'athikayan'- reticent and recluse-like Kadharan Maash!
    He is from the same good old neighbourhood in Ernakulam, where I grew up.It was during a chance meeting in one of our AGMs when you introduced me to him that I realised he was the same person!

    I remember with thanks his noble gesture of allowing me to shoot the Aravindan and Vijayan Rememberance events in his Gallery in the recent past.
    What you have created is a fitting tribute to this humble yet great personality whose protegees we all have now become, thanks to your personal endevours...
    How I wish I were present to record on video the kids' event !
    Keep up the good work, Agent 121!

    Vasily Vasilovich Chettov ( read TVG )