Ente Thankam

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"Ente Thankam" (My Darling) is a short story written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. It is his first published work. Originally published in the now-defunct newspaper Jayakesari in 1937, it was later published in the collection Vishappu (Hunger, 1954, Current Books) under the name "Thankam". A path-breaker in Malayalam romantic fiction, it had its heroine a dark-complexioned hunchback.[1][2]

Background

After doing menial jobs in cities such as Ajmer, Peshawar, Kashmir and Calcutta, Basheer returned to Ernakulam some time in the mid-1930s. While trying his hands at various jobs, like washing vessels in hotels, he met a manufacturer of sports goods from Sialkot who offered him an agency in Kerala. And Basheer finally returned home to find his father's business bankrupt and the family impoverished. He started working as an agent for the Sialkot sports company at Ernakulam. But he lost the agency when a bicycle accident incapacitated him temporarily. On recovering, he resumed his endless hunt for jobs. He walked into the office of a newspaper Jayakesari whose editor was also its sole employee. He did not have a position to offer, but offered to pay money if Basheer wrote a story for the paper.[3] Thus Basheer found himself writing stories for Jayakesari and it was in this paper that "Ente Thankam" (My Darling) was published in the year 1937.[4]

References

  1. ^ M. N. Vijayan (1996). M. N. Vijayan, ed. Basheer fictions. Katha. p. 21.
  2. ^ K. Satchidanandan (February 2008). "Sultan of story: A birth centenary tribute to Vaikom Mohammed Basheer who picked up his tales from life's poetry". Frontline. Vol. 25 (No. 2). Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  3. ^ Madhubālā Sinhā (2009). Encyclopaedia of South Indian literature, Volume 3. Anmol Publications. p. 240.
  4. ^ Vaikom Muhammad Basheer (1954). "Foreword". Vushappu (Hunger). Current Books. It is years since I have started writing stories. When did I start? I think it was from 1937. I have been living in Ernakulam since then. I was a writer by profession. I wrote a great deal. I would get my writing published in newspapers and journals. No one paid me for it. The stories were published between 1937 and 1941 in Navajeevan, a weekly published in Trivandrum in those days.
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