Manohar Devadoss’s Madurai

Earlier this afternoon, while cleaning out some old stuff, I found a limited edition print (one of 20) about a scene from Madurai, titled “Hay layden bullock cart near Madurai,” and a few postcards. I have now spent the rest of the afternoon reminiscing and reading the news about the Padma Shri award conferred on the author, Manohar Devadoss, by the Indian Government.

If you want to know more about this amazing person, you can read articles from The Better India, The News Minute, The Hindu, and other Indian publications. I want to tell you about my personal discovery of this wonderful artist in this post.

During a trip to India a few decades ago, I bought a book in Tamil called எனது மதுரை நினைவுகள், a translation from the English book, Multiple Facets of My Madurai. I bought it because I grew up in Madurai and was feeling nostalgic, but was soon captivated by the author, who is also the artist of the sketches in the book. The vividly portrayed scenes from Madurai were so captivating. I was blown away by the sketches not only because they were intricate but because they were drawn by someone partially blind.

I learned that the author lived in an area of Chennai close to where I was visiting my mother. I took a chance and went to his house and bought some limited-edition prints and postcards. One of these prints, a scene from a street in Madurai with the temple in the background, is framed and hangs on my dining room wall. I look at it all the time and think about the time when I bought it, but today I came across the other print and that was the impetus for writing this post.

Hay Layden bullock cart near Madurai by Manohar Devadoss

Among the postcards I bought, I consider this my favorite:

Madurai street scene – “neer more” Pandhal by Manohar Devadoss

Reading the description makes me want to go back to Madurai and enjoy that “neer more”. I will never be able to do that, one, because this scene from the 50s and the 60s may not exist today, and two, because I don’t think I will ever travel back to Madurai in my lifetime. I can still enjoy the “neer more” because I can make it and savor it with another “neer more” enthusiast – my granddaughter.

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