Monday, August 2, 2010

Another August 1; Another Loss

In my childhood days, Mayavi was the hero and Luttappi was the villain. It’s not only my case but almost all of my age may have imagined so. These are the characters in Balarama, the children’s magazine of Malayala Manorama. My love for my mother tongue started when I started reading Balarama.

Slowly, I moved to Malayala Manorama daily. It developed a kind of passion in me to group words in simple language. I would say it as the trademark of Manorama, the thoughts are expressed in simple words. It also knows how to raise the excitement of the readers when needed. But I never recognized that it had such a powerful leader though I had attended some boring lectures of media history where this name was also heard.

It was another August 1 and another big loss for Kerala. KM Mathew, the Chief Editor of Malayala Manorama passed away yesterday, on the same day following Panakkad Thangal last year. KM Mathew was the last word in Malayalam media world. When he took over the charge in Manorama, which then had only single edition, had only fifth place in Kottayam. Now it is the largest regional daily in India, both in readership and circulation. Through Manorama, under the leadership of Mathew, all the modern and novel technologies became familiar to Malayalam media industry.

The daily was called even as ‘yellow journal’ by its competitors. Records and readership surveys gave answer to these comments. Now Manorama has grown to such a height that it has become the brand name of Kerala known around the globe. KM Mathew used to say,” I have no work here. I just come to office; others are the ones who keep Manorama going”. Words of simplicity by a master brain who himself is another name for regional journalism.

Another surprise is, all the media covered his death and gave as the first lead. Also they included a statement, “We also join the grief of Manorama family”. It is not the affection that one media house feels for another, it is the salutation for a person who had made the field of Malayalam journalism so powerful and dignified.

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