“Chuvanna Manushyan was first published in 1968 as a series in Manorajyam weekly, at a time when the publication was going through a difficult phase. They decided to publish a detective novel, which was in vogue then, to attract more readers. I have, later, heard from people lived during that time that the series helped Manorajyam increase circulation,” says Rayan, who holds the royalty of Pushapanth’s books post the author’s demise in May.
In his life time, Pushpanath wrote more than 300 books. “Not all copies are with us. I collected the copy of Chuvanna Manushyan from Sahitya Akademi,” says Rayan.
He knows that republishing is a risky affair. Because the readers have changed, so have mediums of reading. However, Rayan is hopeful. According to him, what makes his Papa’s works desirable across generations is detectives’ modus operandi. “Papa depends on circumstantial evidence to solve cases. Any generation would be able to relate to it. Also, his stories are mostly set abroad and are informative. In Chuvanna Manushyan, Marxin reaches France to investigate a case of bodies missing from graveyard,” says Rayan. “One would feel like being present in that space while reading Papa’s books. A history teacher, he put the effort to study about locations before including them in books.” Rayan, who had discussions with Pushpanath about his writing style, says, “His mother was Papa’s inspiration. She encouraged him to read English books. He also loved watching movies,” says Rayan. “There was a time Papa used to write seven to eight novels at one go. He would title them first and keep writing. I had once asked him how he achieved it. He only smiled,” says Rayan.
DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ELIZABETH THOMAS