Skip to main content

MV Devan: Eye of the Artist

On 29th April, 2014, MV Devan passed away. He was born on January 15, 1928, to Madathil Govindan Gurukkal and Mulloli Madhavi in Kannur. My husband's family knew him well. 

As a person who respects writers, artists and musicians, I too felt a sense of  loss on hearing about MV Devan's demise. But I believe that artists are those rare, blessed people who never 'die.' Their legacy lasts forever.

                                                            {Credit: Google Images}

MV Devan: A Different Kind of an Artist
Many factors make MV Devan a different kind of artist. Artists, in the eyes of the society, are known to lead gypsy-like, wandering lives and hearts.  It is said that the heart and soul of an artist is as mysterious as the sea and cannot belong to another. It definitely remains a mystery how MV Devan remained a true-to-heart family man. His love and commitment to his family, particularly his beloved wife, is well known. That, indeed, is a rarity among artists.

Another interesting aspect – MV Devan had no formal training in sculpting but he demonstrated his passion and flair for it. While his art took him to different creative realms, his love for writing is also noteworthy. He has written on various topics concerned with art and literature. He was associated with several literary magazines as well. 

Again, this multi-faceted artist made his mark by becoming an architect though he was not a trained one. He designed houses in association with FACT Engineering and Design Organization (FEDO) that suited Kerala’s unique environmental conditions. These structures came to known as “Deven model” and were appreciated for the artistic approach in his designs that made it stand apart.

A much cited example of MK Devan’s design work is the guesthouse that overlooks the Periyar.

MV Devan also held important positions as the chairman of Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy. He played a significant role to play in establishing Chennai Cholamandalam, Kochi Kalapeetam and Mahe Kalagramam.  He has won prominent awards such as the Raja Ravi Varma Award, Kerala Sahitya Academy Award, Malayatoor award and V P Menon award.

MV Devan: My First and Last 'Meeting' with him 
My first and last glimpse of MV Devan, the eminent painter, sculptor, writer, art critic and orator was on the day of my marriage. 

Just twenty minutes after the 'thaalikettu' (tying of the mangalsutra), MV Devan came on stage. He talked to my husband like a good, old friend. Then he blessed me by touching my head and then he turned and whispered something to my husband. After he left, Sanand told me, "MV Devan said about you 'Oru Deviyeh poley undu. Sthreethwam niranja mugham." It is difficult to explain the English translation of this but when it is from an artist such as MV Devan, it means a lot to the recipient.

It was on the day of my marriage and this is the most beautiful compliment that I have received in my life on that special day. I remain always grateful to him for his beautiful, heart lifting words to me.

This quote is my tribute to the artist MV Devan and it comes from an artist, Hollie Chastain:

 I think as an artist it’s very easy to [equate self-worth with artistic success] because of the nature of the work. If you think of art as a job, then your product is so much more than hours invested. The product is a piece of yourself, so of course if the reception is not the greatest, then it can feel like a direct hit to who you are as a person. I think this happened a lot more when I was younger and still finding my way around. I would doubt my direction when a viewer wasn’t thrilled. The trick for me is not to put more distance between my work and myself, but to close that gap completely. I can see myself in the art that I create, and that builds a wall of confidence.

MV Devan and his art remains with us forever. Now more than ever, there is no wall separating the artist from his art – with this passage into a realm beyond life, MV Devan has closed the gap and become one with art.

May this artist’s soul rest in peace.

Comments

Anonymous said…
May his soul rest in peace...
Asha said…
Beautiful tribute by you to him. May his soul rest in peace.

And i second his blessings showered on you during your wedding. "oru deviya polu undu......."
@Anonymous Yes, absolutely.

@Asha Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. Love your compliment too - cheers of gratitude!

Most Popular Posts

Why chant Ramayana during the month of Karkidakam

For Keralites across the world who follow the Malayalam calendar, today marks the beginning of the month of Karkidakam. This month, which, decades ago, was known and slightly feared for its torrential rains and negative impact on the health, wealth and well being of Kerala's rural community. 
Why chant Ramayana during Karkidakam To ward off the negative energy unleashed by Nature and its possible repercussions on one's family's overall well being, the wise elders introduced the timeless tradition of every family reading the Ramayana as an oral, spiritual tradition. Thus, it goes without saying that for Keralites who embrace these traditions, the act of reading the Ramayana is as much a spiritual cleansing as it is a kind of tradition they can pass on to bond with their loved family members, particularly children.
In the Ramayana, there is no 'preaching of principles' but you are taken through the Avatar's journey as a human being. Lord Rama depicts how a man shoul…

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. 
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he became very enthusiastic about chanting the mantras. Following this, my mother taught him the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and he took to …

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

This post on Kerala's caste system has not been written with an intention to ridicule or glorify any caste as such. I do not ever judge or like to be judged on the basis of my caste. I do not support any form of caste discrimination because I know exactly how it feels to be treated differently because of one's caste. It isn't a great feeling.  

First Question is always "What is your Caste?" In Kerala, one of the first things you are bound to be asked by even new people you've just met is, "What is your caste?"  This is not a tirade against any caste but my experience, personally. And just for information, I have never used my caste name 'Menon' to this day. That is something I have learned from my father - who has never used 'Menon' in his name because he believes his destiny is shaped by values, vision and actions, not  by his caste.
As some one who is a Menon by birth, I can also tell you frankly that it often feels like a curse to be…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Earth Angels have amazing super powers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions &  becoming invisible at will
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in this world. But y…

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]




Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your feet. Your feet will sparkle an…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…

Premam Malayalam Movie Review: A Superb Entertaining Love Story in which Nivin Pauly conquers hearts and Sai Pallavi is a delight to watch

Alphonse Puthren's Malayalam movie "Premam" starring Nivin Pauly has been a most talked about film as Malayalis across the world have shown great love for "Premam."  
"Premam" is a movie that will take you back to the bittersweet memories of your first love, second love and maybe, third and final love!
[Image credit: Google Images]
Premam Malayalam Movie Review: Butterflies are mentally mental, so is love
I had a big smile on my face when I read the words "Butterflies are mentally mental, so is love" on the screen. This was shown just before the credits started to show.
It marks the perfect beginning to a "nutcase" love story! I was all set to enjoy this delicious tale of teenage crush, love & mature love - the phases that each of us have gone through in this journey of life at some time or the other.
Premam Malayalam Movie Review: Story
Premam's story revolves around the butterfly-like, romantic journey of  George David (Nivin Pa…