Punathil’s first foreign trip with SK Pottekkatt
Dr. Punathil Kunjabdulla went on his first ever foreign trip with the eminent writer and traveler S K Pottekkatt. They stayed together in a star hotel in Dubai.
"There was a mini bar in the hotel room. SK told me: 'Kunjabdulla, I usually travel in bus, lorry, bull cart, boat and by foot during my trips. I have never stayed in a grand hotel like this.' We had a champagne in that party. SK took its cork, noted name and date on it and kept it in his bag. Though SK had gone for many foreign trips, it was the first time he had champagne.
SK used to jot down even the minute things he notices during the journey in his diary in the late hours. He did not hesitate to wake me up, just to ask – what was the name of that Iranian we met by the lake shore? If I replied that I didn’t remember, SK would shoot the next question – Then do you remember the name of his companion, a Lebanese man?
It was a unique style of SK. He recorded every minute details. There was a saying about him – Buying a book of SK for 10 paise is like taking a tour around the world! Be it Africa or Bali island, SK maintained a Kozhikode native’s basic observation skills.
When I was a student at Aligarh, I used to visit SK in Delhi. I started writing after reading all the works of SK. Every story was indeed a piece of craft. Every word was used with utmost care. SK, Karoor and MT were our inspiration.’