Thiruvananthapuram: The conversation on the topic ‘Writing experts: When journalists write’ (Ezhuthasanmar: Pathrapravarthakante Ezhuthu) held at Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters (MBIFL’19) became a venue for sharing the memories and experiences of the writings of journalists. Veteran journalist, writer and biographer T.J.S. George, senior journalist and former editorial director of Malayala Manorama daily Thomas Jacob and Mathrubhumi News Channel M. P. Surendran participated in the conversation conducted at Kanakakkunnu here on Sunday.
Before starting the conversation, two books ‘Nadodikkappalil Nalu Masam’ and ‘Hochiminte Nattil’ penned by T. J.S. George were released by Thomas Jacob by handing over the books to Mathrubhumi News Channel CEO Mohan Nair.
When asked about time management, T. J.S. George who has authored many books amid his career as a journalist said that a journalist has to sacrifice a great deal of his personal life for managing his career as well. He also shared some interesting account about his relationship with Bal Thackeray and Madhavikkutty. Though Bal Thackeray is often perceived as a anti-South India advocate, he had many close friends among the South Indians, T.J.S. George remembered. He said that Bal Thackeray was an accidental politician. He turned into a villainous politician under circumstances.
He also claimed that his latest book could be the only one book in which both writer Malayattoor Ramakrishnan and Bal Thackeray have illustrated. As he had written biographies many prominent figures such as actor Nargis, singer M.S. Subbulakshmi and others, he was asked about his plan on a auto biography. However, T.J.S. George said that auto-biographies are types of self-proclamation which he does not encourage.
Commenting on the connection between literature and journalism, T.J.S. George said that the link between both cannot be ignored. There are many writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez who maintained an appreciable journalistic career but also kept writing literary pieces. In Malayalam, N. S. Madhavan was a literary writer who later turned out to be a strong journalist, he observed.
Thomas Jacob, who have been contributing to the column ‘Kathakkood’ in Manorama weekly, revealed that he decided not to write during his career as a journalist and started writing very late in his life. According to his observation, the only person to be named as a good litterateur and journalist at the same time is M. P. Narayana Pillai who is called Nanappan by his close friends. He pointed out that the craft of literary writing and journalistic writing are entirely different from each other.
He also shared a number of humorous narratives about Ramadas Vaidyar who set up a coconut academy to resolve the shortage of coconut tree climbers in Kerala. He recalled that he always preserved the curious and humorous elements he noticed in real life in order to put it in writing, which was the only preparation he had to start writing.