Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi I Photo: MP Paulose/ Mathrubhumi
At a period when news was plentiful but photos rare, a prominent photographer of all time, MP Paulose took his camera and roamed around to capture astounding shots for Mathrubhumi readers. Many unique photos archived in the history of Kerala were borne from his camera. Paulose emerged as an admirable photographer without much experience or training in the realm of photography.
One among such pictures was of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi who were seen decked up in traditional Kerala outfits. They had reached Kerala to see the Indira Gandhi water festival held at Kochi. Due to the stringent security measures, all the photographers who arrived had gone to the stage near the backwaters. Meanwhile, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi came out of the guest house after wearing the traditional outfits gifted as 'Onakodi' by the then Chief Minister K Karunakaran. Everyone including ministers gathered in front of the guest house were taken aback by seeing Rajiv and Sonia in the traditional costume. The CM beckoned Paulose who was standing near the press club opposite the guest house and Paulose rushed with his camera. After taking a few snaps, Rajiv and Sonia changed the dress.
When Rajiv Gandhi received the copies of the photographs, he wrote a letter of gratitude to Paulose. Later, these photos were used by Congress for posters in many elections.
A shocking incident in his life happened when he went to take photos of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru at Pala St Thomas College in 1956. The PM was participating in the jubilee celebrations of the college. While taking photographs, Paulose’s camera flash exploded with a certain sound. Though the security officers attempted to take him under custody, Nehru saved him by saying that Paulose was his friend.
Thiruvananthapuram bureau chief of Mathrubhumi Chowara Parameswaran who translated the speeches of Nehru had introduced Paulose to the PM in the morning. It was Chowara who entrusted Paulose with his camera to take the photos of the function and it was the first experience of Paulose in photography.
Paulose had captured many pictures of Indira Gandhi too in his lifetime. AK Antony’s departure to Russia and American aircraft landed in Sri Lanka with weapons are listed among the exclusives of Paulose.