Meet Mr. M.K. Harikumar
I personally know M.K. Harikumar. And I take it as prevelege to write about him whenever I come across any opportunity to do so. This is one such rare opportunity to do justice to my friend who is viewed by all who can read Malayalam, our mother-tongue, as a man of real and rare talents. Again, he is viewed as a respectable critic in Malayalam literature having rare insights and deadly honesty in his deploying his craft of writing about any published work in the contemporary literature in malayalam. Let me introduce him.
If you are into blogging, you might have known about him when he created "history" in blogging a few years back. He became a terror in blogging to bloggers who take blogging as a petty craft. He needs no special introduction of any sort if you can read Malayalam publications. He is a renowned columnist of exceptional excellence. His "Aksharajalakam", a regular column in one of the most-read Malayalam magazine is decades old. Let that be aside for the time being.
What is news about him recently was that he was awarded with a prestigious literary award in Malayalam literature called "KERALA SAHITYA ACADEMY'S VILASINI AWARD, 2009." The award itself is the hallmark of the calibre of a literary genius. Harikumar was given this distinction late, of course. He has been accalaimed by some US publications as well, as the most popular blogger in the Malayalam-speaking world that spans across the oceans. I get jealous of him, as he is lifted to the podium of achievements by the men of Malayalam letters.
Adding one more feather to his cap is the very recent publication of his latest book, "Ente Manifesto", means:My Manifesto. Well I am not the right person to make an opinion of what exactly the work reflects about Harikumar's insight into the human nature and his irresistable temptation to express himself in words. But one thing I know: his latest book My Manifesto is the ultimate word in Malayalam literary criticism. It is the living example of critical analaysis of any critic who think they are the ones who decide what is best and what is not in Malayalam literature.
If you happened to meet Harikumar in person, you are likely to get butterflies in your stomach the moment you talk with him about the literature you know. If you are a writer of some repute, be preapred to get intellectully pulverized. Ask me about my experience with him. I avoid talking about letters infront of Harikumar. Because I have read only shell-fulls of Malayalam literature, and I am not even a beginner in Malayalam literature before him.
I have a healthy respect for him as a sincere, honest, lovable friend. I have a die-hard respect in his craft of writing, that often send me reeling under the imageries he talked about. Often I wondered whther Harikumar is on the verge of the literary horizonever eager to pry for more. He is voracious with words. He is uncompassionate about the obvious stupidities the so-called literary men of the current times. He is aggressive about those who pretend to be the leading literary heavy-weights of contemporary Malayalam literature.
What I do not understand is why those literary men of Malayalam try to avoid a direct confrontation with Harikumar? Do they know that perhaps Harikumar is the only one who could read their vanity reflected in their works? Whatever, Harikumar is a lone wolf in Malayalam literary circle. Yet he is getting the lime light from every corners of the malayalam speaking world. I still love him, respect him and we share a mutual relationship that is beyond anyone's understanding.