The power to do anything.
Early life[ edit ] Basheer, born in Thalayolaparambu near Vaikom Kottayam Districtwas the eldest child of his parents. His father was in the timber business. After beginning his education at the local Malayalam medium school, he was sent to the English medium school in Vaikomfive miles away.
While at school he became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. He started wearing Khaddarinspired by the swadeshi ideals.
He managed to climb on to the car in which Gandhi travelled and touch his hand, a fond memory Basheer later mentioned in many of his writings. He used to visit Gandhi's Satyagraha Ashram at Vaikom every day.
Freedom struggle involvement[ edit ] He resolved to join the fight for an Indian Independence, leaving school to do so while he was in the fifth form. Basheer was known for his perfectly secular attitude, and he treated all religions with respect.
Since there was no active independence movement in Kochi — being a princely state — he went to Malabar district to take part in the Salt Satyagraha in His group was arrested before they could participate in the satyagraha.
Basheer was sentenced to three months imprisonment and sent to Kannur Prison. He became inspired by stories of heroism by revolutionaries like Bhagat SinghSukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguruwho were executed while he was in Kannur.
He and about political prisoners then at Kannur were released after the Gandhi-Irwin pact of March Freed from prison, he organised an anti-British movement and edited a revolutionary journal, Ujjivanam. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he left Kerala. Journey[ edit ] Having left Kerala, he embarked upon a long journey that took him across the length and breadth of India and to many places in Asia and Africa for seven years, doing whatever work that seemed likely to keep him from starvation.
His occupations ranged from that of a loom fitter, fortune teller, cook, newspaper seller, fruit seller, sports goods agent, accountant, watchman, shepherd, hotel manager to living as an ascetic with Hindu saints and Sufi mystics in their hermitages in Himalayas and in the Ganges basin, following their customs and practices, for more than five years.
There were times when, with no water to drink, without any food to eat, he came face to face with death. After doing menial jobs in cities such as AjmerPeshawarKashmir and CalcuttaBasheer returned to Ernakulam in the mids. While trying his hands at various jobs, like washing vessels in hotels, he met a manufacturer of sports goods from Sialkot who offered him an agency in Kerala.
And Basheer returned home to find his father's business bankrupt and the family impoverished. He started working as an agent for the Sialkot sports company at Ernakulam. But he lost the agency when a bicycle accident incapacitated him temporarily.
On recovering, he resumed his endless hunt for jobs. He walked into the office of a newspaper Jayakesari whose editor was also its sole employee. He did not have a position to offer, but offered to pay money if Basheer wrote a story for the paper.
A path-breaker in Malayalam romantic fiction, it had its heroine a dark-complexioned hunchback. The stories he heard from policemen and prisoners there appeared in later works, and he wrote a few stories while at the lock-up itself.
He spent a long time in lock-up awaiting trial, and after trial was sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment. He was sent to Thiruvananthapuram central jail. While at jail, he forbade M. Paul from publishing Balyakalasakhi.
He wrote Premalekhanam while serving his term and published it on his release. Baalyakaalasakhi was published in after further revisions, with an introduction by Paul.
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