Kottayam: ‘Ente Bobanum Moliyum’ (My Boban and Moli), an autobiography of cartoonist Toms who enthralled several thousand Malayali readers through his witty strokes and thought-provoking cartoons, was released by cine actor Mamootty here on Tuesday.
The real-life characters who inspired Toms and his family members were present at the function. Toms did not attend the event due to health issues. The event brought together his children Boban and Molly as well as the hyperactive siblings in his neighbourhood, who was the inspiration behind the cartoon series, his wife Thressiakutty, and close relatives.
As a child, he was mischievous and loved playing pranks drawing inspiration from the cartoon series appeared in the Malayala Manorama weekly, said Mamootty.
“I got more punishment than Boban and Moli while trying to imitate their harmless pranks. Fascinated by the cartoon strip, I made it a habit to head straight to the last page of the weekly to read Bobanum Moliyum. Normally, Arab people read from left to right. Toms has made many Malayalees to follow suit with his wry sense of humour. The main plot and sub-plots were filled with rollicking satire and criticism and characters such as Ittunnan, Aasan, Motta, Pothan Vakeel, Muthalali, Amachi and the politicians were loved by all Malayalees. Notably, cartoonist had more freedom in the past than today to reflect society through their works,” Mamootty said.
“Recently, Toms phoned me and expressed his desire to make a sequel to the film Bobbanum Mollyum. He also wanted to me to portray the character of Pothan Vakeel. However, I discouraged the move saying that it would be difficult to capture the essence of the comics without losing its essence. Moreover, the first attempt did not do well in the box-office. It would be a tough call to recreate the magic of these timeless compositions on screen,” Mamootty said, adding that he still keeps a copy of the special Vishu edition of Bobanum Moliyum published several years ago.
“Whether Toms has received Padma awards or not should not be a criterion to asses him. If Toms is given the award, it would elevate the status of those who take that decision,” he added.
Cartoon Academy chairman Prasannan Anikkad presided over the function. Cartoon Academy vice-chairman K. Unnikrishnan, Press Club president S. Manoj, secretary Shalu Mathew, Anil Vega, Ratheesh Rava also spoke.
Cartoon Akademy secretary Sudheer Nath read out President Pranab Mukherjee’s message on the occasion.
After the function, Mamootty paid a visit to Toms’s residence at Muttambalam.