There was pulp-fiction (most popularly known as “painkiLi kathhakaL” in Malayalam) and the “Ma” weeklys which were reigning over the entertainment space of Malayali community before the television sets and the soap serials took them over. The “Ma” weeklys (Malayala Manorama, Mangalam, Manorajyam etc) with their never-ending stories which are equivalent to the television soaps of these days, were the main source of entertainment for the womenfolk as they were confined to the four walls of their household. The men too have enjoyed these weeklys, mainly for the sleazy gossip stories or for the graphical art works of women with the novellas.
But for men, the most favorite column in these weeklys were/are the “Ask the Doctor” column. This column would mostly have letters with questions about sexual problems. Each letter is a porn story in itself which could feed your fetish well. Rumor has it that many of these letters are written by the publishing house people themselves to increase circulation.
So the “Ma” weeklys are satisfying for both genders – Soaps for women and soft porn for men. But there is another thing that is so attractive about the “Ma” weeklys. It is the art work that comes in between the paragraphs of a novel. Many of these artists who work for these weeklys are so talented, but they go mostly unnoticed because of the nature of their work. They do not draw ordinary people. They draw only so perfectly beautiful people; women, to be specific.
I recently saw some of such art works by Mr. Mohan who works for Malayala Manorama. He is an amazingly talented artist. I don’t have more details of him and don’t know if he is pursuing an artistic career outside his regular job at Malayala Manorama, but he is a very good artist.
PS: The copyright of the images given below remains with Malayala Manorama. I should leave proper credits for them, even though they make false claims such as “Manorama Podcast is the first podcast in Malayalam” etc and would never correct it (Deshabhimani is far better in this case, I believe. At least they apologized for their recent goof-up). 🙂