There are some private pleasures we all indulge in. The mere fact that we are the ones that have been fortunate enough to indulge in these, not always because of our merit but because of the situation we were placed in, takes us to cloud nine. The inability of others to do the same gives us silent satisfaction. Basheer is one such pleasure. His inimitable style of narration, sarcastic and sometimes touching humour-sense and untranslatable language makes him Malayalee’s own.
Love is an emotion that the wordsmith would find hard to convey. It is simple but complexly so. It is sweet, but bitterly so. This emotion, that has made many great writers fret in vain, is what Basheer’s Premalekhanam, thrives on. It is not the passionate scenes, or the beautiful dialogues adoring other love stories, which makes this story stand out; but the simplicity and the colloquial humor that adores the prose. This poignant love story leaves an ever-lasting impression on the readers mind, the way it is stated.
The plot is simple…man meets girl-falls in live-man proposes-girl refuses-man insists-girl agrees. A thousand love stories have had this same plot. But none can match Basheer in terms of timing and humour. Humour…that pinches of salt that can be found scattered throughout Basheer’s works, and which brings out the real essence in a way only he can when savored. The presentation and the way the writer leads us from the beginning, in one smooth beautiful stroke, to the end is unparalleled anywhere else. It begins, as suggested in the name, from a Premalekhanam (love letter) that the hero (Keshavan Nair) writes to his lover (Saramma).
... after even happens. The “once upon a time” love story of my life is very different in many different ways ... so much, cared for me, actually loved me, this was the girl that I could picture spending my life ... I didn’t want to see the girl I was in love with ending up in jail because of ... anything without thinking of her at least once. This girl was beyond describable. She was beyond perfect, she wasn ...
This is the same letter in which the story ends. For such a long story, there are only four characters in the film. Keshavan Nair, Saramma, her father and her stepmother. In between the beginning and the end, Basheer does manage to convey an array of short fragments of opinions from opposing dowry to caste system and promoting inter-religious marriages.
‘Sthree double double double krura hrudaya’
Woman’s heart is double double double cruel.
One of the main reasons for the non-popularity of Basheer outside the Malayalam speaking community is the difficulty in translating into other languages the author’s works. Basheer was undoubtedly a people’s writer. The style of writing he adopted was in such colloquial Malayalam that most of his greatest fans were and are the most ordinarily poor people. Premalekhanam is essentially a realistic love story between an ordinary woman and a man, not a happy story; the problems of the ordinary people are conveyed beautifully, the cruel stepmother, the uncaring father, dowry etc. The essential message conveyed is that we are not alone, however uncared-for we are; there will always be someone to love us, someone who cares for us, someone who cries for us.