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08 Dec 2023, Edition - 3069, Friday

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A journey capturing lives, forging bonds

Jiji Ann Cherian


Kottayam: For him, it’s been a journey capturing lives for posterity and forging bonds that last a lifetime. Even after 50 years of this journey, Krishnan Kutty aka Chitra Krishnankutty is still ready to take the best shot of his life with passion and dedication. Krishnan Kutty, owner of the famed Chitra Studio in Kottayam went down memory lane recently with an exhibition of some of his exclusive pictures that speak volumes of his abilities as a shutterbug.

Some of his endearing pictures of doyens of the yesteryear film industry stand out for their raw candour and the subtle use of natural light.

The septuagenarian, who started his career at with newspapers like ‘Kerala Bhushanam’ and ‘Kerala Dhwanisoon’ became a much sought after photographer for his signature style and punctuality at work. His stint with ‘Cinema Masika’, one of the popular Malayalam film magazines in the old days made him a familiar figure in the Malayalam film industry and paved the way for many strong friendships which he still cherishes.

“Adoor Bhasi, KP Ummer and Shankaradi were some of the thespians whom I could call on anytime,” he reminisces. At one point he even supplied photographs to almost all the newspapers in Kerala. He also remembers an all India photography competition of 1974, which not only won him an award but pan-Indian recognition. One of his most memorable shots till date is that of MGR, right after DMK split into ADMK and DMK.

His journey was filled with adventures too. “Once, I got a chance to shoot pictures of Sinhalese terrorist professor Nirmala Nityanandan who had escaped to Madras after a confinement in Sri Lanka. She was reluctant to have pictures taken, but I managed,” he chuckles. The feature on the lady turned out to be a scoop in a Malayalam magazine.

At the exhibition, many candid shots catch your attention. Some are that of film personalities Mohanlal, yesteryear actor Sukumaran with his kids Prithviraj and Indrajith, who are now popular actors, and of Seema, a hot star then and of a young Ramya Krishnan, waiting to start her journey into films.

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