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Vol. XXXII No. 17, December 16-31, 2022
It is hard to believe that Manohar Devadoss is no more. He was so full of life. Born in 1936 at Madurai, Mano was blessed with a natural sense of perspective that led to art as a hobby. He found his métier in ink-on-paper, a tough medium, but a fortuitous choice. While in his thirties, he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable eye disease that progressively led to blindness. As his colour perceptions faded, the black and white of ink-on-paper became his means of expression. He devised methods to draw and kept at it till
The Madras Literary Society (MLS) faces a deep loss with the parting of artist Manohar Devadoss, our good friend and ardent supporter. Mano uncle, we will miss you very much!
He was with us on November 28 this year for our AGM, cheerfully chatting with each of us. Indeed, the historic foyer of the 200-year-old Madras Literary Society has played host to the distinguished artist many times; he even joined us online during the Covid lockdown. Manohar Devadoss made sure that he was part of every MLS meeting.
“I have never before seen an architectural entity even vaguely resembling this edifice,” says Mano about Moubray’s Cupola which adorns the Madras Club. A small story – once, the Madras Club invited Mano to make a presentation on his remarkable career. S Muthiah was part of the event at which, so the tale goes, he paid Mahema, then on the other side of 50, a spur-of-the-moment compliment that delighted Mano – “Santhome girls are the loveliest in town and Mahema is a Santhome girl.”
The Meenakshi temple is Madurai’s heart and the inner city is built around the grand edifice with ‘expanding, concentric, roughly square roads.’ Mano continues – “Within the framework of these roads is a network is narrow streets and narrower bylanes. The houses on the bylanes were sometimes very small indeed. But these houses were not only as self-contained as the relatively larger ones on the main roads, but they also looked attractive, what with small but heavy rosewood doors studded with decorative brass knobs and balconies