Calendars get a makeover thanks to young designers from all walks of life

It’s time to turn a new leaf. After battling the pandemic, it’s time to move on. Those who design calendars that go beyond images of gods, landscapes and pretty photos are surprised by the demand for different desk calendars. Calendar girls and toned-bodied guys have given way to legendary Malayalam cinema villains, famous language writers, Kerala art forms, storytelling traditions, and more. From artists and architects to self-taught artists and photographers, design different calendars.

Villains and Politics

Artist Vishnu Madhav aka Pencilashan has designed two themed calendars. One, called ‘Priyapetta Super Villains in Malayalam Cinema ‘, brings immortal negative characters to life from the seventies. Starting with the cartoons of Bhaskara Patelar by Mammootty (Vidheyan) and the Narendran of Mohanlal (Manjil Virinja Pookal), there are caricatures of Anappara Achamma from Philomina (Godfather), Babu Antony as “gang leader” (Douthyam), Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair as the wizard of My dear Kuttichathan, Malavika from KPAC Lalitha (Aadyathe Kanmani), John Honayi of Rizabawa (To Harihar Nagar) etc. Two characters have been illustrated on each sheet of the calendar, which has the name of the character, movie, actor and the year the movie was released.

“Since most of the cartoons on my Instagram page are based on politics, the second theme is political satire. This is called “the great Indian boasting (Thallu), I was It ‘schedule. These are the wacky and wacky claims made by political leaders, ”says Vishnu.

It is based each month on important historical events. March shows the Dandi walk. When Mahatma Gandhi reaches the sea shore, the chief is already there sucking a crystal of salt. In May, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climb Mount Everest. When they are about to reach the top, the leader is there at the top to lend them a hand. Skipping centuries and countries, it is there in important historical moments. Another shows the leader working hard to build the pyramids in Egypt while another month shows him posing for a statue in Harappa.

National holidays and days dedicated to important events have been highlighted at the bottom of each sheet. The calendars are available at

For Rajisha K Rajan, drawing was an occasional hobby. During the March 2020 lockdown, she started working from home and that’s when she started drawing portraits. Her portraits being very popular, the former technician of the Technopark of Thiruvananthapuram designed a calendar last year in line with the Malayalam film music.

As she worked from her home in Kannur, she had time to refine her sketches. The calendar included his favorite singers as well as greats like KJ Yesudas, V Dakshinamoorthy and P Bhaskaran. “Called ‘Paattu Chembakangal’ (musical flowers), each page featured a portrait of a musician and a few lines from a popular song he had performed, composed or written. I was at the top when musicians like KS Chithra, Bijibal, Nithya Mammen and Sithara Krishnakumar shared it on their Facebook pages, ”recalls Rajisha, now a resident of Simla, Himachal Pradesh.

Tribute to writers

As the calendars were sold out even though she was only able to put them on sale in January, this year she completed a calendar called “Akshara Nakshatrangal” (literary stars) which celebrates Malayalam authors. Starting with KR Meera’s sketch in January, she continues to draw portraits of Benyamin, Sara Joseph, VJ James, Priya AS, E Santhosh Kumar and S Hareesh.

“It was a friend who asked me if I could do one on the authors. This is how this calendar was created. Now I have become a full time artist. Simla is the best place for that! ” After the authors shared it on their Facebook and Instagram pages, Rajisha received several calls for her calendars. The self-taught artist can be reached at 7249946356.

Kerala Art

Architect Indu Sathyendran’s desk calendar features major performing arts which are unique to Kerala, such as Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Ottanthullal, Mohiniyattam, Pulikali, Theyyam and so on. “It’s called ‘Kerala Kala’ (the art of Kerala). The cover of the calendar has a one-line description of the art form, ”says Indu. Each image was drawn and painted by Indu before being donated for printing. Email [email protected] or post on Instagram (@quirky) or Facebook.

In the case of photographer Dilip Nair, it was his desire for an eco-friendly calendar that could be recycled that motivated him to design table calendars that could double as postcards. “I used to be sorry for pages that would be deleted as soon as the month or year was up. This is how I designed my calendar which can also be used as a postcard, ”he says.

Eco-responsible calendar

Minimalism is the theme of his calendar. Beautifully composed photographs clicked by him mainly in Kerala form one half of each sheet while the other has a blank space with the calendar underneath. “Once this month is over, you can tear the calendar up along the dotted line and it becomes a postcard,” says Dilip.

Made from recycled paper, the 12 sheets are mounted on a wooden easel made from recycled packing wood. Dilip’s calendars are sold out.

Meanwhile, a timeline from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Palakkad Chapter shows how the culturally rich district influenced 12 great authors such as MT Vasudevan Nair, OV Vijayan, Anita Nair, Mundoor Krishnankutty, Shashi Tharoor, VKN, Malayattoor Ramakrishnan and so on. “It is called ‘Palakkad: attic of tales’ and speaks of the tradition of tales of Palakkad in literature …

“The calendar will present 12 works of fiction through illustrations, small blocks of text taken from the work and an image of the writer,” said Arun Narayanan, section organizer. The calendars are available in the INTACH Palakkad chapter.

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