Perhaps one way to find Mattancherry is to seek the successors to Mehboob. We were near Cherlai when we were returning a couple of mangoes that fell off a push-cart when two persons who were having tea in the shop across came to us. “ We understood that you were after something important when we saw you picking mangoes up!” Bismilla Abu, a long-time companion of Mehboob, and Siddique Mattancherry, who sings on roadsides to collect money for medical aid are friends who’re always seen going about town on their cycle.
Like those mangoes that had fallen down, this work is a humble attempt to restore to Mehboob’s stage these voices. With the difference that they are returned to a new Mattancherry time, to new Mehboob language.
Anvar Ali is a poet, lyricist, translator, literary editor, and documentary filmmaker. His first collection of poems 'Mazhakalam' was released in 1999.
He has released three anthologies of poetry and one novella. He translated Toto-Chan, The Little Girl at The Window, the autobiographical book by Thetsuko Kuroyanagi. He wrote the lyrics for numerous Malayalam films including Annayum Rassolum, Kammattipadam, and Kismath. He has won State and international awards for the 'Margam'.