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A unique literary wedding invite

Posted March 4th, 2019, 10:16 AM IST

A unique literary wedding invite

Abdullah Ashraf Pangatayil and Abitha Basheer Vakkayil are inviting people to their wedding with a very special card — Vaikom Muhammad Basheer’s Ntuppuppakkoranendarnnu

Imagine this. Your friend or relative is getting married. He/she visits you and invites you for the wedding with an expensive wedding card. You look at it, admire it, check the date and venue and, then, put it in the drawer of your table. You may never look at that card or even think about it once the wedding gets over. It is this realisation that urged Abdullah Ashraf Pangatayil and Abitha Basheer Vakkayil (Ambili), natives of Thrissur, who are getting married on April 7, to create a long-lasting, memorable wedding invitation. For that, they chose a book. They have chosen the popular book Ntuppuppakkoranendarnnu, written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, as their invitation card.

You might be wondering how a book can transform into a wedding invitation? Well, to serve the purpose, they slightly altered the book cover after consulting DC Books, the publisher. They brought out a special edition wherein the invitation in English is printed on the front side and that in Malayalam on the rear side, without distorting the entire beauty of the book. “We printed 1,200 books,” says Ashraf, father of the groom. On the cover, instead of the ‘number of edition’ label, it is written as ‘Abdullah Ambili wedding special edition.’ It also carries a photograph of the bride and groom along with that of the author.

“The initial idea was to gift books to guests at the venue. Usually, we give sweets or flowers to them. So, we thought we would give books, both English and Malayalam, to them. But, there were some pragmatic difficulties, like bringing all books to the venue and equally distributing them to guests. It was then I had a conversation with V.K. Sreeraman, who lives next door; he supported the special edition idea. He discussed the idea with the concerned persons and we decided to print Pathummayude Aadu. But, then Rafeeq Ahemad (lyricist) suggested Ntuppuppakkoranendarnnu, which he felt more apt for the purpose than Paathummayude…,”says Ashraf. They have designed a special envelope too. The special edition was released by actor Nilambur Ayisha, who came for another event near Ashraf’s home. Ashraf says, she wholeheartedly agreed to launch the edition.

Ravi Deecee of DC Books says the Basheer’s family loved this idea. “Ashraf wanted to promote reading and Basheer works. And he thought this could be an idea to inculcate the habit of reading in many. And we shared this concept for the same,” he says.

What does the family get from this? “Happiness,” says Ashraf. The family believes that the act will not only promote the habit of reading, but also become beneficial to someone. “Normally, we will have to spend Rs 100 to Rs 500 for a good wedding card that goes into oblivion soon after the wedding. But people won’t throw away a book. It will help them at some point in their life,” he concludes.