Kozhikode: Initially, it was a surprise for the people of Peruvallur village of Malappuram district when a man of their village converted the entrance of his home into a canvas for cartoons. As days went by, all of them have become his admirers.
Meet Shamsudheen Bukhari alias Bukhari Dharmagiri who started drawing cartoons on his gate eight years back. On first glance, it reminds one an abacus slate. The first cartoon on the gate was about the presence of water on the moon.
Bukhari’s cartoons sketch many social issues and gain applause with its simplicity and humour.
“The primary role of a cartoonist is to work with the social commitment with an innate style of drawing,” he says.
“It is compulsory that the style of drawing should be one’s own and it is for this reason I stepped back from learning the art of drawing."
Bukhari sees drawing cartoons on his gate as an act of self-expression where he never gets edited. His cartoons are also popular in social media.
“I get all the freedom to speak out my mind, and for that, I am using both the virtual space and space around me,” he told DC. Bukhari’s fame has crossed the borders of his village and is appreciated statewide.
He is currently the member of Kerala Cartoon Academy and a recipient of Sathya Chandran Memorial Award for cartoonists.
He finds his inspiration in Abu Abraham, O.V. Vijayan and Michael Leunig.
“Vijayan’s and Abu Abraham's cartoons are not just things to laugh away. They have some messages which make us think deeply,” he says.
“Leunig’s cartoons are those with simple characterisation and excellent drawings which I always adore.” A native of Puthanathani in the district, he currently lives in Peruvallur village with his wife and children.