The Story of HMV Souvenirs

This a little trip of nostalgia, back to when I used to hold very responsible positions- like the editor of a magazine and the librarian/treasurer of a library, and one of the founders of the greatest ever institutions in the world! Well, of course I'm kidding. But not entirely. And it is that little story that I would tell you now.

It all started when Hari chettan introduced us (my brother and me) to a whole new world of possibilities: we could have a library (library and documentation centre, he would say), we could have a magazine, and a souvenir every year. That was how HMV was born- HMV for Hari, Manoj and Vinod. That name, we figured, would make it quite well-known. And the library started off with each fortnight's Balarama and Poompatta (these were the most popular children's magazine in Malayalam at that time) and Indrajal Comics (which introduced us to Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon, and Bahadur!) getting "inducted" into the library: a serial number on the magazine and a stamp (from a piece of candle, with "hmv" in reverse, carved on it) will identify it as the property of The HMV Library. We promptly set up accounts, lobbied with our parents for allocating money for enriching the library, and started telling each other stories of how our institution was the best in the world. Around the same time Hari chettan instructed us on how we could publish our magazine. It was christened "HMV magazine" and soon we had fortnightly issues coming out. After the first few issues Hari chettan withdrew into the position of "special advisor", and I became the chief artist. In sometime, my brother had differences with the running of the magazine and he decided to start his own separate magazine (it was called "Polisthan Magazine", for unrevealable reasons!). He hired me as his artist, and I found myself working for rival magazines! But that is another story (and a long one too, with many editions, as the magazines went through many mergers and splits and changes of name).

Meanwhile the idea of a "souvenir" emerged. Our school started this strange (to us at that time) thing called a souvenir, which they would bring out once every year. And we thought HMV should have one too. It is these souvenirs that I'll show you. (Last summer my brother spent a few idle hours scanning in many of those yellowing pages). I won't show you all of them (for not everything was scanned), but will guide you through a few in the links to follow. The images are available in three sizes: thumbnail, medium and large. The pages show the thumbnails and you can click on it for the medium ones, or choose to click on the link to the large ones (or choose not to click or be bothered by all this!). The year of publication of an issue appears on the URL to the images of that issue (like 89-90).

The souvenir was brought out on six occassions. The first one is dated 89-90, which means it was brought out some time in 1990 May. The last two were incomplete editions, the last one being the 94-95 issue.

Most of the work is from my pen/pencil. In the earlier issues you will find some material from Hari chettan (signed as 'G' or Hari G) or from my brother. But otherwise, you can blame it all on me.

Btw, quite a lot of this is in Malayalam. So if you can't read Malayalam it saves me quite a bit of the embarrassment to which I'm exposing myself!

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All the material here is copyrighted HMV.