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In Travancore very few people owned a personal car in the early decades of the 20th century. Even the royalties favored horse driven carriages and the gentries preferred bullock cart. Hence, when Rev. Askwith, the Principal of the CMS College in 1910s came by a car and was looked at with awe and reverence. It was during Askwith’s time, girls came to the college for the first time and also, he built a boy’s hostel. He was interested in sports and games and contributed immensely towards attracting students to this lesser-known areas of self-discipline.

In his relief mural Saji Raphael portrays Rev. Askwith in a frontal bust as if he were sitting in the mist amidst a bunch of trees. His car, a Studebaker of sorts, a two-seater early model, gets a prominent place in the relief frame. Behind the car, the artist has carefully incorporated a series of buildings that stand for the Boys’ Hostel that Askwith had established. The artistic detailing is impressive enough to see the rough rural paths on which the car rode. One could also understand the transition of transportation thereby the transformation of terrains that started accommodating roads connecting different centers of socio-political and economic activities.

Published On: January 27th, 2024Categories: Relief Sculpture

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