Friends for a decade-and-a-half and coauthors too, their association has now being recognised by record books. T.R. Jayakumari and R. Vinodkumar have been awarded the Grand Master title for ‘Maximum number of books written and published by male-female friends duo’ by the India Book of Records, Asia Book of Records, and Universal Records Forum.
The record is for coauthoring 28 books on forest, wildlife, environment, and life sciences. Jayakumari who retired as vice principal of Government College for Women, here, after 33 years of service had been writing articles in scientific journals, periodicals, besides authoring a book in English on a plant. Vinod, a manager with a private firm, had been writing in Malayalam on monuments, wildlife, trees, and sanctuaries when he got in touch with Jayakumari, and they struck up a friendship.
In 2012 they decided to join forces because of their shared love for nature. Their first book was Janmanakshatrangalum Vrikshangalum. Since, then they have brought out an average of four books a year. In 2015, the 1,060-page Keralathinte Vrikshangal, including 900 photos, was brought out by DC books.
It went on to win the 2016 Paristhithi Sahitya award instituted by Sparrow Nature Conservation Forum, a Pathanamthitta-based NGO. Another book Vanayatra, published by the Kerala State Institute of Children’s Literature in 2018, won this year’s Bhima Balasahitya Award. The duo have penned books on water birds in the State, wild birds, wild animals, fish, and extinct flora and fauna. They have travelled from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod for their next major book on sacred groves (kavus) above 1 acre in area.
The duo are the founder members of the Sahyadri Natural History Society and remain its office-bearers. The medals and certificates of the Asia Book of Records and the Universal Records Forum were presented to them by writer Ezhumattoor Rajaraja Varma on Saturday.