Of course, they were Abdul Khader and Sathyaneshan Nadar then. Aswathy Karnaver of the Indian Express has tracked down Indira Bayi Thankachi, the heroine of Thyagaseema (1951), the ill-fated debut movie of Sathyan, rolled out by Kaumudi Chief Editor K. Balakrishnan. It was also, sadly, her first and last stint under the arc lights performing for the silver screen. But what she has revealed to Ashwathy about the project is what surprised the pants off me. Apparently, along with Sathyaneshan Nadar, there was another incredibly handsome young man who went by the name of Abdul Khader in the project – our very own Prem Nazir !
Thanks to Soni for digging up a Youtube Channel called AsianetCableVision which had me hooked for a good amount of time unearthing little treasure soundbytes as this. This is a three-part video from their ‘Ente Achan‘ ( My Father) Series, where the second generation of the illustrious ones that left a legacy in Kerala’s cultural landscape remember them as a father, far above the astral levels that we have kept them in our hearts.
Sathyaneshan Nadar (11 November 1912 – 15 June 1971) aka Sathyan.
40 years on, Time still looks up in awe at this consummate actor who passionately lived for acting, than the ‘business’ of acting. What does Sathyan mean to someone who loves Malayalam films, or for that matters films in general? There is a whole lot of things and curiously, not one that you can actually point your finger and say, “THIS is what he stood for in Malayalam Cinema”.
Kuttyedethi (Kutty, the Elder Sister) created something of a revolution in popular film viewing when it was released in 1971. There wasn’t anything quite like it that the Malayalam movie fraternity had ever witnessed on screen. Directed by PN Menon, with MT’s script, here was Kutty ( Vilasini), the part-tomboy, part-introvert, with a tongue that could slice through steel and a defiance to meaningless tradition, that almost bordered on arrogance, and beneath all, she still craved a growing woman’s simple pleasures of life.
Mudiyanaaya Puthran (1961)
The first in the series of the KPAC plays to be adapted on to the silver screen, the popularity of KPAC’s play which debuted in 1957 helped in its own way fuel up the popularity of its screen version too. The movie was produced by TK Pareekutty for his Chandrathara Productions, and was the debut of Ramu Kariat, Adoor Bhasi and S.Konnat – the art director who would later become a staple for all of Udaya’s productions, specially the Vadakkan Pattukal. The main roles of the village rebel Rajan was played by Sathyan ( O Madhavan in the stage version), his lady love Chellamma was Miss Kumari( KPAC Sulocahana in the stage adaptation), and the play had even won the the Kerala Sahitya Academy award for best literary work in the drama category in 1959.
Was watching Kesavdev’s film adaptation of his popular work, Odayil Ninnu(1965), and thought I need to share this with you, the very young Suresh Gopi’s debut in Malayalam Cinema, as the feudal landlord’s son, a character who also becomes the root cause for which the young Pappu ( Sathyan), played by Master Dasarathan, runs away from home to the big, bad town of Kollam!
Playwright – Thoppil Bhasi
Lyrics – ONV Kurup
Music – G Devarajan
Direction – Thoppil Bhasi
One interesting fact about all the KPAC dramas which were adapted for the screen was the fact that none of the songs that made it such a social phenomenon and contributed to the popularity in the first place, were NEVER repeated on screen! For Mudiyanaya Puthran ( The Prodigal Son), a new set was written by P. Bhaskaran, released in 1961.
Lyrics : ONV Kurup | Music : G.Devarajan.
1. Chillimulam Kaadukalil ~ Sung by : K S George.
The song was about the naughty, playful breeze rustling up the neighborhood bamboo thicket with a tune on its lips. A sliver of thought that takes a lot of time getting used to, in this age of almost zero patience thresholds, more like – “You got time to chat up with the evening breeze?!!!!” Bah!