Meeting the Legend, M.T…

IMG_6359Meeting M.T Vasudevan Nair has been a life long ambition for me. My generation always stood in awe of M.T, one of the most celebrated literary figures of all times. We intently tried following his journeys into various genres of language. In fact, awareness in Malayalam, of any youth during my times, has been judged by his exposure to `MT’s world’! Experiencing the taste of excellence through his writing will stay as long as Malayalam is alive…

My first visual remembrance of him is at an inauguration ceremony in my alma mater, NSS College, Ottappalam. The next picture is fresher when we met him while shooting `Udyanapalakan’. I was working as associate director. In the film Mammutty’s character had a small shop close to a railway cross in Vadanamkkurissy. One day we heard M.T was passing through and was caught up at the level cross. Along with Mammukka we rushed to the spot and met him. That day he was kind enough to spend half a day at our location.

Our next meeting point was yet another shooting location, of the documentary `Voyage’ directed by friend Biju Viswanath. Voyage was about `Nirmalyam’, the celluloid debut of M.T. I had a copy of his short story collection `Sherlock ‘ with me. I wished for the maestro’s autograph. M.T flipped through and got to one of the last pages of the book. I was intrigued at seeing him correct a printing error on that page. Afterwards he signed wishing me the best. I was in for greater surprise when he explained that the print error has occurred in that edition of the book and he corrects it whenever he sees a copy. Focus of this thought and action illuminated my conscience. It gave me a glimpse of the unrest in any genuine creator’s mind. Even after a creation leaves him and starts its journey through the world he worries about its flaws which no one else is aware. And until it is corrected he or she carries the unrest in mind. Philosophically it reminded me how our original creator, the Almighty, worries each time when we err and his efforts of correction. Also the pain and pleasure of our earthly creators, our parents, in seeing the way we interact with the world!!

A few years later my family and I went to Thunchan parambu to perform the vidyarambham, `learning initiation’ ceremony of my younger daughter Catherine. There he was, initiating hundreds of children to take on the limitless ocean of knowledge. Catherine was fortunate enough to be initiated by him on that day of Vidyarambham…

Back to present, producer Suresh Kumar of Revathy Kalamandir approached me last year for a remake of M.T Vasudevan Nair’s thirty year old script Neelathamara. Had I neither seen the film nor read its story. But it didn’t take even an instant to decide that I am doing the film. The only reason that favoured my decision, no doubt, was the author! Soorya Krishnamoorthy, Suresh Kumar and I went to meet him. He presented me an author’s copy of his selected favourite scripts and thus my introduction to Neelathamara. When I read the script, the plot grabbed my attention from a totally new angle. Here is a theme that is truly unconventional from my mainstream perspective. It gleamed in front of my mind’s eye without any flab. The story is simple and compact. With a bang it reminded me that I am seeing a nontraditionally down to earth plot that is far from stereotyped. All its characters are so fresh from life with real emotions- sorrow, love, jealousy, lust, anger and guilt. There is no glorifying just, almighty heroes and untouched, immaculate heroines! The grey tones which are unpopular in story telling are revisiting our cultural scene and as an artist I see tremendous importance in working on such an open theme!

Meeting the Legend M.T Continues….


43 responses

  1. Thanks Lalu…I have seen Soorya Krishnamoorthy’s light and sound show about when I was in Kottayam…I can still remember we were in tears most of the time. It was the result of two genius creators…I am sure Neelathamara will be one like that…Best Best Best Wishes

  2. dear lalettaa………..

    this looks coollllllll…………i loved reading it……………..waiting for moreeeee……

    take care
    only lov

  3. It is a wonderful idea that you are on the net. People like me always look forward news on you. It is nice to hear from you directly. All the best !

  4. Hi Lalu,
    It’s wonderfull.

    Iam also very lucky and proudfull to be a part of this dream project.

    God bless you

    warm regards

    ranjan abraham

  5. Thank U Laletta
    After reading this blog am totally happy and appreciate all the crew as apart of this film Neelathamara.Am eagerly awaiting to c Neelathamara

    With lots of love
    S Kumar

  6. I watched different blogs, but in the present scenario it is excellent.
    keep going on.
    I am waiting for another magic from laljose.

  7. Laletta,
    It was a pleasure reading through the blog specially knowing more about Aasha Paul. Wish her and all the crew my very best.

  8. Hi Lalu,
    Im happy reading your blog.
    Wishing you the very best for your present project.Gud luck.
    May God bless you.

    With lots of love
    Sathyan Kattana

  9. Hi Sir,
    Iam hafiz, Thank you for sending ur blog details..its awesome, nice features and loks..iam watitng to c more abt ths blogs and new comming films…


  10. I am 52 years old now.It was during my school days that I read NALUKETTU written by Sri.M.T.Vasudevan Nair. Since then it was my dream 2 meet him & 2 have acquintance with him.Later, when he became the chairman of the Thunjan Management Committee, I had seen him frm Thunjanparambu on 1 or 2 ocassions but frm a distance & in a busy mood.In March 2009, Vinod, the production manager of Sri.Lal Jose informed me that Sri.M.T.Vasudevan Nair would like 2 meet me 2 ascertain whether I am fit 2 play a role in NEELATHAMARA. I was really beaten aback! I rushed 2 Ernakulam,with my daugter&son-in-law where he was.Through out the journey frm Tirur 2 Ernakulam I was breathless because of my joy & thrill.Sri Lal Jose introduced me 2 Sri.M.T. It was really an unforgetable moment in my life & I am grateful 2 GOD ALMGHTY 4 the same…

  11. good luck and nice that u didnt see the original version of it so that the shadow will not haunt u and we can enjoy a fresh movie. All the best.

  12. Hai Lal
    It is simply great. Having associated with the innauguration of NEELATHAMARA, it is my responsiblity also to see that it becomes a milestone in the Indian cinema. Our best wishes are always with you and your team. Even before the release NEELATHAMARA is already in the minds of the people, simply waiting for the release.
    With best wishes and lots of prayers,
    N N Pillai

  13. Hello Chettan,
    I am Tony Uncle’s nephew from Italy. Tony Uncle told me about your blog. I went through it. It looks amazing. I felt that I was in Kerala for awhile without spending money. I will visit it quite regularly. The project looks really nice and nostalgic. Good luck with your venture. How about Lechu and Chakkara? We know each other pretty well. Once again, best wishes from Europe.

  14. Hai Laletta,,,,

    You had done so much great films…. I love you and your films because your are a great man and also your films having good feel. I am also like you In my dreams ,In my heart , In my life always only one thing that is cinema…..Now I am doing one work when it will be ready I will come to you because I like to see my screen play in a big screen with your name
    God bless you I wish you all the best you will make more great films even before

  15. Hi Lal.,

    I am anxiously awaiting for NEELA THAMARA…

    No doubt it will be a “GOLDEN LOTUS” in our malayalam film industry…

    All the best ….


  16. Saw neelathamara inaugral show at padma. Wow! me and my friends had a great time there.. The hero and heroine of the movie ( Kailesh and Archana Kavi) was there for the show. Talking about the film…Lal Jose has done an excellent job, espcially the casting. Each artist is perfect for their roles. The newcomers, archana and Kailesh deserves an applause for their perfomance.The first half of the movie is mind blowing, reminds us the good old days of malayalam industry. Though the film seems to be incomplete, due to the absence of a strong climax, i’m sure that it will create hypes at box office….WELL DONE LAL JOSE!!!!!

  17. respected sir,

    my name is nizam.iam a student (studied in christ college rand d)

    i like act in classical movies/others

    i got 3 times uty best actor award for (matilukal,naga mandala,harvest) also get prizes in monoact and mimicry

    sir plz help me to develop a career and direct as a ‘guru”

    iam also a vfx editor and animation engineer(autodesk autorized usa)

    thank u



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