Nandan Chalissery

Nandan, is a six feet tall youngster who works as an assistant with art director Gokuldas. He has been there on my sets since Classmates. Those days prior to our introduction I considered him as just another fellow who runs errands; anybody who is familiar with the working style of film locations would know, there are about a dozen or more of these young chaps who are assistants in different departments, ranging from direction, cinematography, art, costume and make up. During the planning, preparation and rehearsal of a shot they have to be very observant, understand the needs of the situation and act impromptu.


One day when I could not spot Gokul to tell something urgent, Nandan volunteered. Natural to his ways he smiled when he came near. I still can’t figure out my feeling on seeing his smile for the first time…! He does not have two front teeth on the upper gum! This young man of 27 became a mystery to my concepts of `looking handsome’…! Considering his lost teeth may trouble his future, I gave an offer to replace them. He came out with a brighter smile, “sir, the elephant has only two teeth, but I don’t think the animal worries about it!” Now that is a revelation for people like me who are perpetually concerned about hair fall and gray hair!! And sure, Nandan is gifted with such fierce positive energy…. You must see him on the sets!

I did not realize Nandan’s ambition to be an actor till he did a tiny role in a song sequence in Mulla. His role in Neelathamara is nothing but the evidence of our affection; M.T has only written about a manual labourer who carries bags of the lead character in one scene. Nandan was very willing, and because he did that role we started including his character in other scenes at the same location. By and by he became a permanent presence at the premises of the tharavadu and is known by a pet name in the location- `Pengan’!  Just like any other character in Neelathamara Nandan now has a claim to fame of being a character in an `M.T film’! And we are sure that he is boasting about it!!

Some time back he was working on a set with Gokul. They had chosen the location to be the premises of an aristocratic Nair home. While on shoot it rained. On reflux he jumped in to the verandah of the house. He was greeted by a sudden, jerking question from an inmate at the entrance “What’s your name (indirectly probing into the cast of the entrant). Without a wink our hero answered in a similar valluvanadan tune(!) “Nandan Menon”!! Hardly anyone in the set including his colleagues know Nandan Chalissery’s original name is Dhanush!!! Fondly we all call him `Nandan Menon’….

Nandan Chalissery

Nandan lost his teeth about six years back in an accident; the mishap turned into a boon with his extraordinary thought of making it a compliment to his appearance! Mostly I sense the presence of Nandan in the set from far… The location would be energized with the humor- filled, positive throb that he pumps in! Dull moments are wiped off by Nandan’s straight, harmless comments! Here is wishing him the best roles and recognition for all times….

With love
Lal Jose


29 responses

  1. Nice one. Nandan is definitely photogenic. That pure optimism evan after losing his teeth will take him places. I pray. Just waiting for the movie to be released, because it from my favorite writer and you (That way I am waiting for Pazhassi Raja too, long time MT blessed Malayalees with a script). And that combo is really a brilliant thing.

    Well here is another Dhanush, always wanting to see M.T, not far from his place in Calicut, but never could meet him.

    I have blogrolled you. Hope you don’t mind.

  2. “sir, the elephant has only two teeth, but I don’t think the animal worries about it!”

    hmmmmmmmmm this the positive attitude we malayalees lost in between..seems this chap to be a good actor as his figure shows..a little grooming will make him to greater reaches…all the very best to Mr. Nandan.

    we all are waiting for the movie… dear lal jose, a lot is expected from you and crew…

  3. Nandan, you are awonder. The spirit with which you approach your tasks is something great. The passion you show in your work is adorable. Wish you all the best

  4. Dear Nandan,

    Me happend to see this article while seraching abt chalissery.. I’m really proud abt u.. hope u remember me… ur school mate… Nejumudheen.. now frm dubai.. all the best for u my dear friend….

  5. Dear Nandan

    Happy to hear all these and also proud to be a social animal as i am also from your place. Anyways to get to know me much specific I am the brother of Rajesh Kottarathil (cousin)…..Keep rockin Nandannn…….

  6. Eda Nandaa..

    Nee vayar chaddathe sookshikkane.
    Congrates man…pleasure to hear the words of Laljose regarding you. You relly deserves a remarkable position in indusry ‘coz your dedication to work is appriciatable. I am eagerly waiting for ‘Neelathaamara’. innale vilichappo Ajayanaa paranjathu ninne serch cheyyan ..Blogil undennu. Should i call you after seeing ‘Neelathaamara’.

    Best wishes & Regards,

  7. Nandaa,

    Congrates man….u got gr8 award from Lal Jose. Ajayan told me regarding this blog when i called him last week. I am eagerly waiting the to See ‘Neelathaamara’. the trailers and songs provides the feeling I am there, and gives the mood walking through kavukkode or chalissery. Songs and picturization is so beautiful and beyond words to express our satisfaction.

    my heartiest Congratulations to Lal Jose for giving us a wonderful movie.
    Convey Special regards to Gokul for making the movie scenes more awesome.
    I miss u all…..



  8. താങ്കളുടെ ഓരോ നീലത്താമരകള്‍വിരിയുമ്പോഴും അതില്‍ ഓരോ പുതുമുഖങ്ങള്‍ വിരിയണം. ഒരു പക്ഷെ, നാളെയുടെ വാടാത്ത താമരകള്‍ നന്ദനെപോലെ ആരെങ്കിലും ആകാം. എല്ലാ വിധ ആശംസകളും.

  9. haii nandan,

    we are all proud to hear about you from one of the hit director lal jose. and we wish u all the very best

    with love
    shiju (abhi)

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