I remember some crew members of a film searching for a `Duplicator’, an old brand of Photostat machine, in A.D.Nair’s typewriting institute during my school days. I was curious to know the name of the film for which they needed this property. They said `Njattadi’…“And the hero of the film?” I jumped… They said a new comer called `Murali’. In usual case I would have followed them. Because there were no stars, I didn’t feel the push to visit its location!! Later when `Panchagni’ and `Meenamasathile Sooryan’ were released, I eagerly read the new actor’s interview in which he mentioned that his first film was Njattadi!
My first association with actor Murali was in `Pookkalam Varavayi’; I was an assistant director. Then came `Vishnulokam’ in which this performer carved a niche for him self. First-time producers and directors were making a beeline for this bold and ruggedly handsome guy who could rise above petty expectations! One day he called me and asked, “Do you have a thread in mind? Come on, now that I can arrange a good producer… We will do a project.” …I was thrilled… elated…an actor of his caliber giving such an opportunity to a junior assistant director!!! That was a real compliment!
Murali chettan had bagged a number of memorable lead roles by the time I started off as director. I got a single chance to work with him in Achchanurangatha veedu. When we approached him for the character Daniel’s friend, he knew that the role of protagonist Daniel was to be done by Salim Kumar… But no hard feelings; he said it was his wish to do my film, and he did not mind the prominence of the character!!
We were really squeezed for money during pack up. He came to me with the balance of payment he received and said, “If this money can help you settle a deal, please keep this amount and fix other payments”… And it was not that he was out of monetary need! I believe all those who work in this medium love the individual Murali, much beyond the actor in him for his humaneness.
I have started wondering seriously about this blog… This is the third demise since its beginning… I must admit that I am weary of thinking who would be invited next by this naughty season! Don’t we call the month `kalla Karkkidakam’? …is it going to be I myself?!!