It is not uncommon in Tamil Nadu that a lifeless structure gains prominence after it gets featured in a movie.
The notorious suicide spot in Kodaikanal was christened ‘Guna caves’ after Kamal Hassan’s movie which went by the same name was shot there.
So, it does not surprise one when a surface of the TNSCB quarters at Jamalia lane off Madhavaram High road in Perambur is referred to as the ‘Madras Sevuru’
Like in the movie, where the portrait of politician Krishnan (played by poet V.I.S.Jayapalan) was featured, there is a portrait of a person called S.Parthiban.
The similarity does not end there. The person whose face adorns the 25 feet high facade was murdered like in the movie. The reasons are not political though.
On the night of August 5, 2007, Parthiban was returning from Kolathur on his two-wheeler with his younger brother, Moorthy when he was hacked to death by a gang. Locals say that it was a family dispute.
Sembium police records show that Parthiban was murdered following fallout over a land dispute. Two years later, five persons, all residents of the same quarters were sentenced to life by the court for the heinous crime.
Ever since his death, Parthiban’s portrait had embellished the surface. Only for the movie shoot, the portrait was replaced and the film crew restored the original portrait afterwards.
Amudha whose eatery is right below the wall was removed for the shoot was also restored after the shooting concluded.
However, like in the movie, there is no opposition for this portrait, say locals.
“All his life Parthiban grew up in these quarters since it was allotted to us in 1976. A cable TV operator was a Good Samaritan helping out the locals. So we decided to paint his portrait,” says S.Gandhi, a VCK partyman and a resident there.
Parthiban’s wife Chamundeeswari lives with her two sons in the 500-sq.ft quarters in E block and runs the family through minimal income from the Self Help Group. It is only a coincidence that her late husband’s portrait forms one of the sides of her house.
Chamundeeswari did not seem interested in talking about the incident. She has watched the movie though and exclaims happiness that a movie was shot in her neighbourhood.
“Since the movie was shot here, we knew what scene follows and most of the time was spent guessing the next scene and spoiling it for the other person!” she chuckles.
Last Tuesday (October 7), Parthiban’s brother Moorthy who also suffered minor injuries during the attack seven years ago, died due to natural reasons. He was an alcoholic and his family is separated from him, locals said.
Post the movie release, the area had attracted many visitors, usually youngsters who pose in front of the wall like the lead actor and get their pictures clicked....