Chennai: Fourteen years after thespian Sivaji Ganesan’s death, his son and actor, Prabhu, recalls memorable incidents and his father’s advice. “Sivaji’s magic still prevails. His philanthropy and how everyone including Big B, Rajinikanth and Kamal calls him ‘Appa’,” says Prabhu.
“First of all, I want to say that ‘appa’ has not left us and he still lives in one way or other as ‘thatha’, father and brother in every fan’s household. The ‘oxygen’ he left to our family are his innumerable fans whose blessings keep us going even now”, Prabhu started off his conversation.
When asked about the proposed token fast protest by several political parties organised by Sivaji Peravai demanding construction of Mani Mandapam for the thespian, Prabhu said he did not want to politicise the issue.
He did not want to comment. The younger son of Sivaji said he had acted in 19 films with his dad and every moment was unforgettable. He had learnt so much from him, Sivaji Ganesan’s punctuality to shootings was common knowledge.
He had a stunning memory power, Prabhu said. Many of Sivaji’s timeless classics like Karnan, Pasamalar, Pudhiya Paravai still made cash registers ringing with its digitalised version occupying several screens these days.
“My dad was always keen to see the potentiality in a script for him to perform rather than going for heroism! That’s his success mantra. My father knew to act in front of the camera and not at the back of the camera”, Prabhu remarked.
Recalling a few incidents when Karnan was released, Prabhu said, “Karnan was released at our Shanthi Theatre in Mount Road on a Pongal day (January 14). Appa promoted it by distributing ‘Sakkarai Pongal’ (Sweetened rice) to all who came for the first day to watch the film. Yet another thing he did was heartwarming. At a time when going near leprosy patients was a stigma, he even visited a colony where several patients who were his fans were residing when the film was released....