Actor Kamal Haasan has fond memories of Manorama, the legendary actress, who passed away on Sunday midnight after prolonged illness. “She had known me as a three-year old. A loving woman, a great performer! She and Nagesh are the mom and daddy of Tamil cinema comedy. I am honoured that they both admired my work; they even argued with my critics behind my back, especially Aachi (Manorama). I am one among her millions of fans who will miss her,” he says.
He remembers a surprising incident a week ago. “Yes, I met her at the venue where veteran film journalists were honoured. Aachi came up to the stage and from her memory, delivered a three-page dialogue written by M. Karunanidhi 65 years ago. I think she wanted to show her audience that she could still perform. She has been acting for over 60 years and the past few years of hiatus had affected her. When she finished the three-page soliloquy, the house thundered with applause. I had tears in my eyes when she turned to me for approval.”
Her laughter will linger forever, says Kamal. “Even at her funeral, many will inadvertently have a smile on their faces when they think of those memorable screen moments she has given us. Thanks for etching a smile on our faces with your sharp wit, Mama. Thanks for everything funny and sad you shared with us. Soon, your comic images will superimpose itself on this temporary sadness. Bye bye, my loving, funny Mama.”