‘Poster boy’ going strong at 70

Deccan Chronicle.  | gopika u m

Nation, Current Affairs

Ramabhadran started pasting posters at six.

Ramabhadran engaged in pasting cinema posters in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

Thiruvananthapuram: Most cinema posters that you see in the city particularly near Thampanoor, New Theatre complex and other theatres are pasted by Ramabhadran.

He got into poster   pasting work lured by Sathyan and Sheela films. From  Sathyan,  Sheela and Prem Nazeer to Shane Nigam, he has pasted posters featuring almost all Malayalm actors  who reigned the silver screen over the past six decades. Now in his mid sixties, Bhadran has not stopped working even though he has discharged his family responsibilities marrying off two daughters.

Bhadran with his bicycle started  journey at  the age of six. The first poster he pasted on the city walls was that of Chitthi, a Tamil silent movie for Shakti theatre, today’s Kripa theatre.

Since then he has been on the job without a break though in between Bhadran tried his hands in various works including loading and unloading at railway station.  Surprisingly, the man who has pasted thousands of posters has no interest in films nor does he have any favourite actors.  

Not long ago Bhadran had Thankappan Pillai for company who started poster pasting career in 1977 with Kasthoori- Sreekanth theatre, today’s Dhanya-Ramya theatres.

From Sakhakkale Munnottu to Ishq it has been a journey spanning over four decades. Pillai’s father had a tea shop near the theatre and that’s how he got attracted to the posters. The 70-year-old man hardly misses any movie. They even get free family tickets for watching movies.

Two years ago he left the outdoor work of pasting posters. These days he is engaged in sealing and distribution duties. “I have personally met most of the Malayalam actors. Whenever they celebrate successful run of their movies, we are also invited to the party,” he said.

Apart from Bhadran, there are seven persons engaged in posting pasters who are attached to the Trivandrum Film Distributors Association. Movie distributors pay them for the publicity of movies.  If there is a good deal then they get `12000. The earnigs depend on the success of the movie. After 25 days, 50 days and 100 days run the posters change and this brings more money.  The successful run of Lucifer and Uyare this year brought some money.

Though online publicity of films is catching up fast, it has in no way diminished the attraction of posters.