A talent none could subjugate

Actor-director Salim Kumar remembers his close friend Kalabhavan Mani

Their camaraderie started from the mimicry days of Kalabhavan. Actor-director Salim Kumar remembers Kalabhavan Mani as a tower of strength among friends, a bankable companion who imbued him with confidence every time. He never buckled under pressure or slipped into a state of mental depression even when illness was eating into his health. The only thing that pained him the most was neglect from the Malayalam film industry.

“ He was saddened as his efforts went unrecognised in Malayalam cinema. When a known actor in the industry called him over phone and mocked at him saying that the Kerala State Film Award for best actor was for him for the movie Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum, which was accompanied by loud laughter. Mani was well aware of who played to sideline him. His was a talent none could subjugate or restrict,” says Salim Kumar. Compartment was the last movie they worked together.

Mani celebrated everything good in his life and of his place. “He was a village man in every sense and was at the forefront of every celebration in Chalakudy. Ours was a bonding since the days of penury. When I got national award, he welcomed me to his place to an accoutrement of three elephants. He spoke in high-pitch and kept the volume on top while listening to songs. So loud a person, he therefore kept no secrets in life,” he recollects.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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