Category Archives: Cinema

“Marikkar” Ramdas of Komaligal (Clowns)


Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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Sathyavaageeswara Iyer “Marikkar” Ramdas
Sathyavaageeswara Iyer “Marikkar” RamdasM

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In 1974, Sillaiyoor Selvarajan, a well-known artiste of Radio Ceylon, in charge of producing a radio program sponsored by the People’s Bank, saw a 30-minute comedy play staged by S. Ramdas at D. S. Senanayake College in Colombo.

Enthralled by the play, Sillaiyoor Selvarajan requested Ramdas to lengthen the play for broadcasting as a serial over the radio. Young Ramadas readily agreed and wrote the script and dialogues for the radio comedy “Koamaaligalin Kummaalam” (Hilarious Antics of Clowns) with the message of national unity. Ramdas took hints from the Indian Tamil film “Bharatha Vilas” directed by A. C. Trilokchander starring Sivaji Ganesan and K.R. Vijaya, which emphasised national unity among families hailing from different Indian ethnic groups living in separate portions in a mansion named “Bharatha Vilas“.

Instead of bludgeoning directly into the ethnic amity, and unity in diversity among families belonging to different ethnicities and religions living in separate portions under one roof in a large house, he presented humorously the peaceful coexistence of those people .

Radio Ceylon broadcasted the play continuously for 90 weeks, sponsored by the People’s Bank.

Ramdas, a Brahmin in real life cast himself as “Marikkar”, a Colombo Muslim with the proper enunciation of a Colombo Muslim.

B. H. Abdul Hameed, a Muslim in real life, took on the role a Brahmin named “Iyer”.

K. A. Jawahir (alias Abu Naanaa), another Muslim acted as “Thanikasalam” the villain.

T. Rajagopal took the role of a gentleman of Jaffna origin named “Appukutty”, and S. Selvasekaran took on the role of a Sinhalese named “Upali”.

The play became immensely popular. I too became an enthusiastic fan and listened to the play every Sunday at 4 pm.

In early 1976, Malkar Mohamed, who listened to this weekly radio drama decided to produce it as a film. Ramdas readily agreed when Mohamed expressed his desire.

Ramdas enthusiastically penned the story and dialogues for the film titled “Komaligal” (“The Clowns”).

S. Ramanathan, an experienced personality in the Sinhala film industry consented to direct it under the banner of Amarjothy Movies.

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B. H. Abdul Hameed and S. Ramdas in a still from the film 'Komaligal' (1976)
B. H. Abdul Hameed and S. Ramdas in a still from the film ‘Komaligal’ (1976)

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The original actors of the radio play “Koamaaligalin Kummaalam” – S. Ramdas, B. H. Abdul Hameed, K. A. Jawahir (alias Abu Naanaa), T. Rajagopal and S. Selvasekaran – took on their respective roles in the film. Sillaiyoor Selvarajan and his wife Kamalini Selvarajan acted as lovers in the film.

The film “Komaligal” produced in 45 days and screened on November 22, 1976, at 6 theatres, became a box office hit and ran successfully, better than any other previous Sri Lankan Tamil movie.

Here is a video clip of the song Ennadi Sithi Beebee written and sung by Ramdas in the dialect of Colombo Muslims. This song became an instant hit even though he mimicked “Ennadi Raakkammaa“, a popular song of that period, sung by T. M. Soundararajan in the Indian Tamil film ‘Pattikkaada Pattanamaa’.

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Sathyavaageeswara Iyer Ramdas alias “Marikkar” Ramdas born on May 5, 1947, in Sivagangai, in Tamil Nadu, India passed away on July 13, 2016, at the residence of his daughter Priya in Besant Nagar, Chennai. Though Ramdas is no more with us, the memories of “Marikkar” Ramdas will forever live in the hearts and minds of his numerous fans in Sri Lanka, India, and all over the world.

D. B. S. Jeyaraj, a former journalist of the Tamil daily newspaper “Virakesari” has written an excellent tribute titled ‘“Marikkar” Ramdas: The Brahmin who transformed Into a Muslimwherein he writes about “Marikkar” Ramdas and describes in detail the history and making of the film “Komaligal“.

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Et Tu Shweta Basu?


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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On Sunday, August 31, 2014, the Hyderabad police apprehended 23-year-old actress Shweta Basu Prasad, a National award-winner, for her involvement in a high-profile prostitution racket.

Shweta Basu Prasad (Source: indiatvnews.com)
Shweta Basu Prasad (Source: indiatvnews.com)

Shweta Basu began her career as a child actress in TV shows such as ‘Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki‘ and ‘Karishma Ka Karishma‘. Later on she acted in many Bollywood films, including ‘Makdee‘, ‘Darna Zaroori Hai‘ and ‘Iqbal‘.

In 2002, Shweta Basu won the National Award for the Best Child Artist for acting in the film Makdee.

Later on, she became a popular actress in Tamil, Telugu and Bengali films.

Shweta Basu Ptrasad (Source: deccanchronicle.com)
Shweta Basu Ptrasad (Source: deccanchronicle.com)

Shweta Basu’s involvement in prostitution came to light on Sunday morning when an anonymous person tipped off the police about a high-profile prostitution racket involving Shweta Basu. On receiving the tip off, the police raided a reputed hotel at Banjara Hills in Hyderabad and caught the actress red-handed consorting with some highly-connected businessmen.

Anjaneyulu alias Balu the organizer of the prostitution racket was also arrested. Balu, was reportedly collecting rupees one lakh each from his high profile clients.

The police took all into immediate custody and they expect more would be revealed once interrogations and police questioning begins.

On Monday, the court where Shweta Basu was produced sent her to a rescue home run by the Women and Child Welfare Department.

The actress underwent a medical examination at a government hospital before being sent to the rescue home, where women rescued by police and those facing trial are given shelter during the trial period. The inmates are provided free food, clothing, medical care and vocational training. Shwetha Basu is likely to stay in the rescue home or three months.

The police sources quoted Shweta Basu:

“I was out of money. I had to support my family and some other good causes. All the doors were closed, and some people encouraged me to get into prostitution to earn money. I was helpless, and with no option left to choose, I got involved in these acts.”

After Shweta Basu’s arrest, her fans and the public started analyzing the situation on the internet. Many wonder why the police identified only the actress and not the businessmen who were with her at the time of the raid. The public want to know why the police who normally protect the identity of women caught for prostitution had publicized the name of the actress, and for what purpose.

Several actors including Aditi Rao Hydari and Upen Patel have come forward to speak up for Shweta.

Aditi tweeted:

A girl is in the news and in prison for prostitution, why not her high profile clients? We are so damn sexist… #Pathetic.

Upen Patel tweeted:

Breaks my heart about Shweta Prasad. Remember meeting her when she was a little girl in Iqbal .. Great actress..I’m know she will bounce bck (sic).

Film Director Hansal Mehta urged the authorities to “expose” the “clients” of the actress. He tweeted.

I intend to offer Shweta Prasad a role in my next film. She was so good in ‘Makdee’.

Stop posting pictures of Shweta. Put out the pictures of her wealthy clients and the pimp. Expose the sc****gs, not the soft target.

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Some Mothers Still Do Have ‘Em!


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Myself . 

By T.V. Antony Raj
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Senthil: Tamil Cinema comedian, Tamilnadu, India.
Senthil: Tamil Cinema comedian, Tamilnadu, India.

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Actor Senthil, a popular cine comedian in the South Indian cine field particularly in Kollywood, Tamilnadu, India has acted in many popular movies with several leading actaors and comedians.

Senthil was born on March 23, 1951, in Ilanjambore, a small village near Mudukulathur, Ramanathapuram District, Tamilnadu. Since he was an unruly boy, he was constantly scolded by his father. At the age of 12, he ran away from home. He first worked in the shop of a cooking oil vendor. Later he worked as a bar attendant in a private wine shop. Interested in acting, he joined a drama troupe where he developed his acting skills. He received small roles in the Tamil film industry in Chennai.

The movie Malayoor Mambattiyan gave him the required exposure to propel him to stardom. He has about 185 Tamil movies to his credit. He has also acted in movies in Hindi, Malayalam etc.

He is notable for his comedy roles pairing with actor Goundamani in the vein of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy who were popular during the late 1920s to the mid-1940s

Senthil is one of the most-loved comedians in the South Indian film industry. His appearance on the screen enlivened the audience replete with claps and whistles; and, when he paired up with Goundamani, the cheering doubled.

Goundamani and Senthil ruled the comedy world of Tamil cinema for over two decades. They established a place for themselves in the heart of their audience by entertaining them with their perfectly timed dialogue delivery and unsurpassed body language, and witty, rib-tickling comedy.

Senthil opted to act in movies irrespective of their budget. Once he said: “I don’t believe in movies with small budgets are large budgets. There are only two types of movies – good and bad.”

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