Every year Ithayakani magazine celebrates MGR’s birthday in grand manner in all parts of Tamil Nadu. This time the function was held in Chennai, Kamaraj Arangam. Actor Mayilsamy and Ithayakani Editor Vijayan are the important persons to promote the function every year.
I reached the venue on 4.30 pm followed by Yukesh Babu. Mr.MGR Muthu, Assistant to MGR and care taker of MGR memorial has placed 40 foot Banner and showed his loyalty to MGR. Various MGR associations placed Banner and placards for MGR they are Kalaiventhan MGR bakthargal, Ponmanachemmal Sri MGR Bakthargal, MGR Manithaneya mandram, Krishnagiri district. And fans from Madurai also attended the function.
When the crowd started to grow thick an elderly lady came to the venue. She came near a 6 feet placard which had a MGR image, she touched MGR’s feet and planted a kiss on MGR’s cheek and then entered to buy the ticket. Yukesh Babu told that her name is Meenatchi Ammal, she is above 60 years, working as a maid servant in and around Alwarpet. She will be present to all MGR movie release no matter were the shows are. When he questioned, were she is now coming from she told before the finish of Adimai Penn, Saithai Raj theatre. To us she is the greatest MGR Fan, when we compared with her attitude to MGR, Love to MGR and what we did to MGR? we are nothing. Ithayakani Vijayan let her free for the function.
The function started with a philosophical song “Acham enbathu Madamai” from the movie Mannathi Mannan. We stood silent for 2 minutes and also prayed for the soul of Vijayan to rest in peace, Vijayan MGR’s son in law who was killed recently by unidentified persons.
Most of the songs are philosophical, and some are ever green duet songs. We mostly listened to the songs and watched a person Sankar who enacted as MGR in front of us, and he also performed some antics of MGR. The crowd was ecstatic whenever MGR name was pronounced. Sathyaraj and Jeganathan are the first person to come to the stage. Sathyaraj told some incidents about MGR and how he felt when he saw the movie Ithayakani. He pointed to the 8 pictures fixed as a background all from different movies. He said can any other actor pose like this. We MGR fans does not need a full image of MGR to say from which film it is from, rather we only need a simple close up shot of MGR to tell which film it is from. There was loud applause when he told all the 8 picture name correctly.
Jeganathan told about MGR’s generosity, how he treats others when a function like Pongal comes on. Same silk shirt and dhoti will be given to all and MGR will shake hands when they release their hands from MGR, they will see a 100 rupee note folded into thin paper which is equivalent to 1 sovereign gold, (100 rupee worth is nowadays Rs.10,000/-) for each and everybody who works with him, his friends, his well wishers alike. The food he had given to me is the only reason that I am alive and healthy.
Mohan father of Jayam Ravi said that 2 tables are necessary for the success of a film one is story table, and another is editing table. The mistakes in story table can be rectified by editing table. MGR is a greatest technician I have seen. He has worked with MGR for 2 movies and one is Arasakattalai. MGR gave him good respect. He always give respect to technicians.
Director Balu Mahedra told about one important thing that there is no big news about the functioning of Fans club. But fans club which still functions after the death of the Actor is the greatest in the World. And MGR is one such Actor. Jayam Ravi told that presence of MGR is still felt. Even two year kids can identify MGR that is the greatness of MGR.
T.Rajendar was more emotional than any other person on stage. He said though he hated MGR first because he was a Tamil fanatic. But now he understood that MGR is the real person, real politician to live in this earth. He always thought about the Poor, worked for the Poor, and sacrificed his life to the poor. But look at other politicians are they worth as MGR, they swallow the funds, and live like Kings on peoples money. But MGR was not like that. He then pointed about other Actors who did not turn up to the function. He said that they are ‘Jalras’ because MGR is not alive, what is the use to attending the function, when they get something when attend to other functions of other Politicians and praising them. Even though they did not deserve that name.
When Vijayakumar entered the dais the bgm was from Nattamai. Vijayakumar told that I have worked with MGR in one film “Indru Pol Endrum Vazhga” In one function I was seated in the back, MGR noted that and pointed me to come forward, when I came near there was no extra seat without another thought MGR made me to sit in his laps for the entire function. He also told that MGR is infinity so as the party ADMK founded by MGR will be here for 200 years or more.
Director and Cameraman Thankar Bachan told about the important things in MGR movies and why he liked MGR movies. He also said that everyone has to follow the footsteps of MGR. One should respect his mother, should not drink and smoke and forgive the enemy. Actor Pandiarajan showed the photo of MGR with his family. And how MGR was shrewd and used the dress for the movies and which are always a fashion for the youth of those days. He gave an instance about the Bell bottom used by MGR in Meenava Nanban.
Raja Sulochana told about the generosity of MGR and his goodness towards other artist. Followed by Kusala kumari who acted as a heroine in Kundukili. She became emotional when she told about the way MGR looked at the welfare of other artists. She stopped the speech and said thanks to the crowd. She was consoled by others in the stage.
Mayilsamy told an incident about MGR and his hairdresser, who is a Muslim and always say ‘Allah’ (MGR also say Ellam Andavan Seyal and he was also called as Anadavan by many including Kali N.Rathinam those days) After nine years when the Hairdresser went to see MGR in 1985, he immediately identified and asked him childishly is Allah fine? Both were on tears. Recently Mayilsamy gave a donation of 25,000/- to a new temple and asked to inscribe his name adding MGR bakthan. He said he will give everything but not his life, because without life how he will serve MGR. He also told the difference between MGR and present day Great Actors who wanted to be MGR in politics, during lunch break they never mind what the crew had for lunch, when he questioned why they did not interested in finding out, they simply said what is the use to them? Whether they had food or not. There is a incident that MGR stopped the shooting of Nerum Nerupum movie, because one of the crew did not had good lunch.
The function ended by 10.30 pm. The crowed expects another function soon.