Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yet another loss - VENU NAGAVALLI

I had just finished posting my memoirs about Tamil Actor Murali, this morning and picked up the newspaper only to find the headline that my friend Malayalam Actor, Writer & Director Venu Nagavalli passed away around 1.30 AM ! What a tragedy of losing friends one after another and to write about them in continuation! But only by sharing your grief, letting it out you can unburden yourself and remain sane. I just returned from the VJT Hall where his mortal remains were kept for people to pay their respects and last farewell.

Ever since he had acted in K.G.George's film ULKADAL, I had known him but he had acted in my three films only, that too all Directed by K.G.George and outstanding ones : KOLANGAL, YAVANIKA and ADAMINTE VARIYELLU. Because of his image as forsaken lover image in his first film ULKADAL, people think he is a sad person. Though he is soft spoken and calm by nature he opens up his humorous side in the company of friends. Even though we haven't worked together for a long time we used to meet on several occasions and renewed our friendship. In 1983 , he attended my marriage at Kollam along with P.A.Latheef ( who is also no more, now) and given below is a photo taken on that occasion.

Myself, Venu and P.A.Latheef

In the end scene of KOLANGAL, the character played by Venu sets fire to his hut and departs the village. The hut was erected in the Chitraleka Film Co-operative studio complex and the scene was planned to be shot late in the evening so that the fire will be dramatic against a darkening sky. Being the end shot of the film, the camera was set for a long shot to show thw whole hut and the scenery behind. The hut made of palm leaves and straw had to be sprinkled with petrol so that it will catch fire when lighted, immediately without any time lag. The art department guys in their enthusiasm sprinkled a whole can of petrol all over the hut.

With camera rolling, Venu put a lighted torch on to the hut and there was a fire ball and the hut exploded in flames! Fortunately Venu backed off in time, otherwise he would have been badly burnt by the fire. What had happened was the petrol was sprinkled much in advance and had vapourised in to an inflammable mixture and the moment it was lighted it turned into a fireball. We then re-erected the set the next day and re-shot the scene with care!

Thus he had a miraculous escape many years back and managed to give us many memorable Malayalam films. But now death had caught up and snatched him away.

I very much miss him and his films.

I pray for his Soul to rest In Peace along with his family and friends

1 comment:

  1. Hi Babuetaa I gone through all of u r bloge. From here after I am u r regular reader.. thank u.. Kshrikuttan. My mail ID my site