Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sukumari Amma - A Mother's touch in Malayalam Cinema

Sukumari amma always comes to the set with a smile on her face and hands out  prasadams from the temples she had visited earlier, greeting everybody  from the light man to the director. Her presence on the set brings an atmosphere of  homeliness as well as holiness on the sets. Many film makers insisted that Sukumari amma  should face the camera in the very first Pooja Shot of their films as they believed that it will bring them good luck and  success. To an extent it was true and most of such films became Hits or Super hits. Same was true of the countless shops and establishments she had inaugurated. She had no airs about being a busy and well known actress and mingled freely with everybody right from the production boy to the Superstar. On the location, if there is no chair available she will just sit on the floor or any available space unlike others who want caravans.  She will eat whatever food was available and also serve dishes to others sitting along with her. Though she was very busy acting in number of films in different  places, going from set to set like Jagathy Sreekumar, there never was a complaint that the shooting was delayed because of her. She had a good eye for talent spotting and through her recommendation many were able make their debut in the film industry.

She had the old world charm of dedication to her art as an artist and was always serious about her profession. During lighting many of the  actors do not come and be in their positions for adjusting the lights. So some stand-ins like assistant cameraman or clapper person are made to stay in position and the lights are arranged. When the actor  finally arrives from the caravan, again some more modifications are to be made to suit the facial structure, skin tone, colour of the dress etc. and this causes further delay.

But a senior artiste like Sukumari amma even in her advanced age,  will insist on being in the set and stay for the lighting, saying it is her face that is going to be on the screen and not the stand-in's. Even at an advanced age she used to stand for a long time for the lighting to be done. That was her sense professionalism and dedication. During my association with her, right from Director Jesy's AGNIPUSHPAM (1976) till Asok R Nath's MIZHIGAL SAAKSHI (2008)  and on several other occasions later, she had the same affection and consideration towards me. She gave such an wonderful performance in the film MIZHIGAL SAAKSHI  we all thought that she will get the National Award and State Award for her role. But unfortunately it went to other less deserving persons.

On the sets of Mizhigal Saakshi - Mohan Lal, Sukumari and Me

United with her Lord ( Mizhigal Saakshi)
She is so devoted a person, that she started her last journey to unite with the Lord from her Puja room. I humbly offer my prayers  for this great soul to Rest in Peace.

1 comment:

  1. Shows how good artistes are reminisced, for their simplicity and earthly gestures in the spirit of teamwork. Caravans and egos get buried together. Thanks for sharing that contrast.