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Vettaikaran Golden Jubilee

Golden Jubilee Padagotti

20 February 2007

Poets View of MGR

An Aroordhas Anecdote on MGR
Recently I provided a translation of an anecdote about movie maestro Sivaji Ganesan which had appeared in renowned Tamil movie script writer Aroordhas’s memoir book ‘Naan Muham Paartha Cinema Kannadigal [The Cinema Mirrors I have Looked At, Kalaignan Publishers, Chennai, 2002, 224 pages]. Here I provide the translation of another anecdote recollected by Aroordhas in this book, but on M.G.Ramachandran (MGR), whose 89th birthday was on January 17th.
It is a well known fact that MGR was born in Kandy for an Indian immigrant couple in 1917. Aroordhas had visited Kandy nearly six decades later, when the shooting for Pilot Premnath movie starring Sivaji Ganesan took place in Kandy. Here follows Aroordhas’s anecdote [pp. 33-34], in my English translation:
“When the shooting for ‘Pilot Premnath’ movie took place in Kandy, I grapped a handful of soil from that city and filled it in a plastic vial. After returning to Chennai, I met MGR.‘Elder, I’m offering you a gift now, which othes might not have given it for you until now.”‘Is that so? May I know what is it?’‘Will you open your palm?’[MGR] offered his palm.I placed that particular plastic vial in his sandal wood-colored palm.‘What’s this? Soil?’‘Yes of course. This is your birth soil. I collected this from Kandy, and brought it especially for you’, I explained. When MGR heard this, he became so emotional and touched both his eyes with that vial.He opened the lid of the vial. Like picking the holy ash (viboothi), he pinched a little of the soil by his thumb and index finger, and placed it in his mouth. Then he applied a little soil onto his head as well.I saw both his eyes were welled [with tears]. Like a child, he asked me, ‘Can I keep this vial?’I replied, ‘Elder, what are you talking? I brought this especially for you.’‘Thank you. I’ll keep this gift forever with care.’ he said and grapped my hands.”
For further reading and viewing Videos of MGR http://www.tamilnation.org/hundredtamils/mgr.htm

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