Sri MGR Year 96, 19th January, Saturday
One MGR Fan from Malaysia Sree Sitharan was friend of mine. Nearly a year back I saw his video Ulagam piranthathu in youtube, MGR song enacted by him then I contacted him and we became friends. We share our daily dose of MGR in facebook. He also made many contributions in our MGR blog like commenting and sending some images from MGR functions held in Malaysia.
Below is Sree Sitharan’s view of MGR from his own words.
We come across many people in our life – some are incidental and others are pertinent to our experience. But as we journey through in time, we tend to forget those moments, the people and the encounters. Here I must acknowledge that the only instants that have stayed for so long in my life are the philosophies and teachings of a man, a man born to lead by his acute personality as well as his portrayals on screen. That man is my dearest ‘Vathiar Makkal Thilagam MGR”. My fascination with MGR started at the age of 14, when my friend took me to a film for the very first time in my life as if destiny brought me to meet my “Thalaivar”. MGR appeared on the screen simultaneously entering my life through the movie “Deivathai”. The film and especially the song “Moondru Yezhuthil Yen Moochu” captured my thinking and attention as I was mesmerized by the emergence of my hero.
From that point onwards, I started to go for all the MGR’s movies. I pay great deal of attention to the details of MGR’s songs as I felt that whenever the songs are played, some great wisdom is delivered. As life went on, I too was carried away by the superficial joys of life from the habits of drinking and smoking. At the age of 25, a great change came into me when I watched the film “Oli Vilaku”. The song “Dairiyamaga” poked my conscience and I immediately abandon my bad habits. I can honestly say that my attitude and outlooks towards life is formed at that very moment in time. I am banished from cigarettes and liquor from then on and I have not gone back to such vices till now. MGR became my role model and a huge component in my life. The most beautiful day that I will never forget, will be the day when I met MGR personally and shake hand with him during the shooting of “Ulagam Sutrum Valiban” in the year 1970.
I admire his style and acting in films. My most favorite films are “Ayirathil Oruvan” and “Ulagam Sutrum Valiban”. I always strived to be like him, especially his portrayals in these films and in my attempts to embody the experience of being MGR, I ended up making short music videos. The most significant music video that I cherish deeply is “Ulagam Pirantha Enakage”. I have tried my level best to expose and enlighten my children with the philosophies and life of MGR. I as explain the meanings and context of each motivational songs of MGR, it has been instrumental for me to guide my children in the proper path of succeeding in life.
Today I am proud with the achievements of my children, thanks to my “Thalaivar”. The most significant moment of me thanking my hero came when I was in America for my son’s graduation. My son asked me “What do you want to see in America and what do you want to do here?” He promised that whatever my request might be, he would fulfill. With a great outburst of joy I told him that I wanted to sing and dance like my “Thalaivar” and you must record it. Initially my son hesitated but with the obligation to keep his promise, he agreed. I was running around dancing in the middle of San Francisco with the song “Puthiya Vanam Puthiya Bhoomi” playing in the background. It was truly a remarkable experience that later became a collaborative piece of video art that I created with my son. We did many other music videos together from then onwards.
This video clip is now in the permanent collection of a museum in Malaysia. Today, as my son made his career as a successful media artist in Malaysia, his collaboration with me – the beautiful, wonderful and potent songs of my “Thalaivar” has become a crucial video work that has become part of the national art heritage. Our collaborative video music are published, written about, researched and collected by official institutions. I am grateful to my MGR and I can go on to write pages after pages of instances where MGR has been (and still is) an all-inspiring beacon in my life. It’s never is enough to speak about “Thalaivar” and I hope this sincere confession will inspire many more generations to come - of the goodness and strength that I have gained from my hero.
Please Note: the use of video “Puthiya vanam puthiya bhoomi” is restricted by copyright. Thus I cannot supply a copy of the video with this text.
Book published with all the collaborative video works cited as part of my son’s solo exhibition.
Puthiya Vanam Puthiya Bhoomi video published in the book.
Exhibition of Puthiya Vanam Puthiya Bhoomi video in the museum’s gallery space.
Here is the video of MGR song he enacted. Ulagam Piranthathu Enakkaga.
He does not look like MGR but his creativity does.