An irreplaceable loss! Remembering actor Sukumaran on 25th death anniversary

Sukumaran sir always called a spade by its name and fearlessly expressed his opinions, writes Siddhu (right). Photo: Manoramaonline

It has been 25 years. How time flies! The children have come out of their parent’s shadow and have learned to fly high. And the mother can’t be happier. But for Mallika Sukumaran, that void will always remain unfulfilled. It was hard to recover from his sudden death which left her shattered and helpless. Although Sukumaran had thoughtfully left behind enough finances to keep them going, life has never been the same for Mallika ever since her husband’s death.

1997, June 16th was that cursed day when Malayalam cinema lost Sukumaran and a family lost their beloved. The next day’s newspapers carried a headline in which superstar Mammootty was asking-“Who was he to me?” This is also the question I keep asking myself. “Who was he to me?” During my initial days when I wandered around with only cinema in my dreams, I didn’t know whom to approach. Soon enough I realized that there were heavy iron gates between the cinema and a newcomer like me. It looked impenetrable.

I would still walk around Kodambakkam, hoping that one day the gates of AVM will open for me. Those were the days when I would be living in a tiny rented room. That’s when a God appeared in front of me.

Who is God to you? Mata Pita Guru Daiwan—that’s what we have been taught since childhood. God can appear in the form of food in front of a hungry man. A man who shows us a way to live or gives us an opportunity can be called a Guru. If that is the yardstick, then Sukumaran sir is my God. That’s what he was always to me. At Ashok Nagar’s Ram Colony No 24, I met my God.

Sukumaran sir always called a spade by its name and fearlessly expressed his opinions. He was known as the dialogue star thanks to his impeccable dialogue delivery. A jovial, loving husband and father and a family man who saved for a rainy day. It was unfortunate that such a great man passed at the age of 49. And Mallika chechi despite the trauma of his loss, bravely took over her family. She was the driving force behind Prithviraj Sukumaran and Indrajith Sukumaran.

As these two stars reached the zenith of their glory, their father must be beaming from heaven. Indrajith has proved now and again his versatility as an actor. And Prithviraj Sukumaran apart from being a successful actor is also one of the most sought-after directors in Malayalam cinema today. Sukumaran cannot be more proud!

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