“My children would often tell me to take rest and not go for film shoots at faraway locations. But my wish is to act till I die. I am someone who believes that however famous your children are, you should work till your last breath,”- this was what VP Khalid told Manorama online during a lockdown interview while sitting at his Fort Kochi home.
His words turned out to be prophetic as he died of a heart attack during the middle of a film shoot at Vaikom. He leaves behind a lot of memorable characters.
Initially, Kochiites used to call him Cochin Nagesh. This was the name given by Father Mathew Kothakathu to a young boy who would do stylish record dance. This was his identity when he would roam around in his cycle. But surprisingly it was his performance as Sumesh in the comedy satire 'Marimayam' that turned him into a household name. And he is also known as the father of cinematographer Shyju Khalid, Khalid Rahman, and Jhimsi Khalid.
He has four sons and a daughter. It was his eldest son Shaji who introduced him to films. It was Shaji who taught his brothers about cameras and initiated them into the world of cinema. But Shaji died in 2012. Shyju Khalid, Khalid Rahman, and Jhimsi Khalid entered cinema after that. Even after his sons attained fame, Khalid wasn’t ready to ask them for opportunities. “I will find my way and they should find their way,” was his constant refrain.
“I don’t ask for opportunities. If they call, I will go and act. On the sets, I am not their father, just an actor. They will do their job and I will do mine.”
Maybe you won’t find another house in Kochi filled with so many film people. The father and three sons are part of cinema. “I am very proud of that. If I die tomorrow I won't have any regrets. The name I got through cinema will always remain.” Yes, Malayalees will never forget Marimayam Sumesh or his toothy grin!