Actress Manju Warrier who shared a strong bond with actor-politician Innocent fondly remembers the long conversations she had with the veteran actor. According to her, he would regale her with stories from the past.
“Whenever I see Innocent uncle’s name on my phone screen, I immediately plug my earphones and move away from the crowd. His calls were that entertaining, and I would be laughing non-stop at the other end. Sometimes it would go on for hours. If he thinks I am disturbed about something, he will avoid that and tell me other stories. And If he asks me if I have heard them before, I will say no, just so that I can listen to them over and over again,” she said.
Manju revealed that Innocent had called her when she was in Dubai last month. “A month ago, he called me when I was in Dubai. I could feel a bit of tiredness in his voice. He spoke about having difficulty walking and about forgetting things. After listening to him for some time I asked him if he was weaving stories or telling something seriously. But when he said he seriously was finding it difficult to walk, I was shocked,” she said.
She also revealed that she and her brother Madhu, visited Innocent's home in Irinjalakuda after returning from Dubai. “Though he was quite tired, he kept on talking. He had so many stories to tell as always. When he said he can't speak like that to everyone I was thrilled. Because I realised that I was one of those few people whom Innocent uncle could tell everything. And that made me very happy,” she shared.
She added that he had started forgetting a story midway. “He would forget a story midway. When the conversation diverted to other things though he started narrating the same story two or three times, he would somehow forget at the same point. That’s when he said that he was getting old and that he was beginning to forget things. So I said I will be back next week to hear the same story. For the first time, I could see some sadness in his eyes. When my father who had cancer was on the verge of death, I had seen the same sadness in his eyes. But he was a fighter, and always kept his head high. So there was a natural disappointment for someone like that when he feels tired. Similarly, Innocent Uncle stood everywhere with his head high. He would invite me home when there was some festival (Pindi perunnal). He would always ask me when I would be coming, not are you coming? And there was some special happiness in going to his house,” she said.
“When I told him that I had purchased a bike, he reminded me that we had ridden a scooter during ‘Ennum Eppozhum.’ And we laughed a lot recalling that incident. Before ending the call, he told me to be careful while riding the bike. That was also his last words to me,” the actress recalls.