Mamukkoya cherished his association with new-age Malayalam cinema

Mamukkoya. File photo: Manorama

When most of his peers lamented about the lack of opportunities in the 'new-age' Malayalam cinema, Mamukkoya often said that he never had that problem working with the new crop of actors and directors.

He was quick to adjust to the new trends and most of his films during the later part of his career were with young directors and actors.

He always believed that cinema reflected society and vice versa. “We, as a society, seem to be interested in hate politics now. If they start investing in religious and caste politics, there won’t be any future. We need to self-reflect as a society,” he once said, in an interview with Manoramaonline.

He said he had a lot of hope for today's youth and said he didn't believe in such petty politics.

Mamukkoya's humour was also spot on, both in reel and real life. He once stunned everyone when he appeared as a freak, wearing a T-shirt and Bermuda trousers.

The internet trolls celebrated him and Mamukkoya was never offended by it. "That's because in my mind I am still a 22-year-old youngster," he said. Very few actors could balance humour and serious characters with such flair the way Mammukoya did.

That he was in tune with the changing times was evident when he collaborated with writer-director Muhsin Parari in two of his music albums that spoke against terrorism.

“World is talking about terrorism. But is anyone interested to find out the root cause of it? At an Australian airport, I was made to wait for four hours. My suitcase contained some medicines and a few clothes. I know I was targeted because of my religion. You have to go through such experiences in many places. Even (the late Indian president) Dr (APJ) Abdul Kalam had a similar experience. Even Obama had to apologise. Is it because I have a Muslim name on my passport?” he asked then.

He was also very passionate about the issues around him. The actor was also very concerned about the way Dalits are treated in the country. "We must have equality. We should learn to love and serve each other. I believe that is my duty,” he had said.

Mamukkoya empathised with his peers who said they didn’t get enough roles. “The concern is natural as acting is what we live for. So, when we don’t get enough roles, it is very sad.”

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