'Harish Pengan was not an alcoholic.' Line producer posts note clarifying rumours surrounding actor's death

During the last few days, several of Harish's friends had requested monetary help for his treatment on mainstream media and social media. Photo: Facebook

A friend’s moving tribute to actor Harish Pengan who passed away on Tuesday is making the rounds on social media. In a heartfelt note on social media, line producer and director Manoj K Varghese spoke about the actor's final days prior to his hospitalisation. He also negated the rumours that Harish was an alcoholic.

“We were sitting at home and chatting till 2 pm. Then he left for Ernakulam to finish some dubbing work. On the way since he had stomach ache he got admitted to Amritha Hospital. Till then he showed no symptoms of a liver ailment. I saw many comments hinting that he was an alcoholic, but I can say with certainty that he wasn’t,” says Manoj.

“There are two sides to every story. During the last few days, a lot of his friends had requested monetary help for his treatment on mainstream media and social media. As someone who also posted a request, I would like to clarify a few things. Harish, whom I have known for the last 40 years, hails from my town. For us, he is our dear friend Hari. That day before leaving for Ernakulam to finish some dubbing work, we were chatting at our home till 2 pm. On the way, he started complaining of a stomach ailment following which, he got admitted to Amrita Hospital. Till then he had shown no symptoms of liver ailment. I can say with certainty that Hari wasn’t an alcoholic,” says Manoj.

Manoj also explained why AMMA did not help Harish, when he and the actor's friends and colleagues started seeking monetary help for his treatment.

“We know that every organisation works according to certain rules and regulations. Harish wasn’t a part of AMMA. Therefore the organisation has certain constraints when it comes to offering financial help to Harish. Idavela Babu chettan also spoke to us regarding the norms. Those who are part of the organisation can help independently and it was heartening to see his colleagues and some of the technicians who have worked with him coming forward to help him,” he wrote.

He added that Harish was never a rebel. “Those who know him closely will also be aware that Harish wasn’t a rebel who refused to be part of any organization. He didn’t have enough money to take a membership. So you can imagine his financial condition. That is true of artists like Harish who do character roles in Malayalam cinema. Harish owns five cents of land (that land is also mortgaged to the bank) and a small tea shop,” Manoj wrote.

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