Kollam Sudhi, who passed away in a car mishap on Monday morning, was not someone who found success easily. Though he debuted at a stage show several years ago, it did not turn out the way he imagined. Instead of claps and appreciation, the mimicry artist was rewarded with a garland made of slippers and also mud on his face.
During one of his interviews, the mimicry artist and actor recalled how he went blank on seeing a huge crowd on stage that day. He was a student at Kollam SN College then and had entered the stage during the local temple festival on the insistence of friends.
He added that the organisers were looking for someone like Kollam Siraj to perform. But since that was not possible, he was told to search for someone else. When he conveyed the information to his college friends, they suggested that he perform mimicry, since he would often imitate actor Mala, among others in front of them.
Since they wanted a team, four or five of his friends, including Sudhi, decided to do the show. The ideas was proposed to the concerned person and the team also received advance payment. “Soon the news spread that a famous team was coming to perform. There is a segment called ‘Maatta’ that is performed in the middle of two plays. That was what we were doing. It was the 10th festival, and the ground was packed with people. We were stylishly dressed in jubba and mundu. And we could hear people commenting that we looked unfamiliar,” he had once said.
However, Sudhi soon went blank on seeing the crowd and he could not utter a word. Soon someone threw some mud on his face. Those who were performing with Sudhi suggested that it would be a good idea to flee. Soon after, another person came on stage and put a garland of slippers on him. And there was nonstop jeering.
He recalled how he started shivering, literally. His parents and other family members were also present. His vision was blurred, but somehow he mustered the courage to run home. “From there, I could still hear the jeers. My parents were searching for me. After some time my friends came home in torn clothes. And they were wailing in pain as they were severely thrashed. Thankfully I managed to escape,” Sudhi had said.
However, it was the same crowd that eventually helped him grow to the stature of a celebrated mimicry artist. His fans are still unable to come to terms with his untimely death.