In a social media post on Monday night, Mammootty recounted their days in Chennai and their 40-year-old friendship
Mollywood actor Nedumudi Venu’s demise on Monday due to post COVID-19 complications, has left a pall of gloom in the industry. The veteran actor, who had been active in the industry for over 40 years, has been one of its most prolific artistes and has worked in over 500 films. He has also been elemental in the success of its current superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal.
Mammootty, on Monday night, had shared a poignant social media post recounting his memories with the actor, who he had first met during the shoot of Koumaram in 1981. They duo had stayed together in Madras.
“Venu was one who opened the doors for me to new sights, insights and worlds. Street play, music, traditional artforms, performing arts such as kathakali, koodiyattam, the way they are performed and the masters of these – he took me through so many subjects that I didn’t have knowledge of,” wrote Mammootty. “I didn’t know boredom during the time I spent with Venu. He would always have something new to talk about; all I had to tell him was about the small things that happened during my college days.”
Mammootty also talked about how they went together to Thiruvananthapuram in 1981 to receive the Kerala State Award for Best Actor for Nedumudi Venu and the Second Best Actor for himself, and came back to Ernakulam the next day, had breakfast and left to Thrissur to shoot Rachana.
The megastar reminisced about the days in 1983-84 where they stayed in a room in Madras. “Back then, the second Sunday was the only day we used to get a break from shooting. We would hire a cycle rickshaw for a day and get out in the morning. We used to do our shopping, go to a Malayali restaurant to hog Kerala food. Then we would return to the house after watching the matinee and second show,” wrote Mammootty.
He also recalled an instance when Venu had shouted at a production manager who had come to wake Mammootty early in the morning. “It was the time when I was doing 2-3 films at a time. The production manager didn’t know that I was shooting the entire night for a movie and had just gone to bed,” he wrote.
Mammootty also wrote about the times that Venu had helped him while they were shooting together. “During the afternoon breaks, I would lay a newspaper and take a short nap. After some time, the shade would have gone. There were several times when Venu would move me to another place,” he posted, also recounting an instance when Venu had carried him from a rocky place to the backseat of a car so he could rest comfortably.
The superstar, who had recently shared screen space with Venu in Bheeshmaparvam and Puzhu, talked about how during his 70th birthday last month, Venu’s wife Susheela had sent him a ‘kodimundu’ (new clothes) along with a letter. “He was an elder brother to me, a guide, a friend, an uncle who would advise, a father who loved me a lot; he was more to me than words can describe,” wrote Mammootty. “So, I can’t bid him farewell. Venu will always be there in my heart and every Malayalis’ hearts. The unmatched talent will shine on as a star that never fades.”
Mammootty had travelled from Ernakulam to Thiruvananthapuram on Monday night to pay respect to Venu.