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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Gopal Palpodi...A popular Ad in the seventies...

A snippet about my father, Mr. S Ramanathan... "India,Ilangai,Malaysia,Singapore mudhaliya naadugalil makkalin peraadharavai petradhu, Gopal Parpodi..Parkalai Muthu Pol Prakasikka seivadhu Gopal Parpodi...." This was the first Ad to be broadcast when Vividh Bharathi, was started by All India Radio, Madras in the 70s. It was so popular because of the commanding voice over by Mr. S Ramanathan that Mr. Cho Ramaswamy imitated it in his stage play Muhammed Bin Tughlak. Fans of Vividh Bharathi, Madras, can never ever forget this Ad nor the bold voice of Mr. Ramanathan. The Ad was made by L.R.Narayanan of L R Swami (Building).

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dedicated to my dear father...S RAMANATHAN

Mr. S RAMANATHAN was a prominent Malay Film Director in the early 1950s. He worked under the famous producers, the Shaw Brothers of Hong Kong. He directed 18 Malay films in eight years from 1950 to 1957.

KEMBAR was the first Malay Film directed by Mr. Ramanathan in 1950. He introduced MARIAM as the heroine and M. AMIN as the hero. MARIAM played the double role of the twin sisters (KEMBAR) and she rose to stardom later in the Malay film industry. KEMBAR was noted for the MASK photography, and split frame technique and Mr. Ramanathan gave credit to his cinematographer, KOH JEE SOON for these special effects which were new in the Malay filmdom.
KEMBAR was completed in 21 days at the cost of Malaysian Ringgit 64000 and all these happened in 1950, 64 years ago…

PANGGILAN PULAU was released in 1954. When the production cost and duration of schedules went up to high levels, RUN RUN SHAW called Mr. Ramanathan and admonished him as the cost had rose to nearly $117000 and asked if he were to close his studio. This admonition made Mr. Ramanathan take a challenge and his next two films, KECHEWA and JASA were made simultaneously with the same set of artists and technicians in both the films and thereby he reduced the cost as well as the shooting schedules considerably. This earned him the appreciation of the SHAW BROTHERS.

Mr. RAMANATHAN’s last MALAY film was BELANTARA made in 1957. NORMADIAH played the role of a female Tarzan living in the jungle with her father and an elephant and a python for company. Then the hero enters from the outside world, played by NORDIN AHMED. Music is by P RAMLEE.

IBU was a great hit with the film goers and P RAMLEE plays the hero as a trumpeter. Rosnani plays the heroine. Mr. Ramanathan has played a noticeable role as TONY SAMSON, the kind hearted manager who employs the hero as a trumpeter in his band.

The eighteen films made by Mr. RAMANATHAN in 8 years are:

KEMBAR (Twin sisters) in 1950 Mariam & M Amin

JUWITA in 1951 P Ramlee & Kasma Booty

SEDARAH in 1952 P Ramlee & Rosnani  

IBU in 1953 P Ramlee & Rosnani  


KIPAS HIKMAT (The Magic Hat) in 1955 Yusof Latiff

CHEMBURU in 1953 Yusof Latiff, Rosnani & Mariam

KECHEWA in 1954

JASA in 1954


BERNODA in 1955


JIWA LARA in 1952

BERDOSA in 1951


MANUSIA in 1951

SANGSARA in 1953


Mr. Ramanathan was also a playwright and freelance writer. He had written many plays in TAMIL for All India Radio, Chennai(then known as MADRAS), in the 70s and 80s. He was also an auditioned actor in All India Radio. He had also acted in hundreds of radio plays in Radio Malaysia and Singapore in the 50s.

Mr. Ramanathan was a versatile actor on stage too. His played the role of Macduff in Macbeth in the British council with the Madras Players. Mr. P C Ramakrishna played Macbeth and it was interesting to watch the sword fight between the two characters on stage in the BC Auditorium.

Mr. Ramanathan's acting was appreciated in Harold Pinter's OLD TIMES in the British Council. He donned the main role of Deeley while he was supported by Ms Bhageerathi and Ms Vishalam in pivotal roles.

My father Mr. Ramanathan was born on the 15th December, 1919 and lived upto the 7th of May,1999. I dedicate this post to his memory on the occasion of his 95th birth anniversary...There is more and more to write about him and I shall do it in the coming days...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Marriages made in heaven...

Are marriages made in heaven ?

This is the story of a real life couple separated forever by ???

Ilavarasan and Divya were two youngsters in love with each other in Dharmapuri in Tamilnadu. The girl belonged to an upper caste (OBC) while the boy was a Dalit, shunned by the so called upper castes. Knowing that their union will be opposed by their parents and relatives, the couple got married in November 2012. The boy's parents accepted the girl and all was well with them. But the girl's father allegedly pressurized by political party of their caste, pleaded with girl to return home. But as the girl was unwilling to desert her love, the father took the extreme step of committing suicide. He was ashamed to face the world and his relatives and society. His death created great violence in the town. Many of the homes of the dalits in the town were destroyed and burnt and many buses were also destroyed. Total communal riots and violence shattered the peace of many.

The girl who was leading a happy married life in her in-law's place, was threatened by her mother and brother and was accused of being the cause of her father's death. The mother seemed to have made emotional blackmail saying that she too would end her life if the girl did not desert her husband. Despite her love for her husband, Divya was forced to leave him and she declared in Court that to compensate the loss of her father's life and to console her mother and brother, she would leave her husband forever and live with her mother.

This upset Ilavarasan and his family and they wanted to challenge the court order. The very next day, the boy's body was found near the railway track. While it is reported that he committed suicide unable to bear Divya's decision, the boy's family suspects a foul play in his death and refuses to take back the body unless an autopsy was done to their satisfaction. Meanwhile a suicide note allegedly written by Ilavarasan has been found.

Tamilnadu is a state proud of its Tamil culture and heritage and of great Tamil poets like Bharathiar. Bharathiar was a poet who not only stood for the freedom of our Nation, but also voiced loudly for the emancipation of women who were dominated by the male population. He also wanted equality among fellow beings without any caste or creed dividing them. His famous lines in the poem Odi vilayadu paappa say "Jathigal Illai adi paappaa" ie "there are no castes, dear children". Though we praise the great Tamil poet and his songs, we do not follow what he taught us.

It is a pity that hearts which become fond of each other are forcefully separated in the name of caste and religion. Here I would like to ask these people who politicize such incidents and who question the caste of innocent youngsters who are separated by untimely death or divorce : If someone in the families of the so called upper caste is on his death bed or is in need of blood, do they ever question the donor to which caste he belongs to before accepting his blood or organ? Then why do they not change their attitude when it comes to inter caste marriages? 

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