The untimely demise of actor Kalabhavan Mani has shaken everyone in the Malayalam film industry, where he was most active.
Among the numerous messages posted by actors on social media on Mani’s death, the one written by actress Manju Warrier is perhaps the most heartrending.
This is the translation of the message Warrier wrote in Malayalam on her Facebook account:
“That day, Mani chettan (chettan is Malayalam for elder brother), sitting above and looking at me, sang ‘Thangabhasma kuriyitta thamburatti’. That was our first meeting in ‘Sallapam’. But before that, I have listened to his mimicry cassettes and laughed a lot. My father and mother loved him more. Apart from the honour of giving me the lead actress role, Sallapam gave me the joy of working with him. I was happy that I could laugh a lot.
Mani chettan was with me in a lot of movies. Those were the days of celebration. He would teach me how to sing folk songs and how to imitate actors, those were joyful days. I used to think then that Mani chettan took birth only to make other people smile. I later realized that it was because he has cried a lot in life that he could make other people happy.
Also read: Five best performances of Kalabhavan Mani
In a lot of personal circumstances, Mani chettan has stood alongside me. In those times, I have realized the goodness of that soul.
Also read: Malayalam actor Kalabhavan dead
Yesterday, Mani chettan made me cry for the first time. When the people, who make us laugh, compel us to cry, the pain and sorrow is greater.
In that last moment, Mani chettan is sitting above but he is not singing. He is looking down below and smiling.”