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Different facets of a veteran

B. RAMADEVI

Actor Sivakumar's recent power point presentation at the Pollachi Thamizhisai Sangam, was a rewarding experience.

Photo: M. Balaji.

Sivakumar.

Actor Sivakumar is also a painter, speaker and writer. The Pollachi public got to see these other faces of the Markandeya of Tamil cinema at his power-point presentation at Mahatma Gandhi Mandapam, Pollachi, in connection with the 35th anniversary of the Pollachi Thamizhisai Sangham. He was tracing the various phases of Tamil cinema during the 40 years he has been associated with it.

He began with a quick rewind of his life as a young boy from a village near Coimbatore, his experiences as an artist and his struggle to get a foothold in films. His drawings and paintings came alive on the screen and his compelling narration included enjoyable and moving anecdotes. Whether it was the innocent face of the chubby baby or the wrinkled face of the Mahatma, the magnificence of the Thanjavur temple or the action packed canvas portraying an agitation (with 127 people in it), Sivakumar the actor disappeared to allow people to see Sivakumar, the artist. There were lovely landscapes, telling portraits and detailed line drawings.Before delving into his experiences as an actor, he painted a glowing verbal portrait of S. S. Vasan and A. V. Meyyappa Chettiar. The clippings from `Avvaiyar'in which a large number of wild elephants march towards a castle spoke eloquently of the capability of the filmmakers with limited, un-sophisticated technology.

According to him there has never been and never will be an actor like Sivaji Ganesan. With no one to follow as a model Sivaji perfected each role with his expressive body language and perfect dialogue delivery. Along with his proverbial generosity, MGR was also a man of iron will and perseverance, he said. After reciting `Orumaiyudan Ninadhu Thirumalaradi' and a passage from `Panchali Sabatham', Sivakumar showed how Ramalinga Vallalar and Bharathiar have simplified Tamil and added to its charm. He was full of admiration for Kannadasan's immortal lyrics. His memory power is enviable.

The clippings from `Uyarndha Manidhan' and `Sindhu Bhairavi' were a study in contrast. In the former Sivakumar was innocent and boyish whereas in Sindhu Bhairavi he had matured into an intense actor.

Sivakumar struck the right balance between visual presentation and narration making each complement or supplement the other. Listening to the veteran actor was like reading a handful of worthy books. The lengthy function that preceded his programme reduced the time allotted to him, but he managed to lend completeness to it with his relevant, humorous and chatty presentation.

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