After a hiatus of 16 years, veteran politician K.R. Gouri was back on Thursday at the AKG Centre, here. To be precise, at the AKG memorial hall at the basement of the State party headquarters of the CPI(M).

It was a hearty welcome that awaited her, with CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan at the forefront of Left leaders who ushered her into the hall. The occasion was the inauguration of Vasanthathinte Kanalvazhikalil, a feature film which seeks to portray revolutionary leaders who made a lasting impact on the history of Kerala. The film project was launched by Mr. Vijayan in the presence of Ms. Gouri. The film, written and directed by Amil V. Nagendran, will be shot on locations in Kollam and Palakkad in November and December. Tamil actor Samudrakkani will play role of communist leader P. Krishna Pillai in the movie.

Mr. Balakrishnan, Mr. Vijayan and Ms. Gouri sat huddled in conversation for some length of time at the programme. Speaking at the launch ceremony, Mr. Vijayan said it was the communist movement which gave common people the strength to question the existing system of things.

As Ms. Gouri prepared to leave after spending close to two hours at the hall, Mr. Vijayan asked her whether she would like to go upstairs to the AKG Centre proper. She reportedly replied that she would come another day. CPI leader C. Divakaran, filmmaker K. Madhu and musician Perumbavoor G. Raveendranath were among those present on the occasion. Ms. Gouri’s surprise appearance evoked some interest because of the persistent rumour that she wished to return to the CPI(M). She has brushed aside any such possibility whenever reporters raised the issue with her, but the rumours have persisted.

The sweet welcome that she received at the AKG Centre could not but have triggered waves upon waves of memories in the elder stateswoman who had had a bitter parting with the party when V.S. Achuthanandan was the party State secretary.

Of late, she has been heard speaking with a little warmth about the CPI(M) and its inner worries and this had given rise to the speculation that she might perhaps be getting ready to return to the party at the fag end of her political career.