He has a penchant for theatre and films

Rani Devalla
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Tamil actor Y. Gee is more popular as a drama artiste though he acted in 300 films

Y.G. Mahendra of United Amateur Artists, Chennai, during an interaction with The Hindu in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
Y.G. Mahendra of United Amateur Artists, Chennai, during an interaction with The Hindu in Visakhapatnam on Friday.

Ever wondered how some people manage to look young and graceful even in their early 60s? The secret, they say, lies in loving what they do.

At 63, Y. Gee. Mahendra, a stage artiste, comedian and an actor, looks enviably young. The artiste has a different reason to say: “Healthy body is a reflection of healthy mind. I love entertaining others and that keeps me occupied. Moreover, it doesn’t matter if you don’t do anything great for humanity. But as far as possible do not harm others. When your mind is filled with negative thoughts, you tend to look older than your age.”

During his recent visit to the port city to stage his plays under the banner ‘Tamil Nadaga Vizha 2013’, the versatile actor says how the troupe -- United Amateur Artists (UAA) -- has become part of his soul. “Right from my childhood, my life revolved around theatre arts. My father, Y.G. Parthasarathy, initiated the troupe in 1952. Eventually, it became an avenue to hone acting skills for many top artistes like Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, her mother and aunt Sandhya and Vidhya, comedians Cho Ramaswamy and Nagesh, actors Ragini, Sukumari, Lakshmi, Vaishnavi, Chandra Mouli, Visu and several others. Ours is the only drama troupe that is surviving over six decades,” he says with pride.

Y.Gee. Mahendra’s stage life dates back to 1961. Apparently, he made an entry into the world of cinema in 1971. Although he acted in more than 300-odd films, he is more popular as a drama artiste.

Charming city

Speaking about the city, he says: “I find Vizag absolutely charming and have been associated with quite a few friends over here. This is the third time our troupe is performing in Vizag.”

About his friends, Y.Gee says, “Superstar Rajinikanth’s sister and my wife are sisters. Personally, Rajini is a very good friend of mine. Despite his unfaltering stardom, he is the most level-headed person I have ever come across. He never gets carried away by success. Whereas, Kamal Haasan and I share a very good rapport and we hit it off instantly onscreen. He is probably one of the best actors in the country after Sivaji Ganesan.”

Recently, he acted in Tamil films -- ‘Yuddham Sei’ as a villain and played a cameo role in ‘Thalaivaa’. With ‘Megha’, ‘Irukku Ana Illa’, ‘Ramanujan’ (Tamil and English), ‘Sri Ramanujar’ and two other untitled Tamil films on the cards, Mahendra says that he is busy both as an actor and as a stage artiste.



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