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Actor who never gave up theatre despite the lure of filmdom

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Rajan P. Dev
Rajan P. Dev

His father, a well known stage actor, was perhaps a big influence in

Rajan P. Dev’s life.

For someone who had made such a significant presence in films, theatre continued to hold his interest till the end. He never forgot the road he travelled to success, said Francis J. Mavelikkara, playwright and director who was associated with Rajan P. Dev in his theatrical mission with Jubilee Theatres.

He had come up doing N. N. Pillai’s plays, and was born in a theatre family as his father, S. J. Dev, a well known stage actor, was perhaps a big influence.

It was as a tribute for his father and mother Kuttiamma, that he had a fixation to name the title of his plays starting with the sound ‘a’ as in achan and amma — as if to offer everything that he had achieved since he could not give them the accolades when they were alive.

Mr. Mavelikkara could not help but recall the time when the late actor had called him up and asked him why he had not called for some time. “When I told him that his number had somehow got deleted from the mobile, he replied that his life itself was getting deleted.” The last play of the Jubilee Theatre was staged on July 12 at the Regional Theatre, Thrissur, for which the lyrics and music was also done by Rajan P. Dev, said Mr. Mavelikkara. It was a satire titled Amminipuram Gramapanchayat.

His commitment to theatre was steadfast even though he earned not a penny from it, said the playwright. He would spend a lot of time to it, he added. “My association with Rajan started from 1987 since Ente Mamatikuttiammayku, when I was assisting Fazil with the film,” said Sibi Malayil. “We had maintained a good relationship over all these years”, he added.

Thampi Kananthanam, director, said that he was lucky to have Rajan for the role of Carlos in Indrajalam. He did the character with such ease, said the director. In fact, he fitted himself into any role — villain or otherwise with such ease and there was never any grouse about any role that was offered to him. Director Siddique said that perhaps the first film in which he dons the role of a villain with humour is Pappan Priyapetta Pappan.

“I had not done any film with him but he was always very cordial and considerate, and would always ask about my family.”

Shyama Rajagopal

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