At a particular spot on the Thrissur-Mannuthy Bypass junction, passersby and motorists slow down and take a look. Some pause and read thoroughly. Many are bent on taking selfies.
The centre of attraction is a bus stop, a memorial to Jayan, arguably Malayalam cinema’s first action hero. The facility, named ‘Jayatharakam,’ was built by the All Kerala Jayan Memorial Samskarika Vedi and was opened on August 6. Since then it has been attracting Jayan fans from across the State.
Like a Wiki page
The bus stop, built at ₹2.5 lakh, is almost like a Wikipedia page of the actor. Photos from 119 films (three are unreleased) featuring him are on display. There are also descriptions of the films which he was working on at the time of his death. They had to be shelved.
Even 42 years after the untimely death of the actor, the characters portrayed by him are still alive in the minds of people, say Jayan Memorial Samskarika Vedi members.
His unique dialogue delivery, often imitated but poorly duplicated; the daredevil stunt sequences; and his bell-bottoms, then very much in vogue; have gained him fans transcending generations. In his career spanning less than a decade he did around 150 films, including many blockbusters. It is said that Jayan used to perform his daredevil sequences without a stunt double, which claimed his life at the age of 41 in 1980 during the shooting of film Kolilakkam.
“We planned such a memorial after his house in Kollam was demolished. No matter how many artistes try to imitate his style and mannerisms, there will be only one Jayan. People from across the State supported us by sharing photos and information about their hero,” say Samskarika Vedi workers.