KERALA

Mohanlal steals the show

Riveted: The crowd that gathered at Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium in the city for the inaugural day programme of Kerala Tourism’s State-level Onam celebrations on Tuesday.

Riveted: The crowd that gathered at Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium in the city for the inaugural day programme of Kerala Tourism’s State-level Onam celebrations on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: S. Gopakumar

Staff Reporter

Actor anchors inaugural day programme of Onam week fete

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Mohanlal, actor, who was honoured at the inaugural function of the State-level week-long Onam celebrations of Kerala Tourism at Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium here on Tuesday evening, stole the limelight at the venue.

The inaugural ceremony was followed by a mega show, ‘Nannipoorvam Mohanlal,’ anchored by the actor. The three-hour programme was a musical journey through three decades of the actor’s film career starting from the film Thiranottam.

Noted dancers who shared the screen with the actor and singers participated in the programme directed by Rajeev Kumar.

In between, all came to know of a little kept secret — that Manian Pillai Raju, fellow actor, was the first makeup man of Mohanlal as he used to apply greasepaint on the latter for plays during their days in the Government Model High School here.

The actor, who arrived well in advance at the venue, was the cynosure of all eyes. The young and old were seen clicking away with their cellphones and cameras to capture some shots of the actor. News camerapersons made use of the opportunity to frame the actor, clad in a dhoti and an off-white silk kurta, in close quarters.

Mohanlal did not disappoint the children who managed to sneak into the VIP enclosure seeking his autograph. He was seen engrossed in conversation with Raju till Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and other VIPs arrived. The Chief Minister and his wife, Vasumathi, exchanged pleasantries with the actor. Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Water Resources Minister N.K. Premachandran greeted the actor.

The very mention of the actor’s name by the compere and later by the chairman of the organising committee, V. Sivankutty, MLA, led to a big applause from the audience. The fans of the actor acted as a cheering squad whenever the name of the actor was mentioned.

Probably, judging the mood of the audience and fans, Law Minister M. Vijayakumar, Mr. Premachandran, Mayor C. Jayan Babu, district panchayat president Anavoor Nagappan, V. Surendran Pillai, MLA, and Cherian Philip, Chairman of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, just offered greetings instead of speeches.

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who presided over the function, said the commissioning of Mohanlal in the Territorial Army and the conferring of Lieutenant Colonel rank on him has given a new impetus for the youth to join the armed forces.

Replying to the felicitations after Director, Tourism, M. Sivasankar proposed a vote of thanks, the actor said the honours he received were an “Onam gift’ from Kerala.

“It is very happy and proud to receive the honour in the capital, where I was born and brought up. I need the prayers of all of you for getting good characters in films,” he said.

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