KERALA

My best role is yet to come: Murali

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM MAY 9. Had he not donned the greasepaint, K. Muraleedharan Pillai would have led an ordinary life, hidden behind piles of files in the University Office.

``After having acted in over 160 movies, I still feel that my best role is yet to be,'' said the actor, Murali, said while interacting with children, at a face-to-face programme organised by the State Council for Child Welfare, as part of the on-going summer school for children.

The vast grounds of the council, flanked by giant bamboo groves and huge mango trees, seemed the perfect environs for a bunch of live-wire children to spend the lazy afternoon hours.

They struck a perfect chord with Murali, who not only answered them patiently, but also pulled their leg mercilessly.

The eager faces around him, with ear-to-ear grins, made the actor reminisce about the summers he had spent in his native village as a child.

``You are much luckier than our generations because you get exposure to so many things even as children,'' he said.

There were the usual barrage of questions on his career in films, whether he was nervous in front of the camera,, the awards he had won his favourite roles and the like.

But the one who hogged the limelight along with the actor was young Sreejith, who questioned him innocently with a lisp, "Have you acted in films?''

The child proudly showed him a scrape on his elbow, sustained while climbing the wall. He let out a volley of questions, lisping delightfully, _ `Have you seen `Pakalpooram'?, `Have you seen an elephant? How about a rabbit?' and so forth.

The actor couldn't resist lisping back at him and had everyone in splits.

``Do you really cry when you have to do it in films?'' asked a child. "I've cried a lot, not just in films, but in real life too. When you are acting, your emotions should come from your heart and unless you cry inside, the feelings will not show on your face,'' Murali explained.

He shared with children the political ideologies that he believed in, his involvement with party politics, his experiences as a candidate in the last Assembly election at Alappuzha and how much he admired Gandhiji and E.M.S Namboothiripad.

Amidst all laughter and excitement, one popped the question, "When you see Mohanlal on screen don't you ever wish that you too could be like him?''

"Never. You can only be yourself. If you try to get into the shoes of another, it will only be an imitation,'' Murali said.

Murali rounded off the session by reciting poems, including a satirical one by Ayyappa Panicker.

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