Mala Aravindan, the veteran comedian who mesmerized the Malayali audience with his impeccable comic timing and acting skills, passed away. The 76 year old actor succumbed to death at 6.20 am today (Jan 27th) at Kovai Medical Centre, Coimbatore. He was undergoing treatments since last few days, after he suffered a massive heart attack on January 19th.
Cremation will take place at his hometown, Mala in Thrissur district by evening 6. He is survived by wife Geetha Aravindan, daughter Kala and son Muthu Aravindan.
Born as the eldest son of Ayyappan, who was an employee in Excise department and music teacher Ponnamma, Thanattu Kochayyappan Aravindan started his career as a tabla player. He was born in Vadavukodu of Ernakulam district; but later shifted his base to Mala at the age of 12, after the sudden demise of his father.
Aravindan adapted the stage name Mala Aravindan and started working for the theatre plays as a background musician and later ventured into acting. He has associated with the prestigious drama troupes of Kerala, including Kottayam National Theatres and Soorya Soma. Aravindan won the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy award for Best Actor, for his performance in the popular drama Nidhi.
Mala Aravindan made his movie debut with 1968 released Sindhooram, directed by Dr Balakrishnan. The actor, who played series of small roles in the initial years of his movie career, rose to fame with his performance as Thangi, a mentally retarded young man in the movie Tharavu. Mala became an inevitable part of Malayalam movie industry, with his extra-ordinary skills to carry comic, character and negative roles.
Kuthiravattam Pappu-Jagathy Sreekumar-Mala Aravindan trio was a must factor of the movies during 1980's-90's. Mala considered himself as very lucky; as he got the opportunities to share screen with the veteran actors Thikurissi Sukumaran Nair, Prem Nazir, Madhu and Jayan.
He has also shared screen with almost all popular actors of Malayalam cinema including Mammootty, Mohanlal, Jayaram, Suresh Gopi, Dileep and young actors Prithviraj and Jayasurya.
The actor last appeared in the Jayasurya starrer Lal bahadhur Shasthri, directed by Rejish Midhila. His last movie Nellikka, is yet to hit the theatres. Mala Aravindan will be always remembered as one of the most sought-out comedians of Malayalam cinema, who could evoke laughter even with a deep silence.
Check out the slides to know what the celebrities have to say about their dear Mala chettan...
Dileep About Mala Aravindan
For Dileep, Mala was a brotherly figure and a family member. The actor, who recalled about the funny moments they shared in the film sets, stated the Mala's demise is a great loss for the movie industry.
Director Vinayan About Mala Aravindan
Director Vinayan is one of the filmmakers who made use of the acting talent of Mala Aravindan to the fullest. The director says that Mala is one of the rare actors who can communicate with the audience even with the minute expressions.
Nedumudi Venu About Mala Aravindan
Nedumudi Venu, one of the closest friends of Mala Aravindan, states that Mala was a perfect blend of an actor and musician. Nedumudi recalled that Mala was a man who had no complaints; even in the time when he had no movie projects in his hands.
Kunjan About Mala Aravindan
Actor Kunjan, another close friend of the actor, says that Mala is one of the comedians who can make the audience laugh even with a small gesture.
Innocent About Mala Aravindan
Innocent, who serves as the president of the actor's association Amma, recalled the memories of the former president Mala Aravindan.
Quoting Innocent: "I met him while I was staying in Chennai, trying my luck in films. At that time, he already was an actor. Years passed and we maintained very good relations. I feel his talent was not fully utilized,"
Harisree Ashokan About Mala Aravindan
Harisree Ashokan, the actor who entered the films from the mimicry stage, recalled that he use to imitate Mala Aravindan during his mimicry days. The actor says that his relation with his dear Mala chettan developed into strong bond after they shared screen in some popular movies.
Musician Mohan Sithara About Mala
Mohan Sithara says that his bonding with Mala Aravindan started because of their common interest-music. Mohan recalled that Mala Aravindan was an extra-ordinary Tabla player and a wonderful person.