By: Settu Shankar
Monday, April 09, 2007
A party arranged for celebration by the Shivaji unit ended on a tragic note. It led to the death of the film's sound engineer Sachidanandam (41) towards its end. The police suspect that unlimited consumption of liquor might have been the cause of his death. The details are as follows:
After the completion of the Talkie portion and the dubbing of Shivaji, director Shankar wanted to celebrate a party with all his crew, including the hero super star Rajinikanth. When he conveyed his desire, Rajini happily accepted his invitation and attended the party on Wednesday night at the Chinnandikuppam farm house 'Shaangi' which is owned by director Shankar. The super star's farm house is also situated very close to this place. Nearly 250 artists and technicians of Shivaji, including the producer AVM Saravanan and heroine Shreya gathered at that house around 8 P.M. The party had been arranged in an open air lawn, with a beautiful swimming pool alongside it.
Sources close to the unit told us that unlimited champagne and liquor flowed like water in the party, with most of the participants consuming the same. One of the artists who attended the party said that the comedy artist of the film, Vivek, consumed countless rounds of liquor and passed comments about the hero and the producer in front of them. After 12 p.m., Saravanan went to his room and the remaining people stayed there and enjoyed their party. It is said that Rajinikanth had stayed there up to 3 A.M. along with the director and the heroine. On the next day, around 5 AM, the workers in the farm house found the body of Sachidanandam in the pool. They immediately informed Shankar about this ,and he advised them to lodge a complaint with the Neelankarai police. The police rushed to the spot immediately, and sent the body of Sachidanandam to a hospital.
According to the police, Sachidanandam died due to over consumption of liquor during the party. Sachidanandam had been working as a sound engineer for more than 20 years and has hundreds of films to his credit, including Shivaji. He was residing in Chennai's Chintadripet along with his wife Kokilavani and two children. The buzz is Sachidanandam was suspected to be responsible for the leak of Shivaji songs online before their actual release. His friends said that some of the crew members had teased him before the party started, about the illegal release of Shivaji songs. The Police inspector Lamec told us, 'we suspect that Sachidanadam may have died due to over- consumption of liquor. We will make necessary enquiries with the participants at the party'.
The Chennai police has banned private parties after 11 P.M. in the city and the suburbs. It has banned the liquor parties, particularly in the ECR region. If they had found out that a party was hosted by Shankar on that day after 11 p.m., they would even have arrested him. However, Sundaresan, the Manager of AVM studios, has categorically denied that liquor was supplied in the party. He told us , 'first of all, no individual had organised this party. The AVM and the crew of Shivaji had arranged for this get- together. There was no liquor or non-vegetarian items supplied for the dinner. We served only vegetarian food for everybody, including Rajini and Shankar. All of them left the place after 10.30 P.M. Some of the technicians might have stayed back in the house due to the lack of transport availability. At that time, they might have had a chance to buy liquor from outside and consume it inside the house. But none of us know about this. We are also ready to face the enquiries ...'
Sources say that the director has already send his condolences to the family of Sachidanandam along with an assurance for an aid of 20 lakh rupees. Now all eyes are focussed on Rajinikanth to know his reaction about this death.