Kerala

Vijayakanth’s Cinematic Pilgrimage: Unraveling the Thiruvananthapuram Connection

From Train Rides to Silver Screens – Nostalgia, Dreams, and the Silent Benevolence of a Megastar

The recent passing of the legendary Vijayakanth reveals a surprising chapter in the pages of his life. That is his hidden connection with the city of Thiruvananthapuram. As condolences flooded social media, tales of Vijayakanth’s liaison with the capital of Kerala emerged. And casting a spotlight on a lesser-known facet of the superstar’s journey.

Originating from Madurai, Vijayakanth’s father, Alagarsamy, owned a rice mill that painted the canvas of his childhood. The young Vijayakanth, a cinema enthusiast, embarked on train journeys to Thiruvananthapuram. Driven by the desire to become an actor and with the world of cinema. From Madurai to Thiruvananthapuram, this journey transcended the ordinary; it was a pilgrimage of cinephilia.

Even as the spotlight found him in dazzling stardom and politics, Vijayakanth’s heart remained tethered to the nostalgic charm of Thiruvananthapuram. The vivid memories of exploring Thampanoor, Chala, Museum, East Fort, and the serene Kovalam were etched in the tapestry of his past. The purpose was simple: to absorb the sights, relish the flavors, and bask in the city’s atmosphere before bidding farewell.

The cinematic bug bit him hard, and Thiruvananthapuram became his cinematic haven. A train ride from Madurai to the capital, along with school friends, transformed into a ritual of movie marathons. Sreekumar Theater in Thampanoor was his cinematic sanctuary before delving into the world of reels and emotions. He would purchase a couple of covers of Upperi from a Chala shop, a ritual marking the commencement of his cinematic sojourn.

As adolescence unfolded its wings, Vijayakanth’s weekends were dedicated to Thiruvananthapuram. His unwavering goal was to grace the silver screen of Malayalam cinema. In the 70s, Madras and Thiruvananthapuram stood as epicenters for filmmakers. And the latter beckoned him with a promise of accessibility. Undeterred by initial rejections and worn-out shoes from ceaseless wandering, he pursued a chance in Malayalam cinema.

The appeal of Malayalam cinema held a distinct charm for Vijayakanth. Partly fueled by his profound admiration for the iconic actor Sathyan. Rejecting an initial opportunity in Tamil cinema, Vijayakanth set his sights on Malayalam cinema, where doors seemed tightly shut. The corridors of directors and producers echoed with rejection, yet Vijayakanth’s spirit remained unbroken.

In his Malayalam cinematic quest, Vijayakanth idolized actors like Jayan, Sheela, and Jayabharathi, watching their movies regularly. In an interview, he recounted the emotional experience of shedding tears after watching the movie “Tulabharam.” Beyond the glitz of cinema, every visit to Thiruvananthapuram saw him paying homage at the revered Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple.

Amidst the meandering alleys of Chala Pillayarkovil Lane, Vijayakanth found a home away from home, Kannan and Muthulakshmi’s house. Muthulakshmi, sister to Vijayakanth’s childhood friend Sundararajan, faced financial turmoil after Kannan’s demise. Displaying a heartwarming gesture, Vijayakanth purchased their gold covering jewelry shop. Jyoti Jewelry Mart, situated between Pazhavangadi and Overbridge, for Rs 7 lakh.

While Vijayakanth ascended to the Tamil cinema, Thiruvananthapuram remained his cherished haven. Unseen, he traversed the city’s lanes, attended public functions, and even graced actor Mohanlal’s silver jubilee event. Curiously asking for Pazhavangadi, he smiled at the distance, perhaps a metaphor for the journey from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of stardom.

In the tapestry of his life, Vijayakanth’s Thiruvananthapuram connection remains a nuanced thread, weaving together nostalgia, dreams, and the silent benevolence of a megastar. As we bid farewell to this cinematic luminary, the city echoes with tales of a star who, amidst the glitz, found solace in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram’s enchantment.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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