Monday, August 21, 2006

My Grandfather - Padma Shree M.K.Radha

I was listening to BBC's program about writing called The Word and the author who was hosting the program asked the listeners to write about their parents. It got me thinking and I am planning to write a small blog entry about my grandparents and my parents.

Padma Shree M.K. Radha

My Grandfather M.K.Radha (20th November 1910 - 29th August 1985) was a famous and renowned tamil cinema actor. He was born in Chennai and took up acting in Tamil Stage at the early age of 7. He was tutiored by my great grandfather Kandasamy Mudaliar a famous drama teacher at that time. His career spanned for almost 25 years in Tamil drama as a lead actor during India´s pre-independence days and he was a popular social hero in various patriotic dramas.

Some of the featured movies with my grandfather are
1. Sathi Leelavathi - 1936
2. Chandralekha - 1948 - Review of this movie by New York Times
3. Apoorva Sagodharargal - 1949
4. Paasavalai
5. Kamban

He received the Padmashree Award for Arts in 1972 from the then President of India V.V.Giri.

My memory of him

I remember him of being very loving, soft-spoken and well respected individual. My dad had a very good relationship with him. I spent a lot of time with him and my grandmother. I enjoyed his company. I am not very sure how old I was but I was watching the movie Paasavalai featuring my grandfather and in the movie he looses his eye sight and I got so upset that I made us leave the theatre right away to go and see my grandfather and make sure that he was ok inspite of my mom repeatedly telling me that he was ok. I really loved my grandfather. I remeber his warm smile and friendly persona, he was very likable. We used to get his fans in our house (late 1970s, early '80s) when he visited, although he had not done a movie for 25 years!
The 3 pictures are some of the archives of my grandfather with the late M.G.Ramachandran, renowned actor and the most popular Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. My grandfather was his mentor.
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Sri Ratnam said...

Dear Bala,
I just read your Blog on your respected grandfather Sri. M.K.Radha.
I believe some of the finest and top quality Tamil movies were produced by Sri. S.S. Vasan of Gemini studios. His movies rank with some of Hollywood's best. I also believe Sri. MK Radha's presence and acting contributed to their immense success.
While growing up and to this date, I have been a great fan of Sri. MK Radha. He had the right personality of a dashing prince (in Chandralekha or Apoorva Sahodarargal) or that of a majestic king Pari (in a brief cameo)in another Gemini epic, "Avvaiyar".
I also watched 'Pasavalai" in the theater, but do not remember the role he played.
The last picture I saw Sri. MK Radha was in "Town Bus" in the mid to late 50s. It ran well mainly on account of the comedy team NSK-TA Maduram. (The famous laugh song "Sirippu" is from this movie!)

Coincidentally I read recently Sri. MK Radha is the son of (one of the two) great Tamil Drama pioneers, Sri. Kandaswami Mudaliar. (the other one being Sri. Pammal Sammandha Mudaliar!)

I remember reading sometime ago Sri. MK Radha's son is living in Singapore.
How sad I did not get an opportunity to meet your illustrious grandfather, while he was alive!
Bala, You sure hail from an illustrious family! Thanks for your article.

Sri Ratnam
Los Altos, California, USA

yaanai said...

Hi Bala:

The picture of your granspa, the late great Shri M. K. Radha has a remarkably striking resemblance to Shri. S. S. Rajendran and Shri Gemin Ganesan. I wish you all the best! - gg

Rajasekaran said...

Hello Bala,
I have heard a lot about your Grandfather through my father and Grandfather. They were all great fans of Mr. M.K. Radha. You can try to add his profile in wikipedia. It will be a great resource site for people who want to know about him. Even when we search for Chandralekha in wikipedia (Even after he being the hero in the movie), his name has not been mentioned. You can try to do something about that


Dear Bala,
I am just 38 years old but I have seen your grandpa's 'Chandralekha' and I am a great fan of him.I really wonder why he had not acted n many films .Please give some information about him in wikepedia.


Lucky said...

Hey Bala...its nice seeing your grandpa in this blog...why dont you update in wikipedia about your grandpa....

btw i am Lakshmanan...your bro siva's friend...

jpnabhan said...

Dear Bala,
I am one of Sr. M.K Radha's fan, When i was very young i watched Chandralekha , from then on i was his fan. myself and my younger borther were standing in a cinema theatre quesue ( I think it was Krishna talkties near Mint , when Chandraleka was released) Seeing small kids in the quess, pushed by everyone, the policeman on duty, pulled us and put us in the front. We got our tickets and and sat on the front row so that no one will block our view.

Unlike these days heroesm he was a calm type, showing maturity in his action.Thanks for your Post. My best wishes to you and your family

mgrperan said...

Nice post how can contact you
I am grandson of Mr MGR


Dheepa Sundaram said...

Dear Bala

Your post has been most enlightening. My name is Dheepa Sundaram and I am researching the Tamil Protest Playwrights including your great-grandfather Kandasamy Mudaliar. It's actually been rather difficult to find any of the plays written by him and I was wondering if you might have some idea of where I might find some of your great-grandfather's work. You can contact me at the following email I would also be happy to send you a message if you can tell me your email address. Thanks so much for your time and sharing the fascinating history of your family. Hope to hear from you.

Dheepa Sundaram

Rajan Kurai Krishnan said...
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