Vadivelu -A Tribute

Updated: Feb 10

Vadivelu. The name is enough. There is not a single instance or a single person on whom the Vaigai Puyal's name doesn't evoke a smile. His trademark "Owwww" (that sounds like the howl of a wounded dog), "Mappu... Vechutanda aappu!" (Used generally whenever we are screwed over by a close acquaintance or a friend), etc are some of the dialogues which he has made immortal with his inimitable style and body language. Irrespective of where he is always screwed over by the protagonists (which includes a huge list consisting of Rajnikanth, Kamal Haasan, Ajith, Vijay, Parthiban, Murali, etc) or he gets into trouble (in the roles of hostel warden, a wannabe goon, etc) all by himself, he has always had the audience in splits. His political (albeit brief) stint was an unsuccessful one. Yet that never tanned his reputation of being a timeless and an ageless performer. His comedy has always been one that has very seldom hurt the sentiments of a community or religion or anybody. Not that his comic sequences were only brainless laughter sequences. He also had a lot of strong social messages in his comedy tracks. Yet, he has always been a very sensitive comedian. We all know of comedians who have hurt public sentiments in the garb of giving out a social message. Well... all of the above is nothing new to us right? Why this blog then? In this article, I would like to draw the attention of the people to the unappreciated aspects of the actor. How many of us know of him as a very versatile artist? How many of us know that he is a good singer with a philosophical chartbuster to his name? And this number has been composed by none other than Maestro Ilayaraja himself? Well, these are not recognized by many, nor are they celebrated as they should be. Let us take just one instance. Remember the whole sequence from the movie Chandramukhi (Tamil) where he is lost in the huge bungalow which he thinks hosts a ghost? Who hasn't laughed from the start till the end of the sequence? The comedy aside, how many of us realize that it is an extraordinary piece of amazing acting no less than the climax sequence of Chiyan Vikram in the "Anniyan" movie or the amazing transformation that Ajith shows in one fight scene in the movie "Vethalam"? How many of us have listened to the songs "Ettana irunthaa... and Thathaka pithaka naalu kaalu?" These are but very few of the examples of his multifaceted personality. How much have we appreciated these different aspects? Why do we not celebrate them? Is it because he is a comedian? Why is there always hero/heroine worship? We need not worship Vadivelu, but the least we can do is appreciate this variety that he brings right? Why is he an unsung artist? Why do we always think of the likes of Nana Patekar, Amitabh Bachchan, Pankaj Tripathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and so on whenever the word artist is mentioned? Why are the likes of Vadivelu not recognized as such? WHY?

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