A diehard MGR fan, who left his family 50 years ago due to his love for the hero, had a teary reunion with his kith and kin on Monday, the 25th death anniversary of the screen legend.
Mani (73), a resident of K R Toppur, Salem District, never missed a chance to watch MGR movies in his young days. A carpenter, he frequently bunked work to watch movies of his matinee idol at the local theatre, much to the ire of his father, Kuppusamy.
A reprimand from his father against the hero-worship angered Mani and he ran away to Chennai in 1962. In the capital, he managed to find employment in Kollywood as a set assistant and worked in over 150 movies.
Though he found a place in the tinsel town, his heart wept for his dear ones back home. He sent letters to his family, but the habit gradually died after the replies were not encouraging.
At the time of partition of family property, some of his relatives tried to grab his share, taking advantage of his absence. This prompted his five brothers and three sisters to track him down using clues in the old letters.
Mani visited his house on Monday, embraced his mother Nagammal and shared his joy with relatives. “My father beat me up for watching MGR movies. However, I feel fortunate to have worked for his movie Maduraiyai Meeta Sundarapandiyan,” Mani recalled, with a sparkle in his eye.