‘Innocent is no more, many are lost when he is gone’; Mammootty

‘Innocent is no more, many are lost when he is gone’;  Mammootty

Mammootty shared a heart-wrenching note about late actor Innocent. The note begins by saying ‘Innocent is no more’. What was lost when he left was a person, an actor, an actor, a socialite. Not one has left us but many. Mammootty said that I have missed so many people.

Full text of the note:

Innocent is no more…

As with any bereavement, when I think of Innocent now, the first thing I feel is sadness. In the next moment, his bursts of laughter and not only sadness but also laughter memories come in, there is a part of the impact that the man left on us deeply.

When talking about his personal relationship with Innocent, I wanted to remove the word ‘like’ from the adjective ‘like a friend, guide and older brother’. Not like…he was all of the above to me.

The first time I saw Innocent was in the tea shop scene in the movie ‘Nell’. There was a time when I was a movie buff who would listen to even those who appeared in small roles and find out who they were. When I was scouting for roles, I had noticed Innocent who had appeared in small roles in ‘Nrithashala’ and ‘Jesusy’, wondering ‘who is this?’ The name ‘Innocent’ itself was a rarity then.. even today. Innocent is seen in person for the first time after coming to the cinema. Innocent and his friend David Kachapalli were the producers of Nedumudi Venu’s film ‘Vitaparajum Sedee..’. The name of the banner was Shatru Films.

I was interested in the new filmmakers of that time. I also wanted to act in their films. Innocent’s Shattrufilms focused on parallel films rather than commercially successful films. Thus he met Innocent and it grew into a great friendship. It was through this connection that Shatru Films’ film ‘Lekha Kete Matam Oru Flash Back’ came to me. KG George was the director. I had the role of Premsagar in the film’s background story. Then Mohan, Innocent and Sreenivasan’s ideas evolved into the film ‘Oru Katha Oru Nunakatha’. My friendship with Innocent was strengthened through this film where I played the role of Professor Mohandas.

His friendship with Innocent, who himself spoke Thrissur, grew day by day.

As a relatively junior, I became a spectator and listener in the friendship groups of Innocent and others. Slowly I started getting more good roles. I played the role of Anirudhan, a salesman in John Paul’s screenplay, in which I and Mohanlal played the lead roles. I was the one who remembered the name of Innocent while thinking about who would play the role of Lonapanchetan, a salesman from Thrissur.

After the first scene together, Innocent and I acted together in many more films.

Innocent was at the forefront when the Amma organization was formed in 1995. Later, when the governing body was reconstituted, his name was proposed for the post of president. Everyone had a calculation that when there were serious issues and situations, Innocent would be able to handle it simply and it would be a defense for the organization.

Innocent would make up stories about everyone. The story was first told to the person about whom the story was made. He would tell the story to others only if he burst out laughing. The protagonists change depending on the listener. When I talk to me and I talk to Mohanlal, Lalum will be the central character. He is often the main character in Innocent’s stories. Innocent was not in the habit of slandering anyone, except always to amuse us. When we evaluate him as an actor, we realize how many characters only Innocent can do. And so many things we’ve done together…occasionally I remember him unnecessarily. Will call then. I also called Innocent during the penultimate hospitalization….

When he left, we lost a person, an actor, an actor, a friend of society, not one person left us. It’s a nickname.

I have missed so many people. One cannot be many. He can only be. But Innocent was able to live and share friendships as many other than Innocent. That is why such a large crowd came to see him off. Even though there may be groaning inside, let the memories of him fill our lips or mind with laughter… Let it spread happiness… What can a man earn beyond that…!


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