How many times will a die-hard fan watch his favourite actor’s movie???? Twice??? Thrice??? Ten times??? What will you call a person who watches his favourite actor’s movie more than a hundred times, for every single day?? Before the era of fan page on Facebook and videos running wild on Whatsapp, ‘Lal’ Narayan’s admiration towards Mohanlal had filled the news as someone who watched Narasimham for more than 150 times. Where is the die-hard fan, Narayan when Mohanlal’s latest superhit movie ‘Pulimurugan’ is breaking the initial box office records?
Hailing from Cheruvathur, Kasaragod, Narayan runs a small stationery shop named “Lal Narayan stores”, living along with his wife and son. Narayan married and started to earn a living only because Mohanlal personally asked him to do so. Mohanlal met Narayan during the 200th day anniversary of Narasimham at Guruvayoor. Acquainting himself with ‘Lal’ Narayan through media reports, Mohanlal expressed his wish to meet his hardcore fan. Narayan became talkative when asked about his ‘dream come true’ moment’.
I went for the function after watching Narasimham for 100 times, for 100 consecutive shows. I watched Narasimham at Cheruvathur Pakkanar Theatre quite close to my shop. I used to watch the movie for a minimum of three shows everyday. The 200th anniversary function of Narasimham was conducted at Sopanam Auditorium, Guruvayoor. Mohanlal hugged me the moment he saw me which made me dumbstruck. Mohanlal advised me that movie-watching is good but that should not be the ultimate aim in life. He asked me to start a means of livelihood and get married.‘Lal’ Narayan
Hearing Mohanlal’s advise to Narayan, his family and friends began forcing him to get married.
The owner of the DTS Pakkanar Theatre owned another normal theatre as well, named KMK. For a Vishu, at Pakkanar theatre, Mohanlal starring ‘Ayal Kadha Ezhuthukayanu’ was running while at KMK Mammootty starring ‘Elavamkodu Desam’ was running. The owner asked me to go to KMK but I disagreed. Being a matter of money for food, I went to KMK to tear tickets at the theatre door for the noon show. To the audience who came in for the matinee show, I told the movie is an utter flop and discouraged the people from watching, also adding that the movie is a complete waste of money. Someone, let this talk spread to the ears of the owner and minutes later he rang me up and asked to know the credibility of the talk. I stood firm and said that I am least interested to continue the job and that I have told it. As the owner became less aggressive I told him it was impossible by me to go anywhere when a Mohanlal movie was running at Pakkanar theatre.
Since 14 years of running his ‘Lal’ Narayan stores, he has only closed the shop once because it was a hartal day. “If I need to go for a death, marriage or movie, I leave the shutters of the shop half closed and before its too late, I make sure to start business. ‘Lal’ Narayan stores has a television set that will run only Mohanlal movies and once in a blue moon Mammootty movies. Though the customers talk about the latest movie news, I won’t fall for their honey traps.
Being a hardcore Mohanlal fan how do you, Narayan, evaluate Mammootty?
Mammootty is a good actor and after Mohanlal, I like Mammootty. These actors are like the two sides of a coin. Doesn’t the coin on the whole have the same value? I don’t underrate Mammotty, he has delivered a number of good roles in many movies. I have talked to Mammootty personally during the Narasimham anniversary at Guruvayoor.
Narayan is of the stance that the new generation actors who have come after the legends, Mohanlal and Mammootty are not attractive enough in terms of their acting skills.
Mohanlal followed by Mammootty..... I have nothing to say about stars who came after that. They do not find a place in my mind and I don’t watch their movies also.Narayan
Narayan says though his 8th grade son, Adityan watches all movies irrespective of actors he has a leaning shoulder towards Mohanlal.
Being a die-hard Mohanlal fan, Narayan’s first hero was Prem Nazir. Before Mohanlal appeared as the villain in ‘Manjil Virinja Pookkal’, Nazir was his favourite actor. During his youth, Narayan used to watch all the Nazir movies on the release date itself. During those days there weren’t any release centres close-by. There was Payyannur Shobha theatre, which is shut now. 4 theatres at Nileshwaram which no longer exist. I used to walk till Nileshwaram to watch movies.
When asked why he has so much of admiration towards Mohanlal, Narayan would said,
‘ I never felt anything for the actor when I saw the movie ‘Manjil Virinja Pookkal’. Like most people who watched the movie, I too felt a sort of hatred towards the character. But as an actor, Mohanlal was successful in his first movie itself. Wasn’t he artistic enough to invite hatred towards the villain character? Mohanlal rose to become a superstar with his movie ‘Rajavinte Makan’, a movie by Thampi Kannanthanam. From then on Mohanlal, as an actor didn’t have to turn back and look. When Mohanlal appears to the screen as an actor, we don’t have to think or doubt about the character deliverance. He is such a flexible actor.’
Getting media attention for watching Narasimham for more than 100 times, Narayan loved to watch the masculine hero, Mohanlal, fill the screens with his heroism. Narayan was in love with Induchoodan of Narasimham, Mangalassery Neelakandan of Devasuram and many other characters.
When one of the superhit movies of the actor, which broke the initial box office records and is still being screened with a ‘House full’ board in most theatres, people began naturally asking where has the die-hard fan of Mohanlal gone. Though Narayan was enthusiastic enough for the theatre celebration of all Mohanlal crowd-puller movies, he did not watch ‘Pulimurugan’ even once!
When asked why he did not watch the movie yet, this was his reply, “From Manjil Virinja Pookkal to Oppam I have watched all the Mohanlal movies on the release date for the first show itself. This is the first time I am not watching a Mohanlal movie on the first day, because I could not watch it. The situation at my house was not favourable for me during the release of the movie. Few members of the family fell ill and I had to run around to take care of them. I am sad that I could not watch the movie as children started commenting me that I am the only one who did not watch the movie. Since I could not watch the movie on the opening day, I will only watch the movie when it comes to the theatre near my shop.”
But Narayan is aware of the box office record collection that Pulimurugan has bagged. He says the movie is not just hit, but Super Hit. Narayan’s eyes started to twinkle when he started talking about the box office collection. “Pulimurugan crossed 100 crores in gross box office collection, breaking the record of Drishyam and maybe might be able to conquer Baahubali. Nothing can be said as of now.”
When asked if he still has the same amount of admiration towards Mohanlal, Narayan raises his voice to reply, “ Till death shall conquer, it will remain the same in me.”