Stick no bills

I loved walking to school in the morning, mostly because there was less chance of getting molested by the desperate male mallu desperados!
So I walked.
And my walk took me on KK road and I had to pass the Kottayam district hospital on my right side. The hospital boundary walls were built with laterite stones and were covered with peeling cement and green moss. And every few feet there were hand written signs that said ” Stick no bills” And every often you would find colourful movie posters stuck on top of the as you walk you see  stick or the end part of the bills written on the wall, the rest covered by the posters. It was the first act of blatant disobedience I saw in my life ( apart from what I practiced day to day at my own home).
I wasn’t much in to malayalam movies. What with Amma on her mission to save money for dowry? But the movie posters on the walls, the cousins who saw the movie and then tell me the stories and the write ups in the newspapers all helped me to keep abreast with what is happening with the Malayalam movies.
From Prem Nasir to Jayan to Mammotty..and then there was Sharada..
Years ago, When I was about 3+, Appa took the whole family to watch a Malayalam movie ( Murapennu). It was hot and muggy and I kept awake till intermission to get my glass of naranga vellam ( lemonade). The seller came holding a rack that held 8 glasses. each glass was covered with something like a wax paper. ( There was no way my father would have bought viral juice ( the seller holding few glasses using his fingers!)
I make good lemonade, but I have never managed to replicate the flavour of naranga vellam ( lemonaid) to this day. After drinking the juice, I slept happily. Occasionally I woke up, stared at the screen and went back to sleep. One scene in that movie is imprinted in my brain.

The house is a bit  elevated  from the road and there is huge line of steps leading to the house. Prem Nasir is walking up the stairs, meanwhile the camera pans inside the house and you find Sharada wearing a mundu and blouse ( sarong and top) and is running helter skelter.
Prem Nasir climbing the steps, sharada running here and goes on for a while..building up the suspence.
Eventually Prem Nasir reaches the house main entrance and surprisingly the door is kept wide open!Meanwhile Sharada finds a hiding spot, behind the clothesline, hung in the corner of the room. Prem Nasir enters the house and is searching for Sharada and notices her feet sticking out from all the clothes on the clothes line. He walks up to the clothes line and push away the clothes and you see a full shot of Sharada..and her eyes..I can still see the myriads of expression in those eyes..

In one of the Dosai Diner outlets in Mumbai, there was a huge poster of Sharada and each time I took my kids there to eat Dosai, I remembered the movie..and her eyes.

Of all the actresses, Sharada holds a special place in my heart..
Today is her birthday.
Happy Birthday Sharada chechy!

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