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Story of How Ganapathy Subramaniam became Gemini Ganesan

Seshadri Baskar

On this day, hundred years ago, when Ganesan was born in Pudukkottai never in their family had even thought that he would make it big one day .

Ganesan wanted to become a Doctor but after the graduation in Maharaja College (He did B.Sc., Physics), he had to face many turbulences in life and he came to Chennai to take an assignment at Gemini Studios as a casting assistant . His job is to ensure the testing process of the aspiring actors and see whether they fit the bill.

One of the find of Ganesan was Chandrababu. He was by then married and had four children. Well before that he had taken the asylum in Muthulakshmi House in Adayar. Later she was celebrated as Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy a leading doctor and a reformist a daring approach of a woman of those days.

It will be quite interesting to note that even Vizhupuram Chinnaya Ganesan later to become Nadigar Thilakam was tested and certified by Ganesan. It was Missmalini in 1947 ( a Work of RK Narayanan ).

His films Moondru Pillaigal and Thai Ullam did not go well in the box office but it was Manam Pola Mangalyam (மாப்பிள்ளை டோய்) marked the entry of Savitri in his life in this 1957 Release which did magic and the star was born.

Remember MGR and Sivaji Ganesan had already settled. He played Pennin Perumai, Bandha Paasam and many more with Nadigar thilakam and it was only one movie with MGR (Mukarasi). From Nagaraja , it was Sridhar, Balachander, Bhimsingh, Pantulu and many more directors had done with him. Who can forget the climax of Sumaithangi, or a rightist man in Punnagai as sathyamurthy and as David aseervatham in Naan Avan Illai, it was his home production of Narayanee Films .

He was a celebrated throughout his career and did the best of roles till he did his Avvai Shanmugi or Mettukudi. He had won Padmashree award and had achieved more accolades throughout south India and other states .

At the age of 85 he breathed his last around 1,30 in the noon when his family members were around him. Today its his Hundredth Birth Anniversary. When cremation was in the process, I was in Woodlands Hotel seated next to PB Srinivas. When I said that his songs had made him hero quickly he refuted and said he had become hero overnight with காலங்களில் அவள் வசந்தம் in a way Gemini Ganesan was senior to both SivajI Ganesan and MGR. But Nambiar and Manohar are seniors to Gemini Too.

The story of Ramaswamy Ganesan to Become Kadhal Mannan it had taken nearly fifty years. He paired with Jaya in only one movie that too as a guest role . When I think of Gemini Ganesan I recollect one song of Velli vizha immeditley. உனக்கென்ன குறைச்சல் நீ ஒரு ராஜா.

He was in the throne of peoples hearts all through.. Gemini In my view is a urban romantic street smart and he won the hearts at ease .

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Tail piece

Gemini was an ace cricketer and he had served in Madras Christian College as a Lecturer. He had a passion to Translate Kannadasan’s Arthamulla Indhu Madham in English but that could not happen unfortunately.

Additional story

Gemini was a craze in our family and in 1959 when the film Kalyana Parisu was released my mother who was in her Mid pregnancy state went to Casino with my aunts and they all decided to name the boy child as Baskar and if the baby happens to be a girl it was decided to name as Vasanthi . Reason is this – The hero Gemini’s Name was Baskar and the Heroine Saroja Devi’s Name was Vasanthi . It was a film that was released in Casino on April 9 , 1959. I was christened as Baskar this way

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