Monday, November 25, 2013

Tamil Actresses of Feminist Mould.



  The struggle of womanhood for its rightful position is age old. Human societies were and are mostly patriarchal in their base. The psychosomatic fundamentals have generally gone in favour of men playing a protective role over women. But very often, oppressive tendencies have prevailed in the form of exercising a power game resulting in women becoming toys, puppets and victims in the hands of men. There have been instances of resistance and movements, carried on towards establishing the legitimate rights of women, as individuals and citizens of equal merit and might. As the roots of feminism are world-wide, it has fascinated the creative imagination of several sectors including the world film body, that play a crucial role in forming and propagating path breaking social awakening movements. Every region in its cinematic version, has shown its keenness in framing themes and creating stories, that would expose the flaws of male chauvinism and the lawful claims of feminism. Tamil Cinema has never been lagging behind with regard to championing the cause of women. Apart from the script writers and directors, every generation of actors has had its spokesperson particularly among the actresses.
     Tamil films such as Penn,Adhisiapenn,Aduthaveetuppenn, Irumbuthirai, Vanji koottai Vaaliban,Sabatham,Mayor Meenakshi, Veettukku veedu, Arangetram, Avargal,Aval Oru Thodarkadhai Vaazhndhu Kaattugirein,Vidhi,Rudra, Pudhumaipen  and several others have either suggestively or openly, humorously or seriously laid the proper emphasis on the need for setting the ground for increased role performance of women both at home and outside, so that their position as independent living beings, is not just confined to a decorative contribution to one's life routine. As suppression of women and male domination are the two sides of the same coin, resistance to such negative trends had to shoot up first from the eligible fighters among women. Eligible fighters are those who develop a spontaneous awareness of their secondary positions in life and start reasoning out why it is so and how it should be set right. Again eligible fighters are those, who have an innate fire to resist and remove injustice in any form. Such fighters among women, become the torchbearers for others. Bold women are certainly an asset to their gender and tribe.
   Characterization of women in feminist films, is evolved with a pointed reference to the solid psychological fundamentals of  struggling and fighting womanhood; it is the justifiable reasons for the fighting frame of mind shown in a film that facilitate its instantaneous reach and acceptability with the audience. In addition to the story line and characterization, it is the choice of actresses for a feminist role, that makes the whole process enduring and gripping. Even during the earlier decades, when the right for survival was restricted in the name of colonialism, orthodoxy and conservatism, there were stories of upheavals and there were characters projected as incarnation of rebellion. There were actors and actresses who would conveniently fit into such roles. Among men there were many. But among women the number was small. One could easily think of an actress like P.Kannaambaa to play the role of Kannagi, a symbol of courage and conviction, fighting against an injustice done to her husband. A film maker of those days would not have thought of a meek looking M.V.Rajamma or M.S.Subbulakshmi to play that role.
    Be it Penn or Vaazhkai, Vanjikkottai Vaaliban or Irumbuthirai,it was Vaijayanthi- mala, the self conscious epitome of feminine individuality who would immediately capture the imagination of film makers as well as the audience as a woman warrior. That was why she was chosen to play the role of Princess Padmini of Chittor in the film Chittor Raani Padmini. Actress  Padmini  in spite of her most vibrant voice, could be considered only for reflecting grace, modesty and submission of womanhood.Where as, P.Banumathi,like Vaijayanthimala, would cleanly sweep as a woman firebrand and a leading voice of feminism. It was her unique revolting voice mode and pattern of dialogue delivery, that effectively fixed her, mostly in the character of a highly resistant woman. The other great actress who obviously maintained her proud position as a woman was J. Jeyalalitha. Both in appearance and style of acting, she constantly reflected the root of feminine independence. Most other actresses who would have chosen or been offered to play feminist roles would have justified only their performance in such roles and not as persons in their individual looks and bearing.
    Sujatha for instance, beautifully exhibited her fighting spirit in films like Aval Oru Thodar kadhai, Avargal, Vidhi,[as a lawyer taking up the case of the betrayed heroine played by Poornima Bagyiaraj}Vaazndhu Kaattugirein and Amaidhippadai. Hers has been a silent unyielding revolution and she did win her ground in feminist roles. However, in her appearance and manner and spirit of interactions, she would more be with a vast group of amazing actors like Savithri,Sowkar Janaki, K.R. Vijaya, {Her roles in Sabatham and Mayor Meenakshi showed what best a woman could do in fighting the criminal and the corrupt}Lakshmi,SriVidya and Revadhi. {who did a meaty role in Barathi Raja's Pudhumaipenn as a true representative of the feminist lobby}.
      Among the late entrants , actresses like Jeyachitra, Sripriya and Radhika, could by their looks and demeanour successfully equate themselves with eminent feminist performers like Banumathi  Vaijayanthimala and J.Jeyalaitha. In voice mould and force of dialogue delivery, these three actresses carried a similarity of style and sheen. Interestingly, apart from the termagant role that Radhika performed in Shankars's Jeans most of  the characters she portrayed were of a soft and sublime nature as seen in films like Kizhakkuchhemaiyile, Pasumpon and Keladi Kanmani. Sripriya  Jeyachitra [who is endowed with a roaring voice of the feminist mould],and their other contemporary [late] Fadafat Jeyalakshmi were never found lacking in the perfect delivery of courageous feminine characters in several films.
      All these women cozily reflect a devil- may -care attitude in donning roles meant for encountering challenges and ordeals and surmounting them with grit and determination. Thus a casual review of the position of Tamil film actresses would reveal the fact, that P.Kannaamba, P.Banumathi,VaiJayanthimala J.Jeyalalitha, Jeyachitra, Sripriya and Radhika are made of sterner stuff and are the fittest women to play feminist roles with vigour and credibility . ========================0=======================    

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thoughts of illusion and Emptiness in Tamil Film Songs.

     William Shakespeare the poetic and dramatic voice of mankind said 'Life is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing'.The staunch Biblical faith of Christianity is 'dust thou art and dust thou shalt be'.The philosophical mood of man quite often opens the flood gates to the rapid flow of thoughts on the ultimate nothingness of life.Lyricists writing for film songs have time and again travelled to the realm of illusion and nothingness as a scenic requisite or dramatic necessity.Tamil film songs abound in such reflections pushing the otherwise materialistic mankind to the edge of emptiness for a close glimpse of everyone's funeral as the culminating point of life.
     The objective of this article is to enlist and elucidate some such songs that drew the attention of film lovers at different periods.These songs were from the fabulous voices of different singers giving mood thrust to  lyrics penned by different lyricists at different times for different films.The first of this kind that kindled my imagination long back, was from the film Devadas starring A.Nageswararao and Savithri.The film was a tragic love story and the love lorn,dejected lover is driven to drunkenness and in his extreme mood of grief and despair he sings a song.The song goes like this
உலகே  மாயம்  வாழ்வே  மாயம் .
உலகில்  நாம்  காணும்  சுகமே  மாயம்.
உறவும்  ஊராரும்  உற்றார்  பெற்றாரும் ,
ஓடிடுவார்  கூடவாரார்  நாம்  செல்லும் நேரம்
  The song actually means that the world and life are just illusions and all  neighbours relations and parents will run away and will not join any one at their departure from this earth.This sad number in the voice of Ghantasala, was a heart rending one. K.J.Yesudas then sang a similar kind of song in the film Vaazhve Maayam and the song also begins 'Vaazhve Maayam Vaazhve Maayam' But the song of Yesudas was for a youth who was suffering from a terminal illness and hence was not in a position to marry the girl he ardently loved.The hero was Kamalahasan and the girl, Sridevi. 
  It was in the film Padha Kanikkai, there came the profoundly philosophical song in the mighty voice of T.M.Soundarajan. It was a realistic and thought-provoking song depicting the mood of compunction of an elder brother [played by Asokan] who lived as an insensitive reprobate, for quite long.The death of his father and the loss of one of his legs in an accident, activate his qualms and make him understand what life is.The heavily worded song is,
  வீடுவரை  உறவு , வீதிவரை  மனைவி
  காடுவரை  பிள்ளை , கடைசிவரை  யாரோ ?.
  The song says that when a man is dead,no one can accompany the body until it turns into ashes or becomes part of the soil.Relatives may take leave from home,one's wife will come up to the street and the son can  accompany  the body only till the cremation spot or funeral ground to perform his mandatory rites.The same idea is repeated in another film Mugarasi starring MGR and this song is also from the stentorian voice of TMS.
 உண்டாக்கி  விட்டவர்கள்  ரெண்டுபேரு;
 இங்கே  கொண்டுவந்து  போட்டவர்கள்  நாலுபேறு.
 கொண்டாடும்போது  ஒரு நூறு பேரு ;  
 உயிர்  கூடுவிட்டு  போனபின்னே  கூடயாரு.
  There was another memorable song in Avanthaan Manithan, that portrayed SivajiGanesan as an embodiment of humanism and empathy, being ever ready to part with anything he has, to others and not being able to say'no' to anybody.Endowed with a philosophic frame of mind,he could fully understand the base of emptiness of life and the ultimate nothingness, as the imperishable truth of life.It is with this solid understanding of life he sings,
    மனிதன்  நினைப்பதுண்டு  வாழ்வு  நிலைக்குமென்று;
    இறைவன்  நினைப்பதுண்டு  பாவம்  மனிதனென்று . 
Translating the idea it means,''man would think that life will last;but God would think man is a poor thing''
 S.A.Asokan,the last generation's noted villain-cum-character actor has sung in his own voice,the following song that emphatically reaffirms the inevitability of death and the truth of nothingness of life.
 எறந்தவன  சொமந்தவனும்  எறந்துட்டான்.
 அத இருப்பவனும்  எண்ணிபார்க்க  மறந்துட்டான்.     
 The song focuses on the irony that the man who carried the dead is also dead;but the living never realize this fact.
   K.Balachander's excellent film Neerkumizhi telling the sad story of a patient ailing with a fatal illness, forcefully put forward the truth of emptiness of life.The film starring Nagesh as hero, was one of the earliest and most qualitative films of the director.The song in the sterling voice of Sirkazhi Govindarajan, created an acute tragic feel, in the following words.
ஆடி  அடங்கும்  வாழ்க்கையடா ,
ஆறடி நிலமே  சொந்தமடா .
முதலில்  நமக்கெல்லாம்  தொட்டிலடா .
முடிவில்  காலில்லா  கட்டிலடா .
  The song categorically states that when the furore of man's life comes to an end his body can own only six feet of land.Man's life begins in a crib but ends up in a bier,a footless cot in away.
  Later came the melodious number in the soothing voice of Jeyachandran in the MGR film Needhikku Thalaivanangu.The scene of the song showed a beggar in a train singing in a desolate mood on the dreams and desires of humanity which is unmindful of the fact, that finally,it is the soil meant for one's burial, that counts.
எத்தனை  மனிதர்கள்  உலகத்திலே !
எத்தனை  உலகங்கள்  இதயத்திலே !
எட்டடி  மண்ணுக்குள்  போகும்வரை,
இந்த  கற்பனை  ஊர்வல  வாழ்க்கைமுறை .  
  Poverty and rejected love are perhaps the potential sources of underscoring the bubble theory of life.The beggar here says, that there are as many worlds in one's heart as there are as many men in the world.Until man reaches the eight feet pit as his final home, his dreams and desires continue. 
 The same way P.Susheela sings that immortal song 'Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakkathile Kanavu Kandein Thozhi' and the lines from the song given below will corroborate the ideas in the song of Jeyachandran.
இளமையெல்லாம் வெறும் கனவுமயம்
அதில் மறைந்தது சில காலம்;
தெளிவும் அறியாது முடிவும் தெரியாது ,
மயங்குது எதிர் காலம் .
'A major part of youth' says the song, 'spills over in dreams and the future remains as a blurred vision'.
   Most of the songs mentioned here belong to the old archives of Tamil film music. It is not that the new generation does not know or is not interested in these thoughts of what life ultimately is.But they also believe that life is full of thrills,pleasures and challenges and the conquest of one's dreams forms the greatest, concrete reality, before one's final parting happens.The new generation knows to go with the flow and the flow continues until the final spot that it has to reach. As the matter stands, every one knows that,
விட்டுவிடும் ஆவி  பட்டுவிடும் மேனி .
சுட்டுவிடும்  நெருப்பு  சூனியத்தின்  நிலைப்பு .
    the breath will go,the body will perish and emptiness will prevail in the case of every living being as the grand cosmic law.After all, the most imperishable truth of life is its perishable form .



Monday, November 11, 2013

The Two Handsome Tamil Comedians.

    At a time, when the theory that performing heroes need not look handsome is becoming an acceptable phenomenon,to talk of handsome comedians may sound paradoxical. However,let us give the individuals the tag that is reasonably due to them.I would also like to say categorically that this title is not intended to undermine the looks of other talented comedians of the huge Tamil film industry.To me the appearance of these two comedians, gives them a hero status, by certain conservative norms held so far, as a determined yardstick for developing a commanding screen image.The two comedians who would honour this title without prejudice to others, are Vivek and Santhanam.
     Both in terms of age and time of entry into the field of acting,Vivek is a clear senior to Santhanam by at least a decade and a half. Vivek also holds the proud position of being a K.Balachander  product.His first two films Manathil Urudhi Vendum and Puthu Puthu Arthangal directed by K.B made Vivek  establish a solid foundation for himself as an actor meant to reckon with. Particularly as a character with a loose tongue, he made his role distinctly memorable in Puth Puthu Arthangal. But what a meteoric growth it has been to Santhanam, after his firm entry in Manmadhan that made his earlier role in Kadhal Azhivadhillai insignificant.With in a decade, he has become the busiest ever actor to be seen almost in every other release, with small,big and selling comedy shows.Starting his film career with the renowned T.Rajender  and his son Simbu, Santhanam continued to act in Simbu's films like Kaalai,Vallavan,Vaanam and Osthi,the last two in this list showing him in the best comedy form. 
     The skit matters a lot for the success of a comedy scene, that takes the comedian closer to the audience for their continued acceptance and patronage.Gone are the days of decent comedy scenes, without any semblance of vulgarity and scatological connotation.We do not know if the decline in quality of humour is due to an itch to satisfy the audience mood, or the inherent calibre of the comedians themselves.Quite often, even decent comedy providers like the duo Goundamani and Sendhil  resorted to  toilet humour as though comedy could generate only in the rest rooms. Vivek  and Santhanam are no exception to this kind of comedy presentation. Vivek's comedy scenes were particularly undesirable in the film Shajahaan and Santhanam periodically takes his humour  skit to the toilet side.
     Both Vivek and Santhanam  have excelled in verbal comedy by taking their fellow comedians and sometimes even their team heroes for a ride.In the same spirit, they have allowed themselves to be bullied and exploited by their fellow comedians as Goundamani  very many times, let Sendhil make him a scapegoat.Incidentally, it should be mentioned here, that both Vivek  and Santhanam have acted in a few movies, without any significant scenes for a meeting point.Some of the films in this list are, Ajith's Kireedom,Suriya's Singam2 and Vinay's Jeyamkondan. But they did have a meeting ground in Sundar C's Veeraappu. Both these comedians have contributed solidly to the comedy spirit of Sundar.C. In films like Naam Iruvar Namakkiruvar,Unakkaaga Ellaam Unakkaaga, Ullam Kollai Pogudhei, Sandai, Auyudham Seivom and Aindhaam Padai  Vivek added wonderful moments of laughter.In the same manner, Sathanam made his mighty humour shows, in movies like Rendu, Kalakalappu and the most fabulous comedy film Theeyaa Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru. 
     Not less than twenty five popular films could be recommended for a healthy and happy watch of Vivek's intelligent and appealing comedy scenes.Unlike Santhanam,Vivek has effectively demonstrated his strength for mimicking several great actors of the last generation like Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan,M.R.Radha M.N.Nambiyar  and later his own contemporary heroes like Rajini and Kamal.No one can forget his parodying the court scene of Sivaji Ganesan's  debut film Parasakthi and then the Sivaji- Radha platonic love episode in Mudhal Mariyaadhai. Srikanth's Paarthiban Kanavu scored an additional point for repeated audience view because of Vivek's  parody of the famous scenes from Mudhal Mariyaadhai. He has also mimicked the voices of Rajini and Kamal  and their style of dialogue delivery.Some of the films of Kamal that he has parodied are Guna and Nayagan.
     Vivek has the time sense and aptitude to include song and scene sequences from other films relevantly to his own comedy scenes, as he pointedly did in Dhool and several other movies. Vivek was found doing an amazing job in the line of N.S.Krishnan, by performing comedy with social sense, with deliberate inclusion of messages of social awakening through comedy scenes. This is how he went on to impress the audience by his clean performance in films like Kaadhal Sadugudu,Youth,Samy,Thirunelveli  and quite a few other movies.
     Besides these films,the other movies of Vivek  that would go a long way into the memory interiors of the audience are Run, Pennin Manadhaithottu,Kadhal Mannan, Dhool, Minnale, Poovellaam Un vaasam, Perazhagan Azhagi,Dum Dum Dum, Sandhitha Velai,M.Kumaran S/o Mahalakshmi, Thirumalai, Kushi, Middle Class Madhavan,Whistle,University,Anniyan, Thenkasipattanam, Thambikku Indha Ooru,Sivaji, Uthama Puthiran of Danush, and Singam1. One can hardly ignore Vivek's hilarious comedy ride with Vadivelu,  in films like Pongalo Pongal, Looty and Manadhai Thirudivittai .
     Santhanam too has in his kitty more than a dozen great films out of his numerous rapid releases,that  would vouchsafe his capacity to tickle humour. However, unlike Vivek's continued flow of humour generating dialogues,Santhanam can be proud of  his one line verbal strokes that would spontaneously augment the comedy feel with  utmost relevance to sense of timing.Some of the historic comedy scenes of Santhanam are from films like Siva Manasula Sakthi,Boss Engira Baskaran,Oru Kal Oru Kannaadi, Velayudham, Kandein Kadhalai, Theeeradha Vilaiyaattuppillai, Thillaalangadi, Settai, Thaandavam [very sensible play of humour to the extent of taking out the patience of the police officer played by Nasser}, Mirattal, Naan Yee,Kanna Laddu Thinna Aaasaiyaa,Raja Rani, Vanakkam Chennai and the three films Siruthai,Saguni and Alex Pandian in which he carried on the taunting team celebration of comedy with Karthik Sivakumar.
   The similarities between these two comedians have certain significant traits.Both are quite often loud mouthed because comedy needs audible delivery of dialogues more than any other segment of cinema.Both are fair complexioned with a kind of charm in their appearance that helps them have a pleasing reach with the audience.Both have a flair for dancing and Vivek  in fact donned the role of a dance master in Kushi .Both have acted with all leading actors including the Superstar and both have not so far shared the screen space with the world class hero Kamalahasan. Santhanam would perhaps be a happy man now, looking forward to the scope of sharing screen space with Kamal, in the proposed film Uthama Villain, to be directed by Ramesh Arvind. Both Vivek and Santhanam have been directed by Shankar  but not by Manirathnam.
    But the rocking note of difference between the two, is the most cherished sense of continuity and coherence in the comedy skits meticulously developed and delivered by Vivek, that seem to be invariably void in the one- liner- bound comedy drive of Santhanam. I personally feel that Vivek has an inspiring spirit of latent humour like the noted, other commendable comedian S.V.Sekar. But unlike S.V.Sekar,  who has a sense of control over his comedy delivery,Vivek appears to be more unbridled in enjoying his job of making others genuinely laugh for a while,without any reservation. 
    Vivek's  comedy could be compared to the traditional mode of poetry composition;whereas, Santhanam's comedy track could be equated with the free verse category.To me, Vivek seems to be a perfect combination of N.S.Krishnan and K.A.Thangavel Whereas, Santhanam appears to travel on the track of Goundamani without the support of a soul-sustaining companion like the innocently mischievous Senthil, boosting the energy levels of not only the comedy mood of Goundamani, but also that of the audience.But to carry on the laughter wagon evenhandedly,without a solid team mate is not that easy. It is in this respect, Santhanam gains his winning streak.
   As far as the comedy track of new wave Tamil Cinema is concerned,one could notice the obvious absence of female pairs for the present day comedians, unlike T.A.Madhuram M.Saroja and Manorama{ and Madhavi too} joining hands with the best comedians like N.S.Krishnan, K.A.Thangavel, Chandrababu ,Nagesh and Thengai Srinivasan of the previous generation.Starting from Goundamani, the new generation comedians have mostly been playing humour games without female partners.Nevertheless,Tamil film industry should really be proud of being endowed with a galaxy of talents in all areas, more significantly, in the ever important comedy side of screen play and presentation.In this regard,these two handsome comedians definitely hold an important place. 



Monday, November 4, 2013

The Namesakes of Tamil Cinema.

     Tamil Cinema has witnessed the strange phenomenon of namesakes occupying distinct positions as actors directors and music directors.These names have been distinguished either by their initials or some sort of prefixes and suffixes for gaining an independent identity.I do not think any other Indian film circle would have witnessed such a phenomenon to this enormous proportion.
    Though MGR,the three letters, became the heart throb of Tamil film fans and the Tamils in general, the name M.G.Ramachandran of the mass hero, had to be distinguished from T.R.Ramachandran, the hero -cum comedian and T.K.Ramachandran, the bold eyed villain, of the same  period. V.C Ganesan and R.Ganesh became  Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan with their prefixes adding a state of grandeur to their similar names.While K.R.Ramasamy was an actor-singer carrying a singular voice frame,V.K.Ramasamy established himself as a stable actor meant for a longer, louder and larger space in Tamil Cinema.Besides these two,there was another Ramasamy who had acted as comedian and villain's henchman and was popularly known as Friend Ramasamy,with that positive prefix.The other interesting fact about namesakes is about the two noted film personalities T.K.Baghavathi and T.S.Baghavathi, of whom the former was a powerful male actor and the latter a dynamic woman playback singer. 
    P.U.Chinnappa was known as a powerful hero with a great throw of his singing voice and acting vigour. His films Aariyamaala,Manonmani and Jagadhalapradhaaban are still fresh in my memory as my childhood treasures. M.M.A. Chinnappa Devar with his community suffix added to his name, had a greater role to play in Tamil Cinema as a famous producer, director and stunt master. M.K.Radha was a vibrant hero, making himself memorable through his clean performance, in films like Aboorva Sagodharargal, Samsaaram and Chandralekha. But M.R.Radha’s wings as an actor of versatility, flew high for more than a quarter century, stealing the hearts of Tamil film fans.
    Veteran director K.Balachander and actor-cum film maker S.Balachandar were contemporaries in Tamil Cinema. However, the former was to become the powerful voice of Tamil Cinema, for several decades.The latter who had acted in about ten films that include popular ones like Devaki,Penn,Dr.Savithri and Maragatham, was rated with esteem for making four critically reviewed films such as Andha Naal, Avana Ivan,Nadu Iravil and Bommai. Besides, he was a highly talented musician with an extraordinary flair for playing the Veena and he came to be known as Veena Balachandar. Similarly,between K.S.Gopala- krishnan and V.Gopalakrishnan,one retained his success formula as a valued director and the other held his estimable position, as a high quality actor. S.P.Muthuraman the renowned director of many Rajini films has also directed a couple of films of his namesake, actor R.Muthuraman. 
   D.Balasubramaniam and R.Balasubramaniam were notable actors, playing villain roles in the Nineteen forties and fifties.In the Nineteen Seventies, there appeared the stupendous singer S.P.Balasubramaiyam, who with his rolling tongue and charming  clarity of voice, enslaved the music lovers. His  histrionic ability has also been proved effectively, by his endearing performance in films like Kadhalan, Keladi Kanmani,Ullaasam and so on.
     This trend of same-name-personalities, seems to continue even now, with the mass hero Vijay being differentiated from Thalaivaasal Vijay with the prefix of a film title,Pa.Vijay the lyricist-cum actor,Arun Vijay the actor son of the illustrious character actor Vijayakumar and A.L.Vijay the promising film director. Besides, we have Nizhalgal Ravi and Jeyam Ravi with their first,film titles preceding their names.To avoid confusion between the two Karthiks,the senior is called Karthik Muthuraman. Similarly, the music maestro's son and music director, is called Karthik Raja. While Suriya,the elder son of Sivakumar has established his position as an enchanting hero,S.J.Soorya,the noted film director of Ajithkumar's Vaali and Vijay's Kushi has also apeared as hero in a few films.We also have two Srikanths, one introduced by C.V.Sridhar and the other, a soft romantic hero, who made his debut, in Rojaakkoottam. It would be an unfair thing for the new generation film watchers, to forget the contribution of the former Srikanth, who created waves as hero, villain and character actor, through his brilliant performance in films like Aval, Thanga Padhakkam, Sila nerangalil Sila Manidhargal and Oru Nadigai Naadagam Paarkiraal.
    Mohan,Poovilangu Mohan [named after the film Poovilangu in which he acted]and Mohan Sarma are the other namesakes, of whom the first in the list remained as a very popular and busy actor  for a decade or so,winning the hearts of his fans, as an unrelenting romantic hero.While the noted comedian Senthil is almost a home name,a hero with the same name is to appear on the big screen, after establishing his position as a TV serial hero in Vijay T.V's one of the most popular serials,Saravanan Meenakshi.    
     Among women, there were P.Banumathi, the dauntless heroine of the last millennium  and M.Banumathi who played first as heroine and later as second level actress. Padmini the dynamic heroine and ebullient dancer saw her name sake Kutti Padmini, who rocked as a child artist but failed to sustain her position later, as a heroine. There was another Kumari Padmini, who played as hero’s sister in a few movies and disappeared. M.S.Subbulakshmi the noted Carnatic singer, who is known for her fabulous voice,had her less popular namesake, S,D.Subbulakshmi an actress of the last millennium. While B.S.Saroja was paired with MGR in his earlier movies, M.Saroja who played as comedienne, later married K.A.Thangavel and settled down into family life. The other E.V.Saroja with her great dancing credentials had acted with MGR, Sivaji and Gemini. With her grace and acting ability she also became the most chosen actress for the films of T.R.Ramanna. 
    G.Varalakshmi and S.Varalakshmi were contemporary actresses who adorned Tamil big screen initially as heroines and later in powerful mother roles. G.Varalaksmi's performance in films like Aaravalli and Gulebahavali was known for charm and grace. However, in the role of a mother, S.Varalakshmi wielded great power and energy, in films like Panamaa Paasama Poovaa Thalaiya and Needhikku Thalaivanangu. G.Varalakshmi of course, gave a convincing performance as a wealthy and arrogant mother, in A.V.M's Kuzhandhaiyum Dheivamum. Both P.K.Saraswathi C.K.Saraswathi were old timers in the Tamil Tinsel world. Of the two C.K Saraswathi will ever stay remembered as the most cruel stepmother and mother-in law on screen. Whereas, Bagyaraj with his bonhomie,gave prominence to C.R.Saraswathi who played a memorable role as the hero's stepmother in Enga Sinna Raasaa..
    I do not think the name sake syndrome is so prevalent in Indian Cinema of other languages. However, beyond the similarity in names, it is the individual’s personal attributes and merits that bring them closer to the audience as MGR,Sivaji Ganesan,Gemini Ganesan, M.R.Radha, VKR,Vijay, Banumathi and Padmini.