Remembering M K Thyagaraja Bhagavathar: Tamil Cinema’s first superstar
Very few have attained stardom by following their passion, some have become immortal in the industry they chose to tread to an extent that it would be safe to call the industry grown because of their contribution. one of those immortal, the first superstar of Tamil Cinema industry breathed his last on 1st Nov 1959 after few years of pilgrimage.
Consider being a hero, a peerless Carnatic singer and the blue-eyed boy of an industry that was nascent, there were no comforts of a settee or air-conditioned multiplexes, they had only touring talkies and cinemas with benches and floor tickets with not much of facilities and a movie ran for three consecutive Deepavali. He ruled the industry with his unparalleled singing skills with effortless acting.
Hailing from a humble goldsmith community, he lacked interest in studies. He developed a liking for music and started learning it at an early age. His performance on the stage at the age of 10 earned him enough reputation to hit the silver screen at the age of 24 with the movie Pavalakodi. Within a span of 10 years, he appeared in 9 films that culminated with the blockbuster Haridas. The movie had songs ‘Krishna Mukuntha Murare‘, ‘Ammaiyappa‘, and evergreen ‘Manmada leelaiyai‘.
‘Radhe unnaku kobam‘, ‘Bhoomil maanida janam‘ are songs from his other movies that are still heard by some because of the way he sang. He has also contributed to a social cause by organizing an event to collect money for the Red Cross. Though his later years were marred by his arrest in a murder case that demoted him from the altar of stardom, he held on to his faith and spend his time visiting temples and gurus.
As a practicing Hindu, let us spare a moment for the first superstar of Tamil industries Mayavaram Krishnaswamy Thyagaraja Bhagavathar on his memorial day.
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