Lungi dance has always been Georgettan’s item, he started wiggling in his lungi much before Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh shook legs with Deepika Padukone to Yo Yo Honey’s 'Lungi dance...' number from Chennai Express to rake in megabucks.
When George Mangidi started off the public display of his 'dance routine', Shah Rukh might have been a boy in his knickers and Deepika, not yet thought of.
Those early birds of Thiruvananthapuram, who take the Museum route for their morning jaunts, know him for his trademark routine in lungi. Call him Georgettan or Paulettan, he’s sure to respond.
The 78-year-old never walks, but does a special jig to workout every part of his body. The man, in his mojo, is a sight to behold. He drives down for his daily dance in SUVs, donning t-shirt and shoes of high-end sport brands. However, what goes round his waist is his beloved lungi. A man for all seasons, he loves to mask his branded stuff behind the folds of his lungi. It’s hard to spot anyone else like him at the museum.
But little do folks know that this oddball 'showpiece' is one of the most successful tradesmen in the capital city who runs a roaring business in furniture for the past five decades and more.
Why the lungi dance
He beat ill health by walking, an exercise he began before he turned 30. Walking into his 79th year, he says he gave up pants and track suits when his hernia started giving him trouble. It’s been the lungi ever since.
There’s more to Georgettan. A steadfast walker for the last 40 years, he’s had a go at almost everything he could lay his hands on. He dabbled in politics, even going to the extent of contesting civic, assembly and parliament elections! Without batting an eyelid, he even took on the great V. K. Krishnan Menon.
His family, however, does not share his passion for the lungi, though they don’t express it.
Looking at the morning crowd, Georgettan strolls back in memories. A lot of people, who walked with him, have passed on. A lot of friends too, like Fr Vadakkan and well known journalist K. R. Chummar. He misses them all the more for the place they hailed from. Like him, they belonged to Thrissur.
It was pouring buckets. All the walkers had fled. The Museum grounds were still and quiet. But Georgettan stayed on to finish his hour-long workout, nay dance, lungi dance.