Malayalam cinema lovers cannot easily forget Ramanathan, the handsome dancer who enchanted the character of Nagavalli with his romantic eyes and amazing dance moves, in the blockbuster 1993 movie 'Manichitrathazhu'.
A busy actor in the Kannada movies Dr Sreedhar Sreeram is also a noted classical dancer, who regularly conducts dance performances all over the world. “The film 'Manichitrathazhu' has really made history. Usually a movie would stay in the people’s minds for four or five years, but this movie is not like that. Every month 'Manichitrathazhu' is shown in some TV channel, and I would receive many phone calls that day. Though I acted in around 65 Kannada movies as the main protagonist or in supporting role, Ramanathan is still my unforgettable character. The dance routine between Ramanathan and Nagavalli is the most beautiful choreography ever seen in Malayalam cinema,” remarked Sreeram with pride.
The actor recalled a recent incident when he visited the Padmanabhapuram Palace in Kanyakumari District where the iconic song was shot. “We were on a tour as part of a programme organised by 'Soorya' Krishnamoorthy sir. As I was walking through the corridors of the Padmanabhapuram Palace, sharing the wonderful memories of the movie with my wife and daughter, a group suddenly stopped in front of us and asked, ‘Aren’t you Nagavalli’s Ramanathan’? We were stunned. They let us go only after I agreed to show a few dance steps to the song ‘Oru murai vanthu paarthaya’,” the artiste recalled.
Dr Sreeram shared another incident in Switzerland when a Keralite family met him back stage where he was relaxing after a dance performance. The actor said he felt great pride when the family eagerly explained about 'Manichitrathazhu' to their friends. “During those days, my dance performance to the song ‘Oru murai vanthu paarthaya’ was an unavoidable item in the stage shows, especially abroad. I have no idea how many times I have performed it in on stage in the Gulf countries. This love is much more valuable than any award,” concluded Sreeram.