Ibrahim Kutty has an enviable address – he is the younger brother of Mammootty. The leading Malayalam actor is ‘Ichakka’ to Ibrahim Kutty and the rest of the family. They are proud to say that Big B has still got their backs. When Ibrahim Kutty reminisces about his house, naturally Mammootty is an integral part of it.
“Our ancestral house, Panapparambu, was situated by the lake at Chembu near Vaikom. It had all the features of a traditional Muslim house. Our father Ismail and mother Fatima had six children, three boys and three girls. The eldest of us is Muhammed Kutty (Mammootty), our Ichakka. I am the third. Our house was always in a party mood because we all lived together.
“Father was a wholesale merchant of cloths and rice. Our family was also into paddy farming. When Ichakka joined a pre-degree course, father built a new house just a kilometre away from our ancestral house. Ichakka had a special place in the family because he was the oldest and smartest. He had his own room. The rest of the siblings shared rooms. Ichakka always took care of us. Even now.
“He always wanted to be a famous movie actor. After completing LL.B., he ventured into the movies. Those days, Madras (now Chennai) was the hub of the Malayalam movie industry. He shifted to Chennai along with family. Then he became a megastar. He built a house in Panampally Nagar when the cinema industry moved to Kochi. He moved to a new house at Elamkulam in March, just two weeks before the COVID-19 lockdown. The house-warming was a modest ceremony attended by a few relatives and friends from the movie industry.
Though Ichakka became an actor I never had an aptitude for or interest in acting. I returned from Saudi Arabia in 1999. Ichakka was acting in ‘Pallavoor Devanarayanan’ then. I went to watch the shooting. One day director Shyama Prasad visited the shooting site. He was working on a telefilm. Ichakka asked me why don’t I try a hand. Shyam agreed. That was how I accidentally started a TV career. The next year, I acted in a movie called ‘Sayahnam’.
I went abroad as soon as I finished my studies. When I returned, I settled in Tripoonithura. I have been living there for 30 years. Initially we lived in rented houses. I did not have the financial security to build a house. That’s when Ichakka helped me even without me asking anything from him. He bought a house for me in Tripoonithura. I have been living in that house for 12 years. A three-bedroom, two-storey house on 5 cents.
I live with wife Semina and children Maqbool Salman and Tanya. Maqbool has started acting in movies. He acted with Ichakka in ‘Masterpiece’. Though he is younger to Dulquer, they share their birthday on July 28. Dulquer and Salmaan are two characters from Islamic history. When Ichakka named his son Dulquer Salmaan, I named my son Maqbool Salman.
I was always interested in cooking. My mother was a great cook. Even Ichakka cooks well. I started a YouTube channel to get over the boredom of the lockdown. It’s named Ibroos Diary. I present mostly traditional Muslim cookery. Now I have a lot of viewers. I also like gardening. I have so many plants in the yard and the terrace. Mostly bougainvillea and orchids. I spent the lockdown tending to them.