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Google Doodle remembers P K Rosy, first female actor in Malayalam cinema

Google Doodle on P K Rosy. Image Credit: Google Doodle - Twitter

Malayalees hardly remember the name P K Rosy. But fond memories of this yesteryear actor kindled in the mind of Malayalees when Google came up with a dedicated doodle on P K Rosy, Malayalam cinema’s first lead female actor, on the occasion of her 120th birthday on Friday.

A page dedicated to her on Google mentions that she was born on February 10, 1903, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. As per Wikipedia entry, PK Rosy’s real name was Rajamma and she was the first actress in Malayalam cinema who acted in Vigathakumaran (The Lost Child) directed by J. C. Daniel.

Wikipedia says she was born as Rajamma, in 1903 at Nandankode, Thiruvananthapuram to a lower caste family. Her living relatives confirm that her father died when she was very young leaving her family steeped in poverty. Her younger years were spent as a grass-cutter. She was also very interested in the arts and was encouraged in this by her uncle, who found for her a teacher for music and acting. She also regularly went to the local school of performing arts to study Kakkirasi Nattakam, a form of Tamil folk theatre in a mix of Tamil and Malayalam revolving around stories of Siva and Parvati arriving on Earth as nomads

Wikipedia cites her as the first woman who broke barriers to act in a movie at a time when performing arts were discouraged in many sectors of society, especially for women. Even there were protests against her acting and the movie with the crowd objecting to a Dalit woman portraying the character of a Nair woman. The Wikipedia entry further says “Due to her ‘crime’ of acting as a Nair, her home was reportedly burnt down by upper castes. Reports then state that she fled in a lorry that was headed to Tamil Nadu, married the lorry driver, Kesavan Pillai, and lived her life quietly in Tamil Nadu as “Rajammal”

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