Except as a rare smiling face who came on television for a special occasion, Jagathy Sreekumar, the actor who made generations laugh and cry, has been mostly absent from the world he was most happy in – the one in front of the camera. On Tuesday, his son Rajkumar announced that this was going to change, and that after seven years, his papa was going to face the camera again for a commercial.
“My brother is launching our own production company – called Jagathy Sreekumar Entertainments. Papa’s comeback to the camera is also part of that. The ad is a production of Silverstorm Water Theme Park,” Parvathy Shone, Jagathy’s daughter, tells TNM.
Everything changed for Jagathy on the night of March 10, 2012, when the car he was travelling in met with a near fatal accident near Calicut University. Even as everyone fond of the veteran comedian feared the worst, the actor has been slowly recuperating, living his life inside the walls of his Thiruvananthapuram home, cared for by the family.
“We are all joining him in the ad, his grandchildren will also be there,” Parvathy says.
Acting offers had come in the intervening years, but the family was afraid he was not ready. But now, the doctor has advised that working in front of the camera and meeting his old colleagues might uplift his spirits and influence his treatment. “He has been showing some visible changes on interacting with the friends he has worked with for decades. So, we, as his children, are providing the platform for papa to make his comeback,” Parvathy says.
She knows that he is not the same old Jagathy, his right hand is still slightly paralysed, he is still on a wheelchair and has trouble with his speech. And Jagathy is known for his unique style of rendering his lines, expressions and body language most beautifully befitting comedy. But acting is not just speaking, Parvathy reminds you. “Let’s see. We are just as eager to watch him do what he loved most," she notes.
The shooting will happen in Athirappally on February 28, after a switch on function the previous day, at the Silverstorm Water Theme Park. The ad will be launched in Thiruvananthapuram in an event attended by Jagathy’s friends from the cinema industy.