"Two Famous Murders" is hardly a topic you would associate with Madras Day Celebrations. As part of lecture series to celebrate the spirit of Madras/chennai - Randor Guy (a renowned writer, journalist, lawyer, historian...) gave a very eloquent talk in Taj, on the two most famous murders that rocked Madras. My Grandfather used to entertain us with the stories of his time and this time, I wanted to hear it from a more analytical source too.
1944 - M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar - the original super star, a distinguished musician & N.S.Krishnan, now popularly known as Kalaivaanar were arrested for having conspired to murder one Lakshmikanthan, that guy who wrote gossip columns about all famous people (Randor Guy noted that most of them were true!) and incurred wrath from many high places. But the arrest sent shock waves among people.
Just a pointer to MKT's popularity - He stayed in Tirchy and he travelled by train to chennai for his singing & acting assignments. People used to gather at the stations and clap with utmost glee when the first class apartment passed by!! His movie- Haridas (which had the famous - "Manmadha leelai-ai vendrar undo" had seen three deepavali's continuously!!).
But the irony of the case was, MKT & NSK were wrongly implicated and were released from prison after two years (they had to move to the apex court that was in London - mind you this was before the independence). By then, Everything was Lost. MKT used to say "Yennai pol vaazhdhavanum kidaiyaadhu ..yennai pol thaazhdhavanum kidaiyaadhu!"
Worst, the mystery is yet to be untangled. Randor Guy had wanted to write a series abt this in Anandha Vikatan but he was threatened to stop it.
The other case was Alavandhar Kolai vazhakku. That man was murdered for an illicit affair. There was some high funda detective work from Madras police and they solved the case successfully. This case was also made as a serial in DD (infact the first ever tamil serial). It had created quite an interest among the public.
Randor guy simply amazed me with his memory, he could just reel off names, dates, street names and all the trivia associated, effortlessly. Last year, had gone to his lecture on Old Madras in Movies - Good Fun!