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A ticket for a movie legend

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For this 52-year-old BSNL employee in Madurai, movie tickets are not just an entry pass to the cinema hall, but memorabilia to showcase his love for legendary actor and former chief minister MG Ramachandran.
M Tamilnesan, from T Kunnathur near Perayur, has religiously collected tickets of all the MGR movies that he has watched in the last 20 years. While almost all theatres in Madurai are covered, he also has tickets of theatres from Coimbatore, Salem, Dindigul, Palani, Chennai and other towns. "I missed tickets from theatres in Hyderabad and Bangalore," says Tamilnesan, proudly displaying the tickets pasted in the order of date. Some of them he possesses are truly memorabilia as those theatres no longer exist now.


An SSLC holder, Tamilnesan recollects that he got introduced to MGR films when he was studying in the ninth standard. "I vividly remember the day. The film was Mugarasi, screened in a theatre in nearby Kallupatti village. There was a huge crowd that came in bullock carts from various villages. I was surprised to see that a large number of women had also come," says Tamilnesan. "But after watching the movie, I understood the reason for the huge crowd. It was the aura of MGR," he says. But he did not start collecting tickets from that time. "It occurred to me to collect tickets only much later, in the 1990s. Till date, I have 800 tickets costing from Rs 2 to Rs 50 bought from over 150 theatres," he says. Tamilnesan maintains a diary where he has pasted the tickets with notes of the film, theatre and the show timings. "Half of the theatres have been razed down now," he says.
A diehard fan of MGR, so much so that he offers prayers to the matinee idol's portrait in his house everyday, Tamilnesan claims he has not watched films of any other actor. "Even in television, I don't watch any other films or programmes except for news. But every Sunday, without fail, I watch an MGR movie. I have even watched movies like "Admimai Penn" 100 times," he says.
Tamilnesan has also founded Madurai District MGR Devotees Club that has 130 members. The main activity of the club is to visit various towns and watch MGR films. Tamilnesan has planned a library in Kunnathur with the 150-odd books about MGR he possesses. "MGR's life, like his films, is a messages to the masses. I want to spread them," he says.

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