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#TellMeYourStory :

June is the birthday month of actor, R. Madhavan. And we want to give him an interesting birthday gift. What? Stories, of course…

So, a boyish hero ventured during our teens. And he has grown in our hearts since. What is your first memory of watching Madhavan, be it on television and big screen? Or what is your memory of watching any Madhavan film, for that matter? What do you remember of yourself and your feelings?

Let’s bring those memories back for our favourite actor.

Upasona Banerjee : Wait. First, let me breathe a little and control my heartbeat.

Okay, so I and Maddy met for the first time when he was doing Sea Hawks. Now, if anyone has seen the tele-serial, they definitely know how he was there. The serial had a pretty serious story and obviously a wow Anup Soni. But Maddy walked straight through the doors of my heart with his boyish charm. After the serial was over, I kind of forgot about it thinking it was just a childhood crush.

But again we met. This time RHTDM. Okay, he was a stalker. But then if it’s Maddy. For an evening if he is at my place, lighting matchstick while it’s a power-cut and conveying something unsaid with that intensity, then I can deal with the stalker tendencies. While I’m typing this, you should see how I’m blushing. I’m still head over heels for him. Oh yes, I still wish to sit on that bench to see the sunset with him.

 Kavita Iyer : Oh! I went head over heels when I saw him in RHTDM. Such a superb actor, romantic hero, mesmerising smile that he has, I wished I had someone like Maddy in my life. I had even set my caller tune then to the title song of RHTDM and it literally is my favourite track till date!

 Srivatsan V : My first memories of Maddy goes back to mid 1990s when “Sea Hawks” serial was telecasted on television.. It was one of those TV serials I used to watch to brush up my Hindi (I was born in a non Hindi speaking state and I learnt Hindi in my own style – watching movies and TV serials initially and later via internet). After Sea Hawks, didn’t notice Maddy. And then he made an entry into the film world in 2000 with the Tamil film Alaipayuthey (remade as Saathiya later in Hindi); then in Minnale (which was remade as RHTDM in Hindi) and then the rest is history with Maddy playing many versatile roles like the ones he played in Run (again remade in Hindi with same title), Aayutha Ezhuthu ( Yuva in Hindi), Ramji Londanwale, Guru, Mumbai Meri Jaan, 13B, 3 Idiots, etc. Who would have imagined that guy with boyish charms would have essayed such versatile roles when Alaipayuthey got released! Still remember how the young girls in theatre were whistling and cheering for Maddy when he made his entry in Alaipaayuthey & Minnale.

At a personal level, I have been inspired by Maddy in many ways. His life journey has a plethora of lessons and experiences. He won best NCC cadet in the year 1991, he won young entrepreneur award in an international function long back in 1991 or 1992. Then, after failing to make it into Indian Airforce, he started his career in public speaking where he taught many people including Sarita who later went on to become his wife. He then tried modelling, made an entry into the serials, then films and so on. Maddy personally reminds me on the following crucial life lessons:

  1. Be open to embrace new and different experiences at different stages of life. Be versatile.
  2. Failure is never the end.
  3. Age is only a number and you can try anything at any age.
  4. Never forget your roots.
  5. Never misuse your celebrity image.

Nazneen Kachwala : ‘Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein’ is an all time favourite of mine. I loved the movie so much that I even watched the South Indian version of the film (dubbed of course). His role in ‘Rang De Basanti’ was awesome too. I remember I sobbed so much in the theatre when he died in the film. And my recent favourite is ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’. All in all, from being a cute lover to a committed one and then a bechara husband…Madhavan rocks! There are many of his wonderful works but these are the few which struck me the most.

 Geetha Krishnan : I write this as I watch RHTDM almost to the last scene now!! My all time favourite hero and movie. And ‘Alaipayuthey’ was the one movie which literally inspired me to act! When I watched the movie in Tamil, I was pulled to act. It was so natural, so genuine. I even shared my intentions with an Ad maker friend of mine. I still hold the wish to act just because of the beautiful scenes in Alaipayuthey.

But my hero worship as a teenager started with Sea Hawks, Maddy in his navy uniform and then Banegi apni Baat as the cute friend.

But most importantly we all love you, Maddy, because you are an amazing person, down to earth and heart-centred. And my MOM loves you too Maddy!! Wish you many happy returns of the day! We all love you and wish you many more Happy #MaddyDay‘s to come!!

Koral Dasgupta : Vikram Vedha. I rushed to watch it without checking whether it has been released with English subtitles and bumped into dialogues of which I couldn’t understand a word!!! But that didn’t come in the way of entertainment. One, because language has never been a barrier to fangirling. And two, a huge young crowd had landed from some college. They kept shouting deafeningly “Anna Anna” from the left. Cheerleaders of Madhavan. 15 minutes into the film, I could see people getting up. I was surprised that these people had come to watch a film and decided within 15 minutes that they didn’t wish to watch more! But no, I was wrong. In another 20 minutes I realized that a reshuffle had happened in perfect coordination. Now all Madhavan fans were on my left and all Vijay Sethupathi fans were on the right, both cheering for their respective stars. Most of the film had Madhavan enjoying upper hand. The scene where Sethupathi takes him by the neck, the right side went mad. At half time, an old man came up to sit beside me in the empty recliner seat at the back. I knew he hadn’t paid for it, and so I was stupidly looking at him. What followed was, rest of the time he kept explaining endlessly in his heavily accented Hindi that at home he couldn’t watch Tamil films because his son/grandchildren were always watching news/cartoon and now, to his great distress, there’s no peace even inside the theatre!!!

So much for Maddying around… Many happy returns, Champ!

Swapna Pitkar Sabnis : Banegi Apni Baat. Though he wasn’t the lead character in the series, for me he was. I became an instant fan. And then came RHTDM. I haven’t missed any of his work till date including Vikram Vedha. With subtitles of course. And anyway, every time he talks in VV, believe me you don’t need to understand the words. He has that effect on you.
And those initial days when I told my mom that I was a fan, she was like… Dekhoooo engineering bhi kiya hai! Old school forever.

Wishing him good luck and health. Happy birthday Maddy!

 Om Tiwari : I got to watch R. Madhavan first in ‘RHTDM’ and it’s needless to say, like millions of his audience, I was swept away by his remarkable performance, while Saif played second fiddle. Following ‘RHTDM’ I watched almost all his films released in Hindi, barring ‘Jodi Breakers’ and ‘Ramji Londonwaley’. I admired them all. Madhavan comes across as a genuine actor completely in sync with his roles, delivering them in a fashion that leaves an indelible impression on the audience. Sample ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ for the range of emotions he evokes in quick succession: not an easy act actually given the series of tense moments the film had, in which one humdrum scene had the potential to give way. Madhavan emerged even stronger with his latest flick ‘Saala Khadoos’, displaying a mature version of himself keeping intact his charm that floors the girl he is coaching, treading a thin line that sustains the relevance of the movie. Personally, I was awestruck by his 2017 Harvard speech on ‘India in 2030’. Way to go, man!

Vani Kaushal : Maddy is our Indian version of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Need I say more?

Megha Sumant Sharma : A girl who never used to converse with the opposite gender. To watch movies with family was her peaceful time. Watching Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein was the best thing that could happen to the little bud. Maddy, my first crush. I felt so connected right at the first instance. He was in Jamshedpur and I was born and brought up in Ranchi. Such innocent looks, refreshing body language, cuteness overload. Since that very day I started adoring wheatish men. I hope to hug him in person sometime. Would faint though, but, he will hold me back for sure. I mean, I wish…

Jen Thomas : I fell in love with him after watching Guru….

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