The Indian Post
Entertainment

Going out for a day with the original Manjummel Boys

Share

<p>The survivor-thriller Manjummel Boys, directed by Chidambaram and featuring Soubin Shahir and Sreenath Bhasi among an ensemble cast, is based on a true story from 2006.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-529265″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-going-out-for-a-day-with-the-original-manjummel-boys-newindianexpress-2024-03-83f0-750×421.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com going out for a day with the original manjummel boys newindianexpress 2024 03 83f0″ width=”1075″ height=”603″ title=”Going out for a day with the original Manjummel Boys 9″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-going-out-for-a-day-with-the-original-manjummel-boys-newindianexpress-2024-03-83f0-750×421.jpg 750w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-going-out-for-a-day-with-the-original-manjummel-boys-newindianexpress-2024-03-83f0-1024×575.jpg 1024w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-going-out-for-a-day-with-the-original-manjummel-boys-newindianexpress-2024-03-83f0-768×431.jpg 768w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-going-out-for-a-day-with-the-original-manjummel-boys-newindianexpress-2024-03-83f0-390×220.jpg 390w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-going-out-for-a-day-with-the-original-manjummel-boys-newindianexpress-2024-03-83f0.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 1075px) 100vw, 1075px” /></p>
<p>The film is now the highest-grossing Malayalam film to date, having brought in around Rs 200 crore at the box office since its release on February 22.</p>
<p>The story’s main characters, a group of tight friends from Manjummel, a charming village outside of Kochi, have always been in the spotlight thanks to their enormous success.</p>
<p>The actual Manjummel heroes were discussing the value of forming strong connections with the young people of Amalothbhavamatha Church on the day when TNIE paid them a visit.</p>
<p>These regular guys with exceptional stories never turn down the chance to inspire, even in the face of rising stardom and hectic schedules. This, they say, is their purpose.</p>
<p>Here, they discuss the movie, their relationship, the value of sports and art groups, the impact of Manjummel on their towns and personal lives, and more.</p>
<p>What was the evolution of your friendship?</p>
<p>Subash: We were a close-knit bunch from the beginning. Social media wasn’t there back then. We all gathered on the ground to play after we returned home from school. We went swimming in the next creek and participated in club activities. These relationships last a long time.</p>
<p>These kinds of connections provide support at trying times.</p>
<p>Kuttan’s Siju David: Certainly. For example, after the Kodaikanal accident, we had trouble getting money for Subash’s medical care, the return journey, etc. None of us had a steady income.</p>
<p>Sumesh was a big assistance to us. Even though he was unable to accompany the trip, he managed to organize everything in one evening.</p>
<p>There was no delay for anything due to a lack of money when we eventually arrived here.</p>
<p>We established Yuva, an organization that aids those in need, five years ago. We budget a certain amount of money every week to cover emergencies.</p>
<p>As stated in the movie, weren’t you guys a member of a club here before?</p>
<p>Siju David: It did have a name, Darshana. When it started, there were around forty members. It operated for many years. It then changed to Yuva Darshana. Clubs later began to fade as citizens’ groups gained prominence. But we still use Yuva to give back to society.</p>
<p>Only you and your gang?</p>
<p>Siju David: No, a lot of people from the Manjummel region are included.</p>
<p>Siju John: People of various ages are involved. Our staff always gives aid when someone comes to us, say for help with a marriage or a death.</p>
<p>Addiction to drugs and other vices is becoming more common among today’s youth. Could you explain on the significance of sports clubs and art in this particular context?</p>
<p>Sumesh: These kinds of things are necessary. Children are more vulnerable to negative influences when they lack things to engage in.</p>
<p>Sujith: We kept one another safe and close. Every day when we got home from school, we would go directly to the club or the playground. Sadly, there are no such options for today’s youth. They’re stuck in their silo.</p>
<p>Subash: There used to be a lot of public spaces. These playgrounds are where friendships first started. Sports teams and the arts were the outward expressions of these ties. Every community should have public spaces established by the government.</p>
<p>[To Siju David]: What life experiences contributed to the fortitude you needed to decide to descend the Guna Cave crevice?</p>
<p>Siju David: In the past, I was in charge of these clubs. I suppose having that role when I was younger and organizing things benefited me.</p>
<p>Sujith: Additionally, there was an incident while we were swimming and Krishnakumar got entangled in a river. Kuttan sprang into action to rescue him. Kuttan was born to lead.</p>
<p>Sixon: This still holds true today. We merely give Kuttan the cash when we go on excursions and such activities. He handles everything since he is the one who is accountable. We need not be concerned. We just relax!</p>
<p>Sujith: When we mention Kuttan’s name, our relatives feel comforted. They have faith in him.</p>
<p>Subash: We simply claim we’re heading to Kuttan’s place, even if we have to travel somewhere else. (Everyone laughs)</p>
<p>Has this group of yours always been daring?</p>
<p>Sujith: We had no idea that what we were doing was “adventurous” at that age. It seemed like the right thing to do.</p>
<p>Siju David: Back then, the fence at the suicide point in Kodaikanal wasn’t that tall. So we moved over to take a picture. The risks were not well known to us. At Guna Cave, the same event took place.</p>
<p>As you saw the Manjummel Boys movie, what thoughts crossed your mind?</p>
<p>Siju David: It seemed like a revisit of that particular trip. We went through those feelings-filled times. Everybody was crying.</p>
<p>Anil: Ninety-five percent of what was shown in the movie was factual.</p>
<p>Sixon: The film team had asked us to visit the Guna Cave set, which was located near Perumbavoor, before the screening. We were overcome with emotion when we arrived. Ajay Chalissery, the set designer, did an excellent job. It was the closest thing to the original. As soon as we walked in, we began to shake.</p>
<p>Siju: In order to record our emotions, cameras had been placed within the set. We were numb as we stood. It seemed as if we were in the actual Guna Cave. They were interested in knowing that.</p>
<p>Our feelings told them what we wanted to say without needing to use words.</p>
<p>Did they ask you for references while they were making the set?</p>
<p>Subash: The Tamil Nadu administration wanted to do to Gavi what they had done to Ordinary when they granted permission for the “Manjummel Boys” group to examine the Guna Cave. They were correct—a large number of tourists are now flocking to Guna Cave.</p>
<p>They therefore obtained authorization. To ensure that the cave’s construction was correct, they entered five times. Ajay and his painting crew made a sixth journey. He wanted for them to experience the cave as well.</p>
<p>To tell the truth, as soon as I stepped inside, I was afraid. Fear had taken control, but I knew it was phony since my whole body was trembling.</p>
<p>You had been contacted by at least three teams to adapt this narrative for the big screen. However, their efforts were unsuccessful. How, at last, did this one get on?</p>
<p>Sixon: A lot of people pushed for a cinematic adaptation of this tale. Shawn Antony, a friend and co-producer of the movie, was excited about it. There he met Subash and Kuttan. Then there was our familiar Ganapathi. Chidambaram, the film’s director, is his brother. When we first met, he was a budding filmmaker. Jan-E-Man, his first picture, hadn’t been published yet. They arrived, spoke to us about the topic, took a documentary, and got to work. It just took place. We never thought the film would take off and have this kind of impact.</p>
<p>Siju David: At first, we believed Chidambaram was going to make a movie in which Ganapathi would play the lead role. Later on, we found out that Soubin was co-producing and in the cast of the movie.</p>
<p>Sujith: They have a very dedicated crew. They visited our homes and observed every aspect of us, including our manners, speech patterns, and gait. They probably carried it out for two years. Their efforts have been fruitful. The movie accurately portrays us. We were taken aback.</p>
<p>Sixon: They even looked through our previous pictures to make sure the outfits fit.</p>
<p>Subash: Up until then, all I had seen of Sreenath Bhasi was in movies. He came to my place in the pre-production phase.</p>
<p>Sujith: It’s true that Subash’s mother was ignorant of Sreenath Bhasi’s identity. She assumed he was her son’s friend.</p>
<p>“We do not prioritize money.”</p>
<p>Were you guys as enthralled with tug-of-war as the movie depicted?</p>
<p>Siju David: Definitely, yes. Everybody is enthusiastic about it. We participated in regional contests. Some of us still have the wounds from those times. We even engaged in an elephant tug-of-war once (laughs).</p>
<p>[To Subash] Describe the early events that gave you the mental fortitude to overcome the fall.</p>
<p>Subash: Well, swimming and tree-climbing, I suppose (laughs).</p>
<p>Sujith: Subash was an adventurous kid even as a youngster. His favorite pastime was swimming.</p>
<p>Sumesh: It takes both mental and physical fortitude to swim in the stream. He enjoyed swimming and would catch, boil, and consume fish by himself.</p>
<p>Subash: My academic performance was also lacking. I was so often punished by being forced to stand on the bench with the females. My mental toughness has also been shaped by such sufferings (laughs). To be honest, the reason I lived was because a sharp rock edge in the crack tore through my trousers and kept me from falling any more.</p>
<p>Sujith: His stature played a role as well.</p>
<p>Have you ever felt remorse for taking the trip?</p>
<p>Subash: In agreement. However, it seems that my experience is serving as an inspiration to others. It is reportedly encouraging those who are struggling. Old pals have also begun to get back in touch. I used to question why I was spared. Now that I see it, maybe it will give others hope. God is to be praised for it.</p>
<p>[To Subash] You said you were once an atheist. In the movie, there’s a part when you cast doubt on the existence of God.</p>
<p>The discussions in the movie were shaped by the writer and filmmaker. Even though our conversations were identical, the way the film presented them was designed to hold the viewer’s attention.</p>
<p>Yes, there was a time when I doubted that God existed. However, I prayed to all the gods of the world while I was stuck within the cave.</p>
<p>[To Prasad P S]: Following the 2006 event, did you come back to Kodaikanal?</p>
<p>Prasad: In 2009, that is. There, I gave a family a tour. I enquired at a business whether they knew about the event after leaving them off. Indeed, they did. Kodaikanal residents as a whole can still clearly recall the event.</p>
<p>Compared to your last visit, were there more safety precautions in place at the site?</p>
<p>Prasad: A few things were altered. There was a sign near the cave in 2006 informing us that thirteen people had died there. However, the writing was in Tamil.</p>
<p>An official informed us that Subash’s name will appear on that board 14th during the rescue. After Subash collapsed, the locals also at first pushed us to leave the area. They told us we would get into trouble if we stayed there. They were accurate.</p>
<p>Sixon: More torment was inflicted upon us than was shown in the movie.</p>
<p>Krishnakumar: Nevertheless, after hearing Subash’s pleas from the pit, the locals came together in support of us.</p>
<p>Sixon: After the rescue, we were kept in the dark. Thank goodness the physician, who saw Subash at the community hospital, stepped in and made sure we could leave the area without any legal issues. That was one thing the movie left out.</p>
<p>Do you communicate with the physician?</p>
<p>No, Siju David, sadly. We had made an attempt. The only person from that period with whom we haven’t been able to get back in touch is her. Soon, we hope to meet her.</p>
<p>[To Subash] Do you believe that this movie has helped you put the trauma behind you?</p>
<p>Subash: In agreement. The healing process was a struggle. After the event, I didn’t start sleeping well for six months. I was hospitalized for around sixty days in an Ayurvedic setting.</p>
<p>[The body was covered with scrapes and gashes from physical trauma.]</p>
<p>It took me close to two years to go back to my regular life. From then on, progress has been the main priority. I thought it was significant when the choice was taken to make a movie based on our experiences. I wanted everyone to see the difficulties my friends had in trying to save me. They are my main source of motivation.</p>
<p>Did Sreenath Bhasi’s portrayal of your character reflect the fact that he was going through a difficult period at the same time?</p>
<p>Sixon: Definitely, a lot. Every time we got together throughout the filming, Bhasi would tell us that he was in a metaphorical hole too and that he would rise via this movie.</p>
<p>When did you guys go on the second trip after the event in 2006?</p>
<p>Siju David: To Munnar, six months later. Subash was obviously unable to participate.</p>
<p>Anil: After almost eighteen years, we just went back to Kodaikanal for the film’s puja ceremony.</p>
<p>Writer B Jeyamohan expressed his opinions on Malayali boy bands, saying that they always seem to be drinking and causing trouble. What are your thoughts on his remarks?</p>
<p>Siju John: To understand Malayalis’ response, one need only peruse the remarks that follow his assertion. Nothing specific that we would want to add.</p>
<p>Anil: There’s a good chance Jeyamohan did similar things in his youth.</p>
<p>Siju David: It’s true that we entered a restricted region. It was the wrong course of action. Back then, the fence wasn’t appropriate. Perhaps in such locations, safety precautions should be strengthened and kept up to date.</p>
<p>Did any relatives of the 13 people who had already died in the pit get in touch with you after the incident?</p>
<p>Sumesh: Not at all. But Kuttan was questioned by the police whether he had seen any skeletons there right away.</p>
<p>Siju David: Using both hands to grip onto the rope, I entered the room with a light around my neck and was unable to see anything. When the first rope came to an end, I reached for the light and gazed. I had to wait for another one to arrive. I looked around myself. I saw nothing except bats. I turned the torch off right away.</p>
<p>[To Abhilash]: At the conclusion of the movie, your character is shown leaving the group; is this accurate?</p>
<p>Abhilash: In agreement. I was taken aback. I saw Subash plummeting into the abyss. The scene was horrific. I also broke apart from the group. My neighbors assumed that because of my reclusive demeanor, I had moved to the Gulf.</p>
<p>Did you go back to the cave to provide the now-famous “Loose adikkada” advice, as they depicted in the movie?</p>
<p>No. I was taken aback. I was led outside by Siju, where I remained until Subash was saved.</p>
<p>[To Subash] I take suppose you were a writer once? Have you thought of writing a book based on your story?</p>
<p>Subash: I’ve given it a lot of consideration. It’s written in my head. However, Chidambaram’s portrayal of it is superior that mine. I may write about the incident’s pre- and post-occurrence. (Members of the gang chuckle, claiming he’s written three odd screenplays.)</p>
<p>Several people are motivated by your life after seeing the movie. Are you sending a message to the younger generation?</p>
<p>Subhash: I didn’t take any noteworthy actions. My friends’ deeds were what kept me alive. They give me inspiration. However, I will advise young people to cultivate and maintain positive friendships. Furthermore, arguments among friends are common. Remain detached from your own ego.</p>
<p>The original Manjummel Boys are now well-known. How are you guys managing all of this attention and hectic schedule after living a somewhat quiet life?</p>
<p>Siju David: In 2006, the event happened. After a month, reports about our narrative began to surface. We found ourselves thrust into the spotlight. The President gave me a bravery award in 2008. There once were letters for us. A large number of them. At the time, we felt like superstars.</p>
<p>After the movie, everything is different today. We don’t have time for our private life at this moment. Events, interviews, and inaugurations are keeping us very busy. Everything in our life has altered drastically.</p>
<p>Subash: We’re all just regular folks. We never aspired to be famous. Can we now, however, make a living? Imagine that you are wearing your tattered and filthy work attire when you see folks stopping by to snap pictures. Not everyone works in white-collar employment.</p>
<p>Thus, it’s a little awkward. I have thus temporarily ceased working [in the building business]. We now do interviews, which benefits the movie. We’ll go back to our regular lives after all of this excitement has subsided.</p>
<p>Has the film crew paid any compensation to the genuine Manjummel Boys?</p>
<p>Sixon: We’ve been getting the same questions.</p>
<p>Siju David: They haven’t spoken to us about anything related to it. Such a contract or agreement did not exist.</p>
<p>Subash: We don’t prioritize money.</p>


Share

Related posts

US TV Host Wayne Brady Declares Himself a Pansexual; Ex-Wife and Daughter React

cradmin

The Crown Season 6 Part 2: Premiere Date, Storyline, New Cast, and Expectations for This TV Show

cradmin

Mrunal Thakur Thinks It’s Vital For Children To “Have Sex Discussion At Home,” Here’s Why

cradmin