Vietnam Veedu Sundaram, veteran writer and actor, died early today morning in Chennai. He was 73 and is survived by his wife Chella, and two daughters.
He credited his creation Prestige Padamanabhan as the inspiration for his inspiration to keep working. “Vietnam Veedu is about how retirement affects the principles and prestige of a man. It is the thought that a similar situation should not happen to me that keeps me going till date.”
With three back to back hits with Sivaji Ganesan, Sundaram felt restless and without identity. “If you put a drop of water in the pool, it gets lost in it. There’s no identity. But if you keep it on top of a rose, it will glitter in the sunlight. I jumped into the pool, and got stuck between two legendary actors. Balachander maintained his individuality and shined. That’s when I knew that I had to do something different.”
That is when ‘social mythology’ happened. Credited with introducing it into Tamil Cinema, Sundaram used it to great effect in films such as Namma Veettu Dheivam. “I wanted to make a new kind of film. Gods can be humans. They take human form frequently. Why can’t humans be Gods? I explored this idea in many films at that time. KR Vijaya became a frequent collaborator in my efforts,” he said in an interview with a news channel.
His writing took him to newer avenues. Writing for television serials such as Krishnadasi and acting in quite a few of them too, Sundaram became a familiar face to a new generation of people.