M.G.R crept into my consciousness this month. I've been trying unsuccessfully to identify the source. Maybe it is one of those binaural beats reinforcing obscure memories of the great leader. However, I do remember when I decided to blog about him. My cousin quizzed me on what M.G.R stands for? Even while answering her, I guessed that not many Thamizhians know the answer to that. M.G.R has transcended from being just his initials to being the only name people know him by. To this day there are pockets of voters who cast their vote to the MGR party irrespective of who's name is actually on the ballot. I've started reading up on him the past few days., and a host of other blogs have documented a wealth of information on him. Here, I've tried to note some sort of a trivial pursuit - essentially facts about M.G.R that I have re-discovered/discovered during these readings.

M.G.R stands for Maruthur Gopala Ramachandran. My twisted memory had it as Maruthapalli Gopalakrishnan Ramachandran. Apparently his producers called him Maximum Guarantee of Return.

He was born in Sri Lanka.

M.G.R has married three times. His first two wives died of illness before he married divorcee Janaki.

IMO, he is the only politician of recent times who has donated all his wealth - to the poor and the hearing impaired.

The national anthem of Vietnam is a modified and translated version of Kannadasan penned M.G.R acted song "Adho andha paravai pola vaazha vaendum"

M.G.R has directed at least two movies - "Ulagam Sutrum Vaalibhan" and "Madurai meetta Sundara Pandian"

The Dumb Charades staple movie title "Kulebhagaavali" is actually an Urdu name "Gul-E-Bhagavali".

During his heydays "En Kadamai" was the only flop.

He was given the nickname 'vaadhiyaar' for the preachy movies and songs that he made. I used to believe that this nickname had something to do with his physique.

It is possible that M.R.Radha was also shot at during the infamous incident. However, M.R.Radha was arrested for shooting at M.G.R.

His trademark hat and glasses were possibly there to cover a declining hairline and poor eyesight respectively. For a long time, I was under the belief that he had a gun hidden under the hat. I don't know who fed me this information. Could be one of those things that kids like to believe. Maybe he did have a gun... who knows?



  1. Gun under his cap? You certainly have an active imagination.:)

  2. And there are people who still believe that the ticking sound of his watch can be heard from his Anna sathukkam samaadhi. :)

  3. I've heard that one about the watch. Will have to check it out :)

  4. Anonymous10:30 PM

    M.R.Radha shot himself after shooting MGR. Both were from close range but the gun and the bullet were too old so the impact was minimal.

  5. Anonymous4:02 PM

    A true oneman among thousands. I heard rumours that they shot coz of argumentover some female. Also some secret code placed in his watch, an access code to his swiss ac.

  6. Anonymous7:42 PM

    I'll agree that the shootings took place over women. I was told 30 years ago that Saroja devi may have been the reason they argued, till shots were fired. It was Radha who shot, but MGR could have given him plenty of cause to do that, his nice guy image saved him from further scrutiny by the police and public. There was also another rumor some years later; that MGR tried to shoot Jai Shankar over Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi prevented the case from escalating.