kalaivanar N. S. Krishnan

Even when ailing, NSK's talk was enlivened with humor....



"Kalaivanar' N. S. Krishnan, popularly known as NSK Projected himself more of a social reformer than a comedian in all his films. He used comedy as a medium to propagate social reforms mixing comedy with messages for social uplifting.



He was born to the couple Kadalaiyandi - Isakkiyammal as their third born on 29-11-1908 at Ozhuginaseri near Nagercoil of Kanyakumari district. He had two elder sisters, three younger sisters and younger brother. His father Kadalaiyandi encouraged his son Krishnan in his passion for theater and put him at Original Boys Company in the year 1924. Subsequently, NSK joined TKS brothers' troupe Sri Balashanmuganandha Sabha in 1925 and did his debut role Dhuyumathsena in their stage play Savithri. In the years that followed, he worked in various other troupes also doing a variety of roles.


His entry into the celluloid world was through the film ' Sathi Leelavathy', produced by 'Ananda Vikatan' S. S. Vasan. NSK was introduced as a comedian. Though his debut film was 'Sathi Leelavathy', his second movie 'Menaka' released before 'Sathi Leelavathy' could hit the screen. 'Menaka' was adjudged the best movie of the year in 1935.


During the shooting schedules of the film 'Vasantha Sena', directed by Raja Sando, NSK met T. A. Madhuram and both fell in love. Their marriage was held in a simple manner with Raja Sando presiding over the function. The couple got the honor of being the first real-life couple acting as couple of reel life too. Between the years1936 and 1957, the couple acted as a pair in 122 film which can be considered a big achievement. Ambikapathy was NSK's last movie. He did the role of 'Vambar', which was meant as a comical challenge to the serious role of poet kambar. But, it was a big tragedy the NSK died even before the movie could be completed. The movie included a scene wherein the hero Ambikapathy would extol the virtues of 'Vambar' standing before his statue, offering his last respects.



Potpourri of tidbits about Tamil Cinema - Kalaivanar N. S. Krishnan


NSK had two sons and one daughter through his first wife Nagammai. Both the sons Raja and Kolappan are no more. Madhuram was his second wife. The baby girl Kalaiselvi born to Madhuram died when she was just four months old. NSK married Madhuram's sister Vembhu also but with the consent of Madhuram. NSK had seven children through Vembhu - Kittappa, Vadivambhal, Shanmugam, Kasthuri, Nallathambi, Kumaran and Padmini Sivaprakasam. His grandchildren and great grandchildren total 14 in number. All these children remember  with NSK's death anniversary and birthday and celebrate these days with great affection and respect even today.


During his last days, when he was ailing, NSK was admitted to the General Hospital. During his treatment here, all the artistes including M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagawadhar and MGR visited him and comforted him. Even during his illness, NSK didn't lose his sense of humor and talked to all his friends and relatives with humor dominating his talk.  The hospital was thronged with his fans and friends. An ardent fan of NSK managed to enter the room where NSK was lying and burst into tears telling that there was a rumor that NSK was dead. Unable to bear the grief, the fan had managed to escape through the security ring and enter NSK's room. The next day, a producer from Salem came and told NSK that all theatres in Salem were closed and black flags were flying half-mast due tio the rumor about NSK's death. After comforting all such people who came rushing to see him. NSK told Madhuram in a lighter wein that people wouldn't stop till he really died and that he had to die at least for their sake! And, he died on 30-8-1957 at a young age of 49 years is spite of intensive care and treatment.  The sight was proof enough to show that thanks to his reformist ideas and views, NSK succeeded in winning a special place in the heart of all the Tamils, not only in Tamil Nadu but also in all the states and countries.


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