A legion of Malayali fans from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, and the rest of UAE braved rush hour traffic on a weeknight to come see Malayalam cinema heavyweight, Mammootty, last evening at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) 2016. More than 4,000 people came face to face with their heartthrob and role model, turning it into a record event in terms of visitor participation.
As Malayali residents constitute a big proportion of the Indian diaspora in the UAE, especially Sharjah, Mammootty was brought in by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA). The rationale was to promote a literary message by capturing people’s imagination through an icon of popular culture.
“As an actor I never thought I needed to pay much attention to reading. My two children, one of whom is a big actor in Malayalam cinema today, worked relentlessly towards developing me as a voracious reader, which I am today. I can confidently say I know more about the world and I am more sensitive towards it. I am also thankful to my professors at the Maharaja’s College, who trained me to improve my language skills. Good language is crucial to the success of a movie, and my proficiency has greatly leveraged mine to become successful,” said Mammootty to his fans.
“And what is reading? In the broader sense, it entails observing and understanding our surroundings. By doing so we will be able to develop concern and empathy towards animals, human beings, and others to work towards alleviating their pain and sufferings. This is essential for the development of any society,” he added.
He spoke about his new project, ‘My Big Father’, and let the attendees in on an exciting fact. He will play a father to a young girl in the movie. This girl, Sadhna, is the daughter of expat parents living in Sharjah.
SIBF 2016 continues to host its activities on Saturday, 12 November 2016.