Saturday, November 1, 2014
The building is called Cine City Hotels, firmly establishing the connection that this area has to the film world. If that is not enough, it has named its restaurant 'Kollywood Kitchen'. Kollywood, of course, is the moniker for the Tamizh movie industry, because it is centered around Kodambakkam. This hotel is right there in the middle of Kodambakkam; it has come up in the place where there used to be a landmark for movie makers, mostly from Kerala - Uma Lodge.
At the edge of United India Colony, Uma Lodge was close enough to the studios at Vadapazhani, without being so close as to the studios' presence overwhelming it. It was therefore a favourite spot for several young men - almost never women - aspiring to make their mark in the movie world. And many did make it big, even though there are likely several who continue to be on the fringes. It is not often that those who made it big talk about their time in Uma Lodge - but if I remember right, the movie Udhayananu Tharam makes a passing reference to it.
The list of Malayalam film makers who spent time at Uma Lodge, if it can be reliably compiled, will be long and distinguished. From what I have heard, it will include Srinivasan, Raveendran, Cochin Haneefa, Adam Ayub (and maybe Priyadarshan and Mohanlal as well?) and several other technicians. In the early 1970s, one of the residents of Uma Lodge - who had bagged a role in Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair's 'Urvashi Bharathi' - would regale the others with his anecdotes from the sets; he was one of the earliest 'graduates' from Uma Lodge, who moved to a different orbit, going on to become not only a well-known actor, but, in the elections of 2014, a member of the country's Parliament - Vareed Thekkethala Innocent!
This month's theme is "Landmark": and Uma Lodge was certainly a landmark in its heyday. For landmarks from other cities around the world, head over to the CDP Theme Day Page!