Koothu-p-Pattarai founder Na Muthuswamy passes away; Vijay Sethupathi, Guru Somasundaram and other alumni react
The 82-year-old veteran playwright, who was a recipient of prestigious awards like Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Shri, is survived by his son and wife
Na Muthuswamy, the famous playwright and founder of the prominent theatre group, Koothu-P-Pattarai, which has introduced actors like Vijay Sethupathi, Pasupathy, Vinodhini, Vemal, Guru Somasundaram and Vidharth to the Tamil industry, breathed his last today at 11am, at his residence in Chinmaya Nagar, Chennai.
Muthuswamy, born in Punjai, moved to Chennai in the late 50s. He founded Koothu-p-pattarai in 1977 with a focus on training actors for his plays. Considered the first modern Tamil playwright, he gained prominence after staging the play, Kaalam Kaalamaga. The theatre crew has been performing across the country without charging the audience a rupee since the day of its inception, and Muthuswamy himself actively mentored actors till 2016. He then took a break from being an active part of the organisation owing to a decline in his health.
Speaking about his guru, actor Vidaarth says, "I froze on hearing the news. Muthuswamy ayya was the one who turned me into a complete person. When I met him for the first time, I hardly knew anything about life. Almost all his students are from villages and come from humble backgrounds, but he always treated them with respect. Nobody can replace him. I guess all we can do as his students, is carry his teachings forward."
Vijay Sethupathi took to Twitter to share his grief. "I am extremely saddened to share that the father of Koothu-P-Pattarai, our mentor, Muthuswamy ayya passed away today," he wrote.
Calling Muthuswamy an idealist, Guru Somasundaram says, "He never forced his ideologies on any of his students. He had a very unique style of writing, especially the way he explained topography in his scripts was truly outstanding. He always said that he painted his words rather than writing them. There are numerous actors like me, whose lives have been transformed by Muthuswamy ayya."
TFPC president and Nadigar Sangam secretary Vishal, tweeted out saying, "Extremely saddened by the loss of our beloved demigod, Koothu-P-Pattarai Muthusamy sir. I still remember my days with him when I joined him before my debut in Chellamay. May his beautiful soul rest in peace."
Actor-politician Kamal Haasan released a condolence video. "The loss of certain personalities can only be compensated by an entire generation. Na Muthuswamy was one such achiever. He has been a huge pillar to the world of drama and cinema," he said.
The veteran playwright, who was a recipient of the prestigious awards like Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Shri, is survived by his wife and son.