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Google Doodle honours P.K. Rosy, the first heroine in Malayalam cinema

Google created a doodle to commemorate the 120th birthday of P.K. Rosy, the first female lead in Malayalam cinema.

Rosy was born Rajamma on February 10, 1903 in Kerala’s capital city of Thiruvananthapuram.

Rosy’s interest in acting began at a young age. Rosy crossed barriers in an era when performing arts were prohibited in many areas of society, particularly for women, with her role in the 1928 Malayalam film Vigathakumaran (The Lost Child). Though she never earned acclaim for her work, Rosy’s experience is pertinent to discussions regarding media representation, according to a Google blog post.

Rosy belonged to the Dalit community and was harassed and forced to flee the locality simply because she acted in the silent film Vigathakumaran, which was also the first Malayalam feature film. In the film, she plays Sarojini, a Nair woman. The members of the community were furious when a Dalit played the part of a higher caste woman.

According to stories, her home was burned down by upper castes, so she eloped, married truck driver Kesavan Pillai, and spent the rest of her life as ‘Rajammal’ in Tamil Nadu.

Director Kamal recognised Rosy’s contribution to Malayalam cinema posthumously in his Malayalam film Celluloid. Rosy was played by Chandni Geetha in the film.

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