NOTE: Production goofs and plot inconsistencies are not considered to be strange facts.
Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:
This was a movie that came out in the year 1991. It was written and directed by celebrated Malayalam movie director P. Padmarajan.
It talks about celestial beings called Gandharvas. The film is an esoteric fantasy about a girl and her passion for a celestial lover, who keeps appearing from a wooden statue that she found on a beach but is invisible to others.
Padmarajan’s wife Radhalakshmi recalls that during the later part of year 1990 when Padmarajan was planning to do Njan Gandharvan there were many bad omens in his life.
Gandharvas are singers from heaven in Hindu Mythology and their visits to Earth are believed to cast a spell on maidens and is usually dealt with an attitude of fear by the traditional Hindus.
Following this belief, many people along with his wife advised Padmarajan not to make a film based on this subject. After postponing the film on this subject many times Padmarajan finally decided to do this film and started the work for the film.
Many “bad omens” surfaced in this period, the flight he was supposed to travel to Mumbai to select the hero of the film was hit by a bird and was cancelled.
There were continuous problems in the site of the film.
Heroine Suparna fainted under a Pala tree during the shoot.
Actor Nitish was also accounted to having fainted on getting poisoned from a betel leaf.
Padmarajan was notably losing weight during this period and had high cholesterol despite the fact that he was jogging regularly and had stopped smoking.
Despite the obstacles, the team completed the movie.
When released, the film got a cold response, which made Padmarajan very upset. He had very high aspirations for the movie, and the response shook him hard. Within a week of its release, Padmarajan died at a hotel in Kozhikode.
But after a few years, when the film was shown on TV, it gathered high appreciation. Now, this movie is considered among Padmarajan’s best works and has been watched by millions. The DVD is in high demand, and the film’s songs are still popular among masses.
Padmarajan left this world on 24 January, 1991. It will soon be 26 years since he’s gone. Till date, Padmarajan continues to be missed sorely by Malayalam cinema and Malayalam cinema-goers. He was way ahead of his times and it was a befitting tribute to him when his wife authored a book about him and named it “Padmarajan: My Gandharvan”
Some additional reading for Malayalis…I’m not translating it into English as I don’t wish to take away the beauty of the write up.
Kozhikode Medical Collegile forensic medicine medhaviyum Police surgeonumaya Dr. Sherly Vasu writes about Padmarajan’s Post-mortem:(excerpts of the interview below)
Oru divasam morchary tablelil enikku mumbil Padmarajan vannu. Kozhikode oru lodge muriyil marichu kidakkukayayirunnu adheham. Morchary tablelile adhehathinte kidatham vichitramaya oru kazhayayirunnu. Kulichu vrithiyayi nere vannu tablelil urangan kidakkukayayirunnu adheham ennu thonni. Tantex companyude vella niramulla adivasthramanu adheham dharichirunnathu. Manju pole velutha adivasthram. Adivasthram polum ottum chuliyathe santhamayi adheham urangunnu. Ethrayum santhamayi urangi kidakkunna oru sariram athinu munpu orikkalum jan kandittilla. Thikanja santhatha ennokke parayille, athayirunnu athu. Pinnidu vannu poya aayirakanakkinu savasarirangalil santhiyude atharamoru mugham jan parathikondirunnitundu. Pakshe kandethiyilla. Kaumarakalathu thonniya aabhimukhyam kondano angane anubhavapettathu ennu enikkariyilla. ……Post mortethinu munpum pinpum jan adhehathe nokki nilkukayayirunnu. Mudhukkinu pirakkilulla cheriya unni, naghathumbu- aa sarirabhagangalellam enikkipozhum ormayundu. Pakshe athil maranam mathram kanan kazhinjilla……Mudikko mughabhavathino oru mattavumillathe, marichittilathathu pole padmarajan munpil kidakkukayayirunnu. Aa rachanakalilude janarinja etho oru kathapathrathe pole oru surprise deathayi adhehathinte orma ente ullil eppozhum baki kidappundu.
(Pachakuthira, Nov.2006,D.C.Books publication)