T. K. Aravindan 
15 January 1939 
Vadavucode, Ernakulam, British India
|Died||28 January 2015 76) (aged|
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
|Other names||Mala (മാള)|
|Occupation(s)||Actor, Tabla percussionist|
Mala Aravindan (15 January 1939 – 28 January 2015) was an Indian actor. He was best known for his work as a comedian and character artist in Malayalam films. He has acted in over 500 films.
He was born in Vadavucode, Ernakulam district of Kerala state as the eldest son of Thanattu Ayyappan and Ponnamma. His father was an Excise department employee and his mother, a school music teacher. Soudamini, late Ramanathan (died in 2004) and Prakashan are his siblings.  His father died when he was studying at seventh class.  Later when his mother got transferred, his family relocated to Mala in Thrissur district and he started using the place name as a prefix to his name.  He had his primary education from St Antony's High School, Mala, where his mother was a music teacher.   Seeing his talent in playing Tabla his mother joined him with Cochin Mohammed Ustad, a famous Tabla artist.  He joined for Pre University degree in Christ College, Irinjalakuda but dropped out in between to concentrate on his career. 
Aravindan started his career as a Tabla artist. He joined stage plays and started playing Tabla as a background artist. Later, he moved into acting and started performing in professional stage plays of Kottayam National Theaters, Nadakashala, Suryasoma Theatres etc. He continued acting in dramas for 12 years. He has won Kerala State Nataka Academy's Best Actor award for his role in Sooryasoma's play Nidhi. He received State Award in 1978 and 6 other state level awards for the stage play Rasna. 
Aravindan started his film career with the movie Ente Kunju, but the film was never released. His first movie released was Thalirukal in 1967 in which he acted as a mental patient among many.  His first full-fledged role was in the 1968 movie Sindhooram, directed by Balakrishnan, although it is his critically acclaimed performance from the movie Tharavu which gave him the actual mileage. Since then he has acted in over 400 films for 33 years and established his own style which became his trademark. During the initial stages of his career, the Mala-Pappu-Jagathy trio was a guaranteed crowd-puller among Malayalam film audiences. His last film was Noolppaalam which is yet to be released. He was the president of the AMMA, the association of Malayalam film artistes. 
Mala was well known for his different acting techniques which included gestures, vocal variations and his unique laughing style. He was a jovial person who could shoot jokes at any situation. In one interview, Mala remembered once a random guy who came to him and asked him to tell some jokes. during the 1980s, Mala was a really busy artist since he was part of most of the movies doing various comedy roles. He also sang the popular song "Neeyarinjo Melemanathu" along with Mohanlal in the 1985 movie Kandu Kandarinju . His memorable characters are from the movies Bhoothakannadi, Sallapam, Thaaravu, Mimics Parade, Kanmadam, Joker, Meesha Madhavan etc. In the late 1990s, when the mimicry trend took over Malayalam Cinema, there were movies like Moonu Kodiyum Munnooru Pavanum and Mimics Super 1000, which featured full-fledged spoof characters imitating Mala Aravindan by various mimicry artists. Mala was a great fan of actor Nagesh and his acting style was greatly influenced by Nagesh.
Aravindan married his wife Geetha on 2 February 1971, after five years of dating. Geetha is a Christian, and was previously named Anna before changing her name.  The couple have two children, Kishore (Muthu) and Kala. Kishore is married to Deepthi and they have a son Vedavyasan(Buchchan) and two daughters Varalakshmi, Urvi. Kala is married to Surendran and they have two children Devi and Vishnu. 
Mala Aravindan was admitted to Kovai Medical Centre Hospital in Coimbatore on 19 January 2015, following a massive heart attack and was shifted to the ICU on 24 January, where he was diagnosed with diffused block. He was on ventilator support. The actor had earlier undergone an angiogram after being hospitalized.  He died on 28 January 2015 at 6:30 AM, just five days short of his 44th wedding anniversary.  He was 76.  He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.
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