Kalabhavan Mani commemorative ceremony
Kalabhavan Mani commemorative ceremonyTaurus Media/Facebook

Malayalam Cine Technicians Association (MACTA) president and director Baiju Kottarakkara has reportedly said director Vinayan was not invited to the memorial service of late actor Kalabhavan Mani Sunday, March 13, at Chalakudy, following the request of a leading superstar in the industry.

Baiju claimed Mohanlal had insisted that Vinayan not be invited to the ceremony, saying he could not share the stage with the director. "The event didn't see the director who gave 13 best movies of Kalabhavan Mani. Those who couldn't even associate with Mani found a place at the event, [sic]" Baiju was quoted as saying Wednesday in an Onmanorama report.

Earlier in the day, Vinayan had claimed he was not informed about the memorial ceremony at Chalakudy, even though he had gone to Mani's house for the post-funeral rituals of the versatile actor. The director had also said a Malayalam superstar had asked the organisers not to invite him to the event.

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Check photos and videos of Kalabhavan Mani's memorial service

"Frankly speaking, I didn't know such a function was being held at Chalakudy. A few days back, I was invited for Mani's memorial function in Thripunithara and I squeezed in time to attend it whatsoever. I had even gone for Mani's 'Sanjayanam' (post funeral rites) too. I, along with Kanam Rajendran, spent some time with his wife Nimmi that day. But trust me, none of those men who partook in the commemoration was seen there at his house then, [sic]" Vinayan told Onmanorma.

The movies "Karumadikkuttan" and "Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum," directed by Vinayan, were the notable flicks of Mani that changed his image from that of a comedian to a character artiste. The actor had also worked with Vinayan in many other movies, including "War And Love" (2003), "Raakshasa Raajaavu" (2001), "Daadaasaahib" (2000), "Daivathinte Makan" (2000), "Aakaashaganga" (1999), "Pranayanilaavu" (1999), "Independence" (1999), "Ullaasapoonkaattu" (1997) and "Kalyaana Saugandhikam" (1996). 

Sunday's memorial service was attended by celebrities including Tamil actors Vikram and Karunas, Malayalam stars Mammootty, Mohanlal, Innocent, Asif Ali, Guinness Pakru, Harishree Ashokan, Narain, Kalabhavan Shajon, Suraj Venjarumoodu, Kottayam Nazeer, Tiny Tom, Abu Salim, Dharmajan, Bineesh Kodiyeri, Suresh Kumar, dubbing artiste Bhagyalakshmi, directors Sibi Malayil, Kamal, Lal Jose, Siddique, Major Ravi, Lijo Jose Pellissery and Sunderdas, producer Siyad Kokkar and footballer IM Vijayan.