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The Art of Simplicity: Indrans’ Inspiring Journey from Tailor to Versatile Actor


K. Surendran, popularly known as  Indrans, is a well-known figure in the Malayalam film industry. His artistic career, which started as a costume designer, later made Malayalees laugh out loud through many disguises. Contrary to the audience’s perception of a comedian, this talented actor surprised the audience by proving that any character is safe in his hands. He made us think with his portrayal of ‘Oliver Twist’ in “Home,” delighted us with his depiction of ‘Uttaman’ in “Panjabi House,” and startled us with his portrayal of ‘Ripper Ravi’ in “Anjaam Pathiraa’’. Without diminishing their significance, he accomplished all of the chores.

Early Life

He was born on March 16, 1956, in Kumarapuram, Thiruvananthapuram, as the third of seven children of Palavila Kochuvelu and Gomathi.On February 23, 1985, Indrans married Santhakumari. They have two children: a son Mahendran and a daughter Mahitha.

Chose Tailoring As His Profession

Indrans had to deal with financial issues at home and joined his uncle’s tailoring class. He established ‘Indran’s Brothers Tailors in Kumarapuram, Thiruvananthapuram, with his brother K. Jayakumar.

Passion For Acting

Indrans began acting in plays after joining amateur arts organisations. His love for acting prompted him to perform minor roles while assisting the costume designers. Indrans got an excellent chance to put his talents in front of the camera with Doordarshan’s ‘Kaliveedu’ series. Moreover, he appeared in numerous television series, including ‘Sabarimala Sridharmashastha’, ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’, ‘Nirupama Fans’, ‘Devimahathmyam’, and  ‘Smarakashilakal’.

Into The Mainstream

The 1981 movie “Choothattam” marked Indrans’s acting and costume design debuts. Producer TMN Charlie offered him the opportunity to become the costume designer for the film, and he did so for several years, playing several bit parts. He designed the costumes for several films, including ‘Sphadikam’, ‘Njan Gandharvan’, ‘Ayalathe Adheham’, ‘Kavadiyattam’, ‘Namukku Parkan Munthiri Thoppukal’, and ‘Cheriya Lokavum Valiya Manushyarum’.

The Comedian In Him

With a part in ‘CID Unnikrishnan B.A., BEd’, Indrans made his turning point (1994), which led to acting in various comic roles in movies. Through his thin looks, witty language, and mannerisms, he became a well-known comedian in the Malayalam film industry around the time. He played memorable roles in films like ‘Malappuram Haji Mahanaya Joji’, ‘Manathe Kottaram’, ‘Vadhu Doctoranu’, ‘Aadyathe Kanmani’, ‘Aniyan Bava Chetan Bava’, etc.

Shifted To Character Roles

He started taking on some character roles in the early 2000s. In the 2004 movie ‘Kathavasheshan’, he played a thief, which led to his character actor label. Indrans gained attention for his role as a serious character in ‘Munro Thurut’, directed by Manu. After this movie, he portrayed more significant character roles. In ‘Kaadu Pookunna Neram’ (2016) and ‘God Say’, he appeared in serious roles. He had notable movie roles like ‘Buddhanum Chaplinum Chirikkunnu’, ‘Makkana’, ‘Lonam’, ‘Higuita’, and ‘Paathi’.


He won the Kerala State Film Award Special Mention for “Apothikiri” in 2014, the CPC Cine Awards Special Honorary Award in 2016, and the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for “Aalorukkum” in 2018. His major accomplishments include the N.N. Pillai Smaraka Puraskaram, the Outstanding Artistic Achievement at the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2019, and the Best Actor Award for “Veyilmarangal” at the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival.

Even though he had to enrol in a tailoring profession to get by financially, he was so passionate about acting that he took on minor roles. In that days, he pursued a career as a costume designer even when his love for movies proved fruitless. His career graph was not always progressive. The Malayalam film industry received a versatile actor rather than a stereotyped comedian as he implemented the knowledge gained from the experts. Indrans has starred in over 550 films. His lead role in ‘Home’ was well acclaimed by the critics and audience. ‘2018’, and ‘Jaladhara Pump Set Since 1968’, are some of his upcoming projects. He serves as an inspiration to the younger generation on how anyone can succeed in life, regardless of appearance, with hard work and determination.

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