'Mersal' Vijay's quiet visit to Thoothukudi

Tamil actor Vijay interacts with Snowlin's family at their residence in Thoothukudi on Tuesday night.

The hype usually associated with a movie star's visit was missing when Tamil actor Vijay made a quiet visit to Thoothukudi and met families of the victims of the May 22 anti-Sterlite protest.

On Tuesday night, shunning his stardom, Vijay hopped onto a motorcycle and crisscrossed the port town meeting the families who lost their loved ones in police firing on the 100th day of their struggle against Sterlite Copper.

Clad in a casual shirt and jeans, Vijay met the family of Snowlin, a 17-year-old girl who died after bullets pierced through her mouth, at their modest dwelling in Sahayapuram overlooking the Thoothukudi harbour.

 

The family, Snowlin's parents and her brothers, was chatting outside their house in the narrow street when two men in a motorcycle approached their residence. Suddenly, Vijay, who had tied his handkerchief around his face to avoid getting noticed, removed it and asked them whether he can come inside.

“At the outset, Vijay apologised to us for having disturbed us during the mourning period and sat on the floor listening to our story. He was so simple and he did not show-off. He behaved as if he is the son of my house,” Snowlin's mother Vanitha said.

Pictures of the actor meeting Snowlin's family made its way into social media only on Wednesday morning. Vanitha said Vijay even requested them not to take pictures but neighbours clicked images using their smartphones. At Snowlin's house, Vijay met the minor girl's brothers and got to know how the teenager died in the protest.

Vijay, who keeps a low-profile despite being touted as the next superstar of Tamil cinema, is known for sympathising with people's causes in his own way. At the height of the Jallikattu protests on the Marina Beach in Chennai, Vijay went to the protest site at 2 am without revealing his identity and sat with the people for a couple of hours and expressed his support for the cause.

The actor earned plaudits on social media for visiting the families without any publicity as #VijayatThoothukudi began trending.

Several Twitter users shared pictures of Vijay meeting the family and riding pillion on a motorcycle and also compared it with the visit of superstar Rajinikanth, which was well publicised.

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'Mersal' Vijay's quiet visit to Thoothukudi

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