Bonda Mani

(1963-09-19)19 September 1963
Died23 December 2023(2023-12-23) (aged 60)
Polichalur, Tamil Nadu, India
Years active1991–2023

Bonda Mani (19 September 1963 – 23 December 2023) was an Indian actor who appeared in Tamil language films. He came to Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka as a refugee.[1][2]

He predominantly worked in comedy and supporting roles in over 270 films in his illustrious career spanning three decades.[3] He was well known for his performances in Pongalo Pongal (1997), Sundhara Travels (2002), Winner (2003), Englishkaran (2005), Aaru (2005) and Marudhamalai (2007) and Kannum Kannum (2008).[4] He was known for his one-line dialogues in films in which he acted.

Early life and career

Kedheeswaran was born on 19 September 1963 in Mannar District, Sri Lanka, where he was also raised.[5][6] He was born as the fifteenth child in his family and had fifteen siblings in his family.

He lost both his parents at an early age, as both became victims of the Sri Lankan civil war.[2] His mother and eight of his siblings attempted to flee Sri Lanka in 1983 by boat, but died when their boat was capsized due to a bomb deployed by the Sri Lankan Army during the peak of the Sri Lankan civil war.[7]

He moved to India after spending his early childhood in Sri Lanka.[7] He grew up as a die-hard fan of M. G. Ramachandran.

Bonda Mani explained that his stage name was derived from his diet of bondas when he was a struggling actor combined with the suffix of his mentor, Goundamani.[8]

In an exclusive interview with Kumudam, he revealed that he had been cheated by his agent, who promised him that he would make arrangements to get him a job in Tamil Nadu, but allegedly made Bonda Mani sign an agreement that required him to stay in Singapore for five years.[7] However, he received a timely opportunity to meet K. Bhagyaraj, whom he asked for a film role, which Bhagyaraj refused. Mani also asked for Bhagyaraj's address, which Bhagyaraj initially refused to give. Bhagyaraj asked Mani to meet him in Chennai and clarify the situation accordingly.

He then decided to join those other Tamils in moving to Tamil Nadu to seek asylum, and in his case to pursue film roles, in 1983.[7][9] He then resided in a refugee camp in Chidambaram and worked under Udaiyar Ramachandran in Chennai.

Mani apparently tried to enter the Tamil film industry for seven years, but his attempts failed to bear fruit.[7] Mani then came back to Sri Lanka in 1990 and launched a grocery shop, naming it "Latha Stores", but suffered an injury due to a bomb attack that left one of his legs nearly paralyzed. He left Sri Lanka again that same year, once again joining a refugee camp in Salem.[7][1]


While working in Singapore during the 1980s, he had become acquainted with director K. Bhagyaraj, who visited the country for a show. He later reconnected with Bhagyaraj during a visit to Chennai and was cast in a supporting role in Pavunnu Pavunuthan (1991).[10] He came to Tamil Nadu mainly with the intention of entering the film industry, as he had dreamed of an acting career since his childhood, and he also made the decision to enter Kollywood due to the lack of Tamil films being produced in Sri Lanka.[7]

Mani subsequently made a breakthrough after his performance in Thendral Varum Theru (1994) and the film received positive reviews. He eventually made his television debut in Raj TV television soap opera Ganga Yamuna Saraswati (1998), where he starred alongside veterans including M. S. Viswanathan.[7]

He appeared with veteran Tamil actor Vadivelu in many of his memorable comedy tracks. He was persuaded by director Suraj and actor Arjun Sarja to portray the role of a beggar in Marudhamalai over a call even though his mentor Vadivelu told him not to act in such role, explaining the dire consequences of acting in such kind of roles.[7] He had maintained good companionship with both Vadivelu and Vivek, and he also gave credit to both Vadivelu and Vivek for helping him grow in his career.[11]

His iconic comedy dialogues in films came mostly when he collaborated alongside Vadivelu, including "annan ethayum sollidathinga adichu kooda kepanga sollidathinga" (Kannum Kannum),[12] "mooku podappa iruntha thaan ipdi lam yosika thonum, "neenga cheeppa potta planna naa seeppa vacha mudichiten paathingala" (Englishkaran), "enna ne thakkali chutney ah moonjila oothi vechi irukeenga" (Aaru), "Indha polappu polakirathukku and en kooda sernthu pichchai edukalam" (Marudhamalai). He also occasionally collaborated with Vivek in films including Thirumalai (2003) and Padikkadavan (2009). Vivek also advised Bonda Mani that he would get more recognition and fame when he collaborated with Vadivelu.[7]

Bonda Mani also credited G. Marimuthu with the iconic dialogue "annan ethayum sollidathinga adichu kooda kepanga sollidathinga" in the film Kannum Kannum (2008), which made Bonda Mani an household name among the general audience at the time of the film's theatrical release.[7] The dialogue "annan ethayum sollidathinga adichu kooda kepanga sollidathinga" became a popular internet meme template and was widely used in social media platforms.[12]

Along with commitments as an actor, Bonda Mani ran a stage drama troupe called "Sai Kalai Koodam" and organised theatrical shows.[13] He made a comeback return to television with a fully-fledged role in Enga Veetu Meenakshi (2021), where he played the role of a snake charmer.[14]

Personal life

In June 2016, Bonda Mani joined the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam political party along with a few Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party workers. Bonda Mani personally met the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to officially join the party.[15][16][17] In 2020, he received a Sri Lankan passport but he insisted to the Sri Lankan authorities that he desired to travel abroad to engage in comedy shows.[12] However, he did not receive Indian citizenship and remained as a refugee in India until his death, and he could not travel abroad as a result of not gaining Indian citizenship.[2]

Illness and death

Mani faced severe health issues as his health deteriorated around 2022 and he confronted diabetes.[18] He fainted when travelling in a bus in September 2022; he was immediately admitted to Omandurar Rajiv Ghandhi Hospital for medical treatment and was assisted by fellow comedian King Kong.[19][20] Bonda Mani was depressed to know that the bill amount was unaffordable for him during that time especially with lack of film opportunities.[7] It was also reported that both his kidneys were starting to malfunction.[21][22]

Film producer Ishari K. Ganesh reportedly told Bonda Mani to undergo operations and dialysis and also told him to not worry about the medical expenses. He also received financial support from prominent actors including Vijay Sethupathi, Rajnikanth, Dhanush and Samuthirakani.[23][24]

Mani died due to kidney failure in Polichalur, Chennai, on 23 December 2023, at the age of 60.[25][26] He had been admitted to the intensive care unit at a government hospital at Omandurar.[27][28] His funeral was held in Chromepet on 24 December 2023.[29]

Notable filmography



  1. ^ a b "Tragedy continues in film industry... Actor Bonda Mani passes away..." Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Bonda Mani and Pudhupettai Suresh's Emotional Moment Stole the Show at the Golden Carpet Awards, retrieved 24 December 2023
  3. ^ Dinamalar (16 January 2017). "என் மீது அதிக பாசம் கொண்டவர் வடிவேலு! -நடிகர் போண்டாமணி – vadivelu has more affection on me says actor bonda mani".
  4. ^ "Tamil actor and comedian Bonda Mani dies of kidney-related illness at 60". Hindustan Times. 24 December 2023. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  5. ^ "Bondamani (a.ka) Kedhesvaran – Official Site of South Indian Artists Association, Nadigar Sangam, Tamil Nadigar Sangam".
  6. ^ "Behindwoods : Comedian 'Bonda' Mani".
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bonda Mani Emotional Untold Story | Sri Lanka to Tamil Cinema | Kumudam | Naan Yaar, retrieved 24 December 2023
  8. ^ "Behindwoods : Comedian 'Bonda' Mani".
  9. ^ Bureau, The Hindu (24 December 2023). "Tamil actor-comedian Bonda Mani passes away". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  10. ^ Thandora (3 April 2015). "Exclusive interview with Bonda Mani Movie Comedian" – via YouTube.
  11. ^ Desk, HT Tamil. "Bonda Mani: 'என் வீட்ல தங்கி சாப்பிட்ட நன்றி இருக்கா சூரிக்கு?' -போண்டா மணி!". Tamil Hindustan Times (in Tamil). Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  12. ^ a b c "Actor Bonda Mani passes away". The Times of India. 25 December 2023. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  13. ^ "Tamil Comedian Bonda Mani – Nettv4u".
  14. ^ a b "Actors Vijayakumar and Bonda Mani to make television comeback after a break". The Times of India. 4 February 2022. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  15. ^ "Comedian Bonda Mani joins AIADMK". 9 June 2016.
  16. ^ "அதிமுகவில் மேலும் ஒரு "காமெடி".. கட்சியில் சேர்ந்தார் "போண்டா" மணி!". 9 June 2016.
  17. ^ "தி.மு.க. நிர்வாகிகள் – நடிகர் போண்டா மணி ஜெயலலிதா முன்னிலையில் அ.தி.மு.க.வில் சேர்ந்தனர் – DMK administrators actor bonda mani Jayalalithaa before join AIADMK".
  18. ^ "Please save Bonda Mani- Popular comedian appeals for help in tearful video – Tamil News". 21 September 2022. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  19. ^ "Comedian Bonda Mani hospitalized | Tamil Movie News – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  20. ^ "போண்டாமணிக்கு உதவி பண்ணுங்க – நடிகர் பெஞ்சமின் வேண்டுகோள்". Hindu Tamil Thisai (in Tamil). 21 September 2022. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  21. ^ "Comedy actor Bonda Mani hospitalized after serious illness – Tamil News". 26 May 2022. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  22. ^ "Tamil Nadu: Actor 'Bonda' Mani needs kidney transplant". The Times of India. 23 September 2022. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  23. ^ "Dhanush, Vijay Sethupathi donate Rs 1 lakh each to Bonda Mani for medical treatment". India Today. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  24. ^ "Vijay Sethupathi donates Rs 1 lakh for Bonda Mani's medical treatment; Vadivelu assures to help too". The Times of India. 24 September 2022. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  25. ^ "நகைச்சுவை நடிகர் "போண்டா" மணி காலமானார் – Dinamalar Tamil News". Dinamalar (in Tamil). 24 December 2023. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  26. ^ "Comedian Bonda Mani dies of kidney-related illness at 60". India Today. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  27. ^ Navaneethakrishnan, Stalin. "RIP Bonda Mani: சாவிடம் போராடி மீண்ட போண்டா மணி.. திடீர் மரணம்!". Tamil Hindustan Times (in Tamil). Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  28. ^ தினத்தந்தி (24 December 2023). "நகைச்சுவை நடிகர் போண்டா மணி காலமானார்". (in Tamil). Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  29. ^ "Comedy actor Bonda Mani passes away; Kollywood mourns his demise". The Times of India. 24 December 2023. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 26 December 2023.