How a double agent in Madras helped change the course of the subcontinent’s history


IT might be hard to imagine Madras as the nerve centre of a high-stakes, international espionage operation. Thanks to its languid, laid back approach to life, it might seem even futile to conjure up a super-spy episode in this part of the country, except within the febrile imagination of storytellers and filmmakers. Back in 1954, the Sivaji Ganesan starrer Andha Naal (That Day), a murder-mystery cum spy thriller which was inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, had the proud distinction of being Tamil cinema’s first noir feature, and that too set in Madras.