Saju Navodaya is a well-known actor and comedian of Malayalam films and television serials. He participated in Bigg Boss Malayalam 2 in 2020.
Saju Navodaya was born on Friday, 14 October 1977 (age 42 years; as in 2020), in Udayamperoor, Kochi, Kerala. His zodiac sign is Libra. He did his schooling from S. N. D. P. Higher Secondary School, Nadakkavu in Thrippunithura, Kochi, Kerala. Later, he joined the Sree Rama Varma Govt. Sanskrit College, Tripunithura, Kerala to complete his graduation.
Height (approx.): 6′ 0″
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Wife
Saju Navodaya was born into a poor family. His father’s name is Pappanikunnel Thankappan and mother’s name is Manka. His parents used to work as farmers. He has nine siblings. One of his brothers’ name is Chetan Suresh. Saju started a dance school ‘Miracle’ in Udayamperoor, Kerala. Resmi, a classical dance teacher used to teach dance in his school. Saju started liking her, and later, both decided to get married. Saju and Resmi got married on 1 November 2001, the next day of his brother’s marriage. The couple does not have any child.
Saju started his career as a mimicry artist. He used to perform in the stage shows of local clubs in Kochi. Manoj Guinness, a professional mimicry artist asked him to perform with his mimicry troupe ‘Cochin Navodaya’ in Kochi. Manoj Guinness changed his name from Pappanikunnel Thankappan Saju to Saju Navodaya; as his stage name. He became popular for mimicking the actors, and later, he performed in India and abroad along with his mimicry troupe.
Soon, his talent was recognised by the TV channels, and he was offered many television shows. In 2009, he debuted as a comedian in the TV show Comedy Stars Season 1. He played the character of ‘Pashanam Shaji’ in various reality shows, and eventually, it became his stage name. He has appeared in many TV comedy shows including Comedy Super Nights 2 (2013), Tamaar Padaar (2014), and Nalla Best Family (2019).
In 2014, he debuted in Malayalam films with ‘Mannar Mathai Speaking 2.’ He has acted in various Malayalam films like Acha Dhin (2015), Aadupuliyattam (2016), Achayans (2017), Kalyanam (2018), and March Randam Vyazham (2019). He played the lead role in the 2018 film ‘Karinkannan’ for the first time.
In 2016, he debuted as a singer with the song ‘Manja Kattil Pokande’ from the film ‘Aadupuliyattam.’
He participated in the popular TV game reality show Bigg Boss Malayalam 2 in 2020. He was the 5th contestant to enter the BB house.
Awards & Honours
- 2015: Ramu Karyat Film Awards for Best Comedian
- 2016: Asianet Comedy Awards for Most Promising Actor
Royal Enfield Classic 350 (gifted by his wife)
- Sport(s): Cricket and Football
- Saju Navodaya’s real name is Pappanikunnel Thankappan Saju.
- He is famously known as ‘പാഷാണം ഷാജി’ (Pashanam Shaji) by his fans.
- During his school days, he used to participate in almost every extra-curricular activity.
- In the late 90s, he directed many dramas in his college and won prizes in the youth festivals of Ernakulam district.
- He has won ‘Comedy Festival,’ a reality show for mimicry troupes aired on Mazhavil Manorama.
- He got married at the age of 24 and started the job of a painter to earn bread and butter for his family.
- He is often mistaken with the Kerala DGP Lokanath Behera; as their looks are quite similar.
- He is one of the members of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) in Kochi.
- In 2019, he announced that he would debut as a writer and director with the Malayalam film ‘Panavally.’
- His hobbies include dancing and playing cricket.
- In an interview, when he was asked if he was typecasted in the film industry or not, he replied,
Yes, I am. After my movie ‘Vellimoonga’ was released, every other project that came to me has the same character with a similar name and shade. I have declined some projects for that reason but slowly I started getting rejected for my reluctance to play ‘Pashanam Shaji.’ I realise that I am still a junior artist. I’m not yet a biggie in this industry to read the script in advance and suggest changes to my character. So I accepted that ‘Pashanam Shaji’ is here to stay with me. Still, I have a feeling that I could explore other areas of my talent had I been offered with a different character. I’m typecast as pessimistic villager now.”