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kamal haasan


God, please don’t make another Kamal Haasan. Why would anyone have such an absurd prayer? I have reasons for such a prayer. You can make 10 men out of Kamal Haasan and still they would have enough talent and commitment to hold you in awe. Look at it in a very business like manner, God made a gross miscalculation when constituting the attributes that would make Kamal Haasan. It is a serious misallocation of resources which has resulted in Tamil losing illustrious exponents in many fields. Yes, Kamal Haasan is a precious waste of talent!

Please, Kamal fans, don’t start brandishing your fists as yet. But, the fact is that Kamal Haasan is endowed with far too many talents than he do justice to in a normal human being’s life time. One sometimes also feels a bit sorry for Kamal Haasan; he has so many responsibilities to fulfil in such a short span of time, so much to do to prove that God wasn’t wrong in investing so many talents within him. Yes, think of it, he is an actor (among the best the world will see), a director (with a touch that can give the best director’s a run for their money), a writer (how many wonderful stories and screenplays has he written for cinema), a singer (you could count his superhit songs for over an hour; only the legends of the field would have more hits), a lyricist (how many ties have his lines for cinema delighted you), a dancer (he started off his career as a choreographer, having trained in Bharatnatyam for many years).

That is 6! He has proved that is extremely gifted and committed to at least six different forms of artistic expression. That is 6 major fields of art. But, look more closely at his accomplishments and you understand that you are just beginning to scratch the surface. The way he voiced for Avvai Shanmughi and Krishanaveni patti shows that he could have been a mimicry artiste if he had chosen to. It is also said that he mastered the art of ventriloquism for the role in Avargal, and has said in interviews that ventriloquism is a pastime. Many people take up ventriloquism as a career, here he learns it for a movie and then takes it up as a pastime. Signs that the man’s talents are at dizzying heights!

Through making a Kamal Haasan, God has robbed India of  a wonderful writer, a wonderful poet, a classical dancer, an accomplished singer and perhaps of many more things. Yes, Kamal Haasan has it in him to be all these things, and he is to an extent. But, one thing God did not provide him with was some extra time after the mandatory 24 hours a day for complete realization of all the gifts that he has.

It is like creating a person who has the talents of a M.S. Dhoni, Vishwanathan Anand, Leander Paes, Narain Karthikeyan and Abhinav Bindra all rolled in one.

It is fitting then that destiny landed Kamal Haasan in cinema. It is the one medium which has allowed him to at least partially explore many of the talents that he possesses. Cinema allows him to act, to write, to direct, to sing, to dance and to morph into various characters.

There are many others who have shown to possess multiple talents. But, Kamal Haasan is different in the sheer degree of the talents that he possesses. It is not that he can just about manage to do a number of things. It is the fact that he is good enough at all of these to stand abreast with the best in each of those fields that sets him apart. We have a T. Rajendar who can do almost anything you ask of him. But, he has his limitations – he is a singer, but not among the best we have seen; he is a lyricist, but not among the best we have seen. But, Kamal Haasan is different, he can be the best at anything he chooses to. And, that is why we have to thank destiny for bringing him into cinema so that most of his talents got exposed.

Had he chosen to be a writer or a poet or a dancer or a singer; all of which he could have been given his degree of excellence in each of them; all of his other talents would have gone unnoticed, perhaps even by himself.

Perhaps, God was right in investing all those talents into one person. Maybe, Kamal Haasan is the prototype of the perfect cinema professional, able to cover all aspects of the medium. Alluding to Kamal Haasan and God in the same article might count as a bit of a contradiction, because of the beliefs that he has so often been so vocal about. But, ironically, looking at the level of his accomplishments and more importantly potential, makes us believe that there is a divine hand. That Kamal Haasan is exquisitely gifted is a fact that even the greatest in the business have acknowledged. Remember what Rajnikanth said during an event to commemorate Kamal Haasan’s 50 years in cinema; ‘That Mother Art guided actors like himself, Mohanlal, Mammootty, Chiranjeevi and others by holding their hands, but Kamal had a special place; on her shoulders’.

Yes, the talents that abound in Kamal Haasan are unbelievable. Perhaps in years to come people will continue to marvel whether one man can have so many tastes and talents. Yes, one lifetime may not be enough for all these talents to be realized in completion. That is why I prayed at the beginning, ‘God, please don’t make another Kamal Haasan’, but I have to add something at the end, ‘if you have to, make sure that he comes to cinema’.

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