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April 29th 2011 is a landmark date in the history of Thamizh cinema!

But my only grievance was it should have been a day to rejoice, decades earlier!!

It was the day director K.Balachander was announced as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award, for his lifetime contribution to cinema.

KB sir is a creative genius so ahead of his/our times who provided hours of non-stop recreation at its creative best. Curiously enough, this award was instituted in 1969 when KB sir got his first national award for his riveting iru kOdugaL!

On April 27th I asked my friends in a Favorite Bookmarked page of mine, if they could list out their choice of KB sir’s films that could be sent to international film festivals. I was zapped! My inbox was flooded with suggestions from people I didn’t even know from eve!

When this honor was announced I heaved a double sigh of contentment and relief that this seed of an idea sprouted in my mind before and not after the accolades, acknowledgment and applause!

My next move was to meet ‘THE MAN’ who molded my movie-sense and honed my perceptive skills to make me the rekhs that I am now!

Call it karma, destiny, coincidence, stroke of luck, to me it is serendipity again…I called a director-friend of mine whose tryst with KB sir goes as far back as 1990 and said “I wish I could meet KB sir and ask if I can subtitle his classics for festivals…”

Pat came the reply ‘If you are ready within the next 10 minutes, your dream shall come true’!

It did and as I got introduced, KB sir said with a smile “you are the subtitlist Pushpa was talking about”!

That’s it… naan pOgiraen melae melae…Balu-ji’s song from the film Naanayam blended into my ears, heart, soul and mind! Frankly, after that I drew a blank…complete Ghajini memory! I heard my friend say “she is also coordinator for IFF…” but I was in my own island of Utopia in euphoric state! Windmills of my mind reverberated this single thought, KB sir actually recognized me not as a person or his ardent fan but as a part of the film fraternity, appreciative of my toddler-steps!

It is heartrending that many of KB sir’s classics have not been preserved for posterity. My daughter may not be able to appreciate the nuances of a soulful-eyed SriVidya vying for Sivakumar (anna)’s attention with just a tap of the tumbler, an exuberant Jayasudha reeling off the ‘ennudaya appa yaarukku maamanaarO avarudaiya marumagaLukku appa en maganukku maamanaar …appo avangaLukkum enakkum enna uravu?’, Kamal the ventriloquist with a distinct mallu accent(blueprint for sundari neeyum sundaran nyaanum?) Rajini at his sinister best singing vasantha kaala nadhigaLilae, Nagesh in his never to be forgotten role as maadipadi Maadhu, Sumitra’s ilakanam that transformed into ilakiyam, the simple iru kOdugaL eye-opener that if a bigger line is drawn next to a small line, the sorrow the smaller line vanishes into thin air. All in all, one word, Kaaviyam!

The present day trend of joining the dots with short episodes that make a whole story was handled by our KB sir in 1990 with ‘1 veedu 2 vaasal’ with the handsome violin duo Ganesh-kumaresh making their debut as heroes.

Oru naaL podhumaa…to talk of this master craftsman who wove our real lives into his reel world? Our celluloid world would have been bereft of a host of talented artistes especially the 2 jewels in our Indian crown Kamal and Rajni.

Pushpa, daughter of KB sir, deserves a special pat on her back. Epitome of prudence and pragmatism, she immediately got into her ‘veni vidi vici’ mode. After many calls, enquiries, search and research, our hazy picture started showing brush strokes!

I am so happy to share this news that we will soon be sending KB sir’s 1973-1978 classics to renowned international festivals…and then all I have to do is check my inbox (im)patiently!

I wonder how many will realize my sign-off lines as the affidavit to the extent KB sir has influenced me!!

Wisp of smoke that weaves its way through the breeze

Breezy memories float in the inner chambers of my dream

Dream so precious it will definitely come true

True-blue style we will all join hands to rejoice!

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