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K Balachander – This Neer Kumizhi (Water Bubble) is Forever

His name may mean ‘new moon’, but Balachander was a full moon of the Indian film firmament that hardly waned for fifty years. His silver glow reflected on over a 100 films in 5 languages. Incredibly, he directed nearly 80 of them; some makers may have done more films, but none grappled with such varied subjects. K Balachander didn’t coast along on the tide of a formula; he swam against the current. Ethir Neechal.

He was a creator who could adapt himself to any media. He was a successful playwright when he got his first offer to write for an MGR film. His transition from curtain to screen was seamless but blazing. Later, he dazzled the TV tube too. Rarely does one see such a strong imprint on all the three media by one auteur. He had a way of dramatizing a situation that left an indelible mark. His scenes always ended with a punch, not as if they ran out of petrol. Add to this skill, subjects that unabashedly questioned entrenched mores and you had dynamite; dialogue that crackled and characters that sizzled. In this conflagration, he forged a particularly enticing form of steel for his female characters. Most of the time, they were the engines propelling his stories and clinching his victories. Bhama Vijayam.

It is sad that K Balachander has left our sky a little less bright. But he leaves behind a generation of admirers to continue the creative ‘story without end’ … Oru Thodar Kathai.

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