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K Balachander: A master filmmaker who nurtured talents

PTI logoPTI 23-12-2014

Chennai: Filmmaker K Balachander scripted a new genre of films that excelled in bringing complicated interpersonal relationships and bold social themes while nurturing future talent as a tough taskmaster.

He had unparalleled impact both in celluloid and on the small screen by championing stories about women empowerment and social issues besides introducing stars like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Saritha, Sujatha, Mohan and Prakash Raj, some of whom have become legends in their lifetime.

The Dadasaheb Phalke award-winning filmmaker, 84 died from age-related illness.

One of the rare personalities in the Indian film industry, KB or KB sir as he was known, mastered the art of filmmaking by drawing his storylines from social themes and family issues.

A pioneer in making women-centric films, Balachander captured heroism in the lives of ordinary women in south Indian cinema, which were rare in the 1960 and '70.

He gave hits like 'Arangetram', 'Aval Oru Thodarkadhai', Rajini and Haasan-starrer 'Apoorva Raagangal', 'Avargal', 'Ek Duje Ke Liye' and 'Aaina'.

Born in Thanjavur in 1930, Balachander developed an interest for films when he was just nine years old. He nurtured his interest during his college days in Annamalai University at Chidambaram, where he did a bachelor's in Zoology.

He had a brief stint as a teacher and a clerk but these could not keep him away from his real passion - cinema.

Though he took up a government job at Accountant General's Office, he continued his experiments in theatre and wrote dialogues for 'Deivathai' in 1965.

It was a mere coincidence that he ended up writing the script for 'Major Chandrakanth' which turned out to be a huge success. It was such a hit among the audience that the hero of the film Sundarajan came to be known as 'Major' Sundarajan ever since.

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