Idharkuthane Aasaippattaai Balakumara! The phrase, which was familiar only to readers of writer Balakumaran novels until a few years ago, became a popular dialogue after it found a place in film comedy sequences. In the latest development, a new film starring actor Vijay Sethupathi of Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom fame has been named for the phrase and is directed by Gokul, who made his debut with Rowthiram starring actor Jiiva.
After film names that were the first line of hit songs, it seems the turn of popular dialogues to turn into film titles. Popular songs that were later used as film titles include Unnai Vaazhthi Paadukiren and Naan Pesa Ninaippadhellam, and more recent films are Thenmerku Paruvakkaatru, Neethane En Ponvasantham among others. Now with Idharkuthane Aasaippattaai Balakumara (IAB), a new trend has been set.
The phrase was coined by writer Balakumaran. After working in a tractor company for a while, Balakumaran started writing poems and short stories. He shot to fame with his debut novel Mercury Pookkal. His other novels, among them Irumbu Kuthiraigal, Pachai Vayal Manadhu, Ezhil and Muthukalo Pengal, were well received.
While rising as a popular writer, Balakumaran wanted to get into the ‘dream factory’, a term coined by late writer Sujatha to refer to the film industry. When he approached popular film personalities for their opinion, they all discouraged him except Kamal Haasan.
Balakumaran entered the film industry as an assistant director for Sindhu Bhairavi directed by K Balachander. Director S M Vasanth of popular films Keladi Kanmani and Aasai was also an assistant director with Balachander then. Balakumaran slowly learnt the nuances of the film industry and rose as a dialogue writer. He penned dialogues for many famous films like Nayagan, Guna and Gentleman. Idhu Namma Aalu starring Bhagyaraj was his first and, to date, last directorial venture.
Balakumaran wrote about his experiences in the film industry as a small memoir titled Idharkuthane Aasaippattaai Balakumara. It was serialised in Kumudham, a Tamil weekly magazine, before being published as a book.
While this is the lesser known history behind the phrase, there are many ardent readers of Balakumaran novels who say this phrase is used in many of his autobiographical sketches whenever he achieved something against all odds.
But others maintain that even before Balakumaran, the late writer T Janakiraman in his magnum opus Mogamul used the phrase Idharkuthane aasaippattaai as spoken by one of the lead characters Jamuna to the protagonist Babu.
Now, as the title of a film it has led to rising expectations, especially as the film is said to be a comedy entertainer.