KOCHI: The critically-acclaimed director, Rajesh Pillai, died at the age of 41, today, of cirrhosis of the liver. His film, 'Vettah', which stars Kunchacko Boban, Manju Warrier, and Indrajith Sukumaran had just been released, to mixed reviews. His path-breaking film, 'Traffic', was released in 2011.
Undoubtedly, his early demise has shattered his wife Mekha. Here we reproduce an earlier interaction with Mekha where she remembers moments spent with him.
In 2005, Rajesh Pillai's film, 'Hridayathil Sookshikkan', had just been released, and did not make an impact. He was having a difficult time trying to get a producer for his next film. “He met many of them, but nobody said yes,” says his wife Mekha. “In fact, a few insulted him.”
Rajesh went into a period of depression. “I became worried and unhappy to see my husband in this situation,” says Mekha. “I have to thank scriptwriter Sanjay who befriended Rajesh, gave him self-help books and tried to boost his spirits.” Finally, producer Listin Stephen agreed to make Rajesh’s next film, Traffic.
For Mekha her happiest moment took place on January 7, 2011. That was the day when 'Traffic', a path-breaking film, was released. She watched the second show at a hall in Thiruvananthapuram, along with her father-in-law and other relatives. Rajesh was in Kochi at that time.
“The clapping in the hall made me ecstatic,” says Mekha. “I could not watch the film. Instead, I was observing the audience reaction.”
And the most moving moment occurred when Rajesh’s father came out of the hall and had tears in his eyes. “For so many years, Rajesh was known as Prof Raman Pillai’s son,” says Mekha. “After 'Traffic', my father-in-law became known as Rajesh’s father.”