CHENNAI: The Directors’ Union has requested the State Government to erect a statue of veteran director K Balachander, who passed away last week, at the constantly buzzing Luz Corner in Chennai.
At a condolence meet organised by the Tamil Thirai Iyakkunargal Sangam (TANTIS), R K Selvamony requested that the government accept their demand and leave a fitting monument as a toast to the late filmmaker.
“No director in the history of world cinema would have drawn so many people who had nothing to do with cinema, to attend their funeral. We noticed that when we took him to be cremated. Such admiration needs a remembrance,” he said.
The other request that they made to the State was to name a street in Mylapore, the locality where he lived for the most part of his 84 years, after him. For their part, TANTIS has postulated that the will rename their office ‘Balachander Illam’, hold a week-long film festival showcasing his best films and hold a massive memorial in February at Kamarajar Arangam — where actors and technicians whom he introduced would gather and raise a toast to their late godfather.
The memorial drew vast crowds of directors, assistants and veterans like Bharathiraaja, who remained choked up and teary eyed for the most part. “Speaking is difficult for me. To control my emotions is extremely difficult for me. Half my strength in this world of cinema was Balachander, the rest is you young directors,” he said, holding back tears.
Particularly emotional scenes unfolded when a skilfully crafted painting of KB by artist Sreedhar was unveiled.
The gathered masses quickly formed a line and trooped up on stage to pay their last respects to the man popularly known as the ‘Iyakkunar Sigaram’.