He was a man of positive energy who believed that friendship could be one’s greatest strength. His friends too remember him as a colorful and jovial man who put them at ease, merely by his presence.
Vindhyan, who passed away a few days ago was not just a film producer to them, but a dear friend. “After a few years of not being in touch, we met through a humorous episode,” recollects Shyamaprasad, his batchmate at the School of Drama (SoD) Thrissur. “I remember calling him after watching an interview of his on Doordarshan where he mentioned that he wouldn’t do films with any of his friends or batchmates even though they were talented artists. I introduced myself as somebody he wouldn’t make a film with. But he recognised me from my voice and said amidst laughter that he didn’t intend me. Thus began the second phase of our friendship,” Shyamaprasad says about his friend who later produced three of his films.
His friends remember him as a pleasant and energetic man, during their three decade long camaraderie. “He christened me Balettan,” says actor and filmmaker P Balchandran, another batchmate at SoD.
Incidentally, all three friends were part of the first batch of SoD.
“Though we were of the same age and senior to others, including Shyamaprasad, Vindhyan was more youthful and cheerful among the batch of 15. Vindhyan called me Balettan which was used later by almost everyone who met me,” he said.
The first visual the filmmaker friends associate
with the student days of Vindhyan is the black Ambassador car which he used to
drive into the SoD campus.
“The car was a luxury for the students at SoD and in fact, he fed many of us on many days,” says Balachandran. “He cared for me during my student days as I was one of the juniors and would give me rides in his car with other batchmates. Though he studied acting, he was scared when I offered him the role of the lodge owner in ‘Off season’ in ‘Kerala Cafe’”, recollects Shyamaprasad.
“He had a clear vision about the films that he wanted to make and always preferred to produce decent films which people could watch. Though he wanted his films to do well at the box-office, he was not willi n g to make too many commercial com- promises,” added Balachandran “He had a nice bond with Padmarajan and we remember him showing the still photographs of films like ‘Oridathoru Phayalwan’ and ‘Kallan Pavithran’. He had planned some projects with Padmarajan, which did not materialise,” remembers Syamaprasad.
His repertoire include films like ‘Salini Ente Koottukari’ which he produced at the age of 19 to ‘Arike’ which released a few months ago, Vindhyan was planning his fourth film with Shyamaprasad, titled ‘Taxi’.