This photo was taken when I was working as a still photographer for T Rajhendherr’s Uyirullavarai Usha (1983).
Like many pictures shot during that time, this is a black and white photo, and I do feel that such photos have more nostalgia value. Back then, TR was very popular for having the image of a common man.
He was making family dramas, a genre that became a huge hit among the family audiences. The characters in these films were, again, representative of similar people you’d meet in your neighbourhood. I, like many others, was a huge fan of such work. In fact, there was a time when he was recognised for the variety of talent he had on offer.
I’d probably call him a ‘local Kamal Haasan’ (laughs). He can sing, dance, write, and direct films; and he can take great photos too.
I remember showing this photo to him. He immediately fell in love with it. This was a time when people preferred to take photos in natural light.
I always liked the glow of a backlight. I will always remember how he looked at this photograph and told me, “Unakku aesthetic sense romba jaasthi.”
(The photographer has taken stills for more than 500 films over the last three decades.)