The Tamil Nadu Film Directors’ Association held a memorial for K Balachander earlier today. P Bharathiraja, RK Selvamani, SP Muthuraman, SA Chandrasekhar, Balaji Sakthivel and Perarasu were among the directors who were present to honour the memory of the Iyakkunar Sigaram. A portrait of KB – created by artist AP Shreedhar, and commissioned by actor-director R Parthiban – was unveiled by a visibly distraught Bharathiraja, who found it very difficult to speak onstage.
“I haven’t yet found a way to control my emotions. KB was a great artist and creator. He began with Neerkumizhi and ended with Poi. It is my wish that all of us live the way he lived. It is what we should aspire to do,” he said.
RK Selvamani, speaking on behalf of TANTIS, announced the initiatives that the association would undertake to preserve the legacy of K Balachander:
- The director’s association office will be re-named ‘Balachander Illam’.
- A selection of K Balachander’s films will be screened once again in Chennai. The association members plan to put this into action soon.
- A grand memorial function is to be organised at Kamarajar Arangam during the first week of February 2015, in which stars from the Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam industries are expected to participate. All film unions will be involved in its planning and execution, said RK Selvamani, TANTIS secretary.
- Mohan, a longtime assistant of K Balachander, was presented with a cheque for Rs 1 lakh. RK Selvamani also requested the directors present to cast Mohan in their films, as it would greatly improve his emotional state.
- The union also resolved to always stand by and protect the family of K Balachander, a declaration that made KB’s daughter Pushpa very emotional. “I’ve gained a lot of brothers today. It gives me solace,” she said, a little later.