Chennai book fair is good place to catch up with rare tamil books which are otherwise difficult to spot in our cosy book malls. Being a sunday i thought of going there post noon and return before four. But the day kept dragging and @kanaknpk was too busy/lazy??:) But full credits to him for an accurate timing.
We drove our cycles throw the unknown streets devoid of traffic, catching glimpses of children playing (One gang had their stumps right on middle of the road…) enjoying the drive. But once we reached main roads all is not well. There was a huge traffic jam and it took has almost twenty minutes to drive through the 300 metres before the location. While waiting for the vehicles to move one man told that Kamal is supposed to come here today! Man that drove me crazy. But the next moment reality struck me. This is a very big expo and how can we spot him.Placing all hopes on luck we entered parked and walked through the entrace. There we spotted with the help of my accomplice that Kamal is going to speak. And people were already assembled for the actor to come. Following the clever instructions from @kanaknpk we managed to grab a seat 5 meters away from the stage.
The meeting was a drag till the man came. The man was also human.That was hard to believe for sometime for me.This guy is one of my symbols for passion – A living roark. Most of them were very eager to catch his face but my fascination was his thoughts and wanted to dissect his brain:). Our people doesnt know to handle celebrities well. How will one feel when you run after him like a doll.
Let me not drag and get straight on to cover Kamals speech:
Here goes a transcript retrieved from my memory.
” I havent prepared for this talk today for i have prepared it 25 years back. I need no preparation since I am screaming about it for a very long time. Cinema and literature are two shores. They are a media in themselves. Cinema is little more heard these days but that cannot make it the best of two. We need to build a bridge between the two. I am like the monkey anumar who is trying to build a bridge. But the ravanan is so happy with mandothiri that he doesnt seek seethai at all. So they say we dont need a bridge. People arent deaf. People act like a deaf. We cant make them understand. The power of building the bridge vests in the hands of people like you. If you appreciate good creations then the bridge will be built. As for as people in cinema and literature are concerned they might be experts in one but that doesnt stop them from learning the other. I will continue screaming even if its not going to bring any immediate change. My scream will have its result in some form in some time if not now at a later stage.”
Whenever people went over enthusiastic and disturbed the speech he handled it in a humourous and convincing way. When he opened the floor for questions very mundane ones like “When will mardhanaygam come.. why did anbe sivam didnt run ” came up. Even I was tired with them let alone his interest to answer it.Anbe sivam has got a cult status in tamil film dom. Most of the people have seen it ; rest of the people who havent seen it claim it to be good:) Incidentally as i write this my speaker spreads anbe sivam:)
Later @ashokjjr enquired how was the books i replied him “Its time for me to catch a living book;The non-living things can wait for a better day”. It was a surprise dream come true for me. Would have been better if i had sometime with him but neverthless hearing him from close quarters and evaluating him for an hour was a rare chance:).
Looking at his recent movies i feel that he has a pressure to fill up the cash boxes too for which he is doing lot of compromises. He should meet his fans and make them partners in his production 🙂
I drove back home with his voice impounding in my ears forever. I am proud that i share my timeline with him.