The inspiration for the women characters he depicts in his movies is drawn from his own mother, director T.V. Chandran has said.

He was speaking at an open forum on how directors portray women in films organised here on Friday as part of the ongoing Female Film Festival.

The suffering, both mental and physical, faced by his mother in a joint family system touched his mind from a young age, Mr. Chandran said.

“My mother as the eldest daughter-in-law of the house was expected to provide food for all the guests who would be unexpectedly brought home by my father and his brothers. If the food provided was not to their satisfaction, they had the curious habit of throwing out the vessel in which the food was served. The after-effects of such throwing would be borne by my mother in the kitchen. At the end of all this, she would go and make for herself some ‘puttu.’ Even though I would have eaten dinner, I made it a point to eat a piece of this ‘puttu,’ he said.

On ‘Susanna’

Mr. Chandran recounted how when the censor board viewed his ‘Susanna,’ many members of the board wanted the movie to be banned. This included the women members. When Mr. Chandran told them that it was his mother who inspired the lead character, the members were all the more shocked. “Eventually, it was Asha Parekh, an actress all of us assumed was only good for dancing scenes in commercial cinema, who saw the movie and said it was a good one and need not be banned,” Mr. Chandran told the gathering.

His film ‘Kathaavasheshan’ was the result of a traumatic phone call he received from his son in Ahmedabad during the Gujarat riots. The suicide of the lead character in the movie was what his son wanted to do after watching children burn during the riots, he said. Director K.R. Mohan was present on the occasion.

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