True appreciation of art can never be found inside neon-lit galleries or at red-carpet award nights. It can only be found on the streets, in jam-packed stadiums overflowing with college students trying to get a glimpse of a man whose art moves them.

Monikers such as ‘Universal hero’ and awards are irrelevant in comparison to a sea of screaming students and they made actor Kamal Haasan, who was at the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) University for the valedictory function of Riviera ’10, a four-day sports and cultural festival, talk about his dreams, retirement plans and a shot at Hollywood

Kamal Haasan said: “I have never really regretted dropping out of school. I thought I could learn it from the world. Only in moments like this, I have second thoughts.”

Pointing out that rigidity in the educational system was what threw him out, he said, “Education has to be more flexible and must appreciate diversity of interests.”

Lauding the announcement that hinted at VIT students having a choice to earn credits by taking courses in music, theatre and fine arts from the next academic year, he said, “I am really proud to see engineers interested in arts.”

Playing to the gallery, he effortlessly switched between languages to appeal to the cosmopolitan nature of the campus and said true education must start with bringing down artificial boundaries. He followed it up with a rendition of the song ‘Anbe Sivam’ (love is god).

“As the sculptors of tomorrow, I am humbled by you and I will continue to thank each one of you through my art,” he said. The overall winners in the Sports and Cultural events were awarded by Kamal Hasaan. Chancellor G. Vishwanathan spoke.