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His film making ambition took off from hostel

Olympia Shilpa Gerald
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Director Gautam Menon visits his alma mater Mookambigai College of Engineering

Down memory lane: Film director Gautham Vasudev Menon speaking at the silver jubilee celebration of Mookambigai College of Engineering and Srinivasa Polytechnic College on Saturday. — PHOTO: R.M. RAJARATHINAM
Down memory lane: Film director Gautham Vasudev Menon speaking at the silver jubilee celebration of Mookambigai College of Engineering and Srinivasa Polytechnic College on Saturday. — PHOTO: R.M. RAJARATHINAM

It is generally actors who steal the show. But a heroic welcome was given to the ace director Gautham Vasudev Menon, on his visit to his alma mater, Mookambigai College of Engineering, Pudukottai.

Students thronged the campus to catch a glimpse of the celebrated director on Saturday, the grand finale of the four-day Silver Jubilee celebrations of the College, marked by the alumni meet, graced by Mr.Menon

Mr. Menon touched upon movies, music, friendship and love, while narrating episodes from his salad days to students who greeted his words with a rousing reception.

Mr.Menon pointed out how the college was instrumental in helping him achieve his dreams. “It was here I made the decision to become a film-maker. I started writing my first script at the college hostel.”

Acknowledging that he had nothing much to boast of as a student, he noted that organising cultural festivals and participating in college fests gave him a confidence that has stood him well throughout his life.

Fielding questions from excited students, Mr.Menon took his eager audience on a trip down memory lane.

Besides being an avid cricketer, he revealed he was also a lead singer and a choreographer in the college.

Mr. Menon, a mechanical engineering graduate of the 1993 batch, insisted, “College education is a must. It is true that I did not get much out of engineering, but I got a lot out of the whole experience. College moulded me into the man I am today.”

Incidentally, it was Mani Ratnam's Nayagan that fuelled Mr.Menon's dream to turn director.On film making he said, “No one can teach you the art of making a film. It is ultimately what is inside you that comes out in your work.” He insisted that screenplay was the most important part of a film. “It's all in the writing,” he quipped.

He had an appeal for the women in the audience. “We need more women directors today. Women have an aesthetic sense which is different from a man's and Tamil cinema would definitely benefit from it.”

“Life is a great leveller,” was the parting shot, he left the students with. “You never know what to expect.”

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