What I am today I owe to KB sir, says actor Kavithalaya Krishnan

Kavithalaya Krishnan

Kavithalaya Krishnan  

S.R. Ashok Kumar

"It is through him (director K. Balachandar) that the world has known me"

Kavithalaya Krishnan started off as an engineer and switched over to stage drama. Logically, the journey led him to cinema. A prominent player in most of director K. Balachander's plays and films, Krishnan is deeply inspired by the master director.

Incidentally, he is a bonsai enthusiast.

I have many dreams but very few needs. I am happy as long as I am doing what I love to do best acting.

I hail from a pious family. My grandfather was Diwan Bahadur R.V. Krishna Iyer, who was Speaker in the Madras Legislature when Rajaji was Chief Minister. While schooling in St. Bede's, Santhome, I took to theatre and acted in many school plays and won a number of prizes.

When I joined Anna University to pursue a degree in engineering I met Crazy Mohan. We would spend quality time discussing cinema, theatre and great names such as Sivaji Ganesan and Nagesh. Crazy Mohan wrote scripts for the Arts Society of Engineering College and I acted in all the plays. Both of us won all the awards.

Crazy Creations was started while we were in college and I was an active dramatist with them till 1994. In the early Eighties, Director K. Balachandar made `Poikaal Kudirai' from `Marriage made in Salon', a play by Crazy Creations. I played the same role in the film that I did on stage. `Poikaal Kudirai' was my first film. Since then it has been a scenic journey and a heartwarming relationship with the ace director. I have acted in all K. Balachandar's films and television soaps till date.

I have done nearly 80 films and 60 TV serials and gone up the stage 1,000 times. I have enjoyed working in all three mediums. My personal favourites are films such as `Sindubairavi', `Manadhil Urudhi Vendum', `Vaakumoolam', `Edhirkaatru', `Avvai Shanmugi' and `Natpukkaga'. Similarly, in serials it is `Kai Alavu Manasu', `Marma Desam', `Inai Kodugal', `Aridharam Poosiya Uravugal', `Kadavulukku Kovam Vandhadhu' and the recent hit `Selvi'.

I have worked with some of the best directors in the Tamil film field, but Balachander tops the list! What I am today I owe to KB sir. I have had the privilege of being associated with him for more than 20 years. It is through him that I have known the world, and the world has known me. He taught me the nuances of acting and ethics to lead a healthy and straightforward personal life. Then come directors such as Mani Ratnam, S.P. Muthuraman, Mahendran, Balu Mahendra, R.C. Sakthi, Saran, Suresh Krishna and Vasanth.

My admiration for Sivaji Ganesan almost borders on obsession. Kamal Haasan is another favourite of mine. I believe that Indian cinema has not seen one actor who has tested his own talent, repertoire and reputation as Kamal Haasan has and still does.

A compliment motives any artist and I am no exception. I treasure the compliment showered on me by K. Balachandar. Once after watching a scene in `Sahana' at the editing table he said I was brilliant and that he was proud of me. That compliment was worth more than an Oscar award to me. Another time Sowcar Janaki said I was one of her favourite actors. Writer Ra.Ki. Rangarajan once wrote to me to say that I could convey any emotion effortlessly and carry out any role with ease and confidence. This too meant a lot to me.

One of my memorable moments was when I received the Kalaimamani Award last year. I am also the proud recipient of the Mylapore Fine Arts Academy Award 9 times.

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