Potpourri of titbits about Tamil cinema
Gemini Ganesh had many things to share with me. He told me, “I celebrated house-warming ceremony when I built a new house at Nungambakam. I invited all the VIPs. T. R. Mahalingam’s concert was held first and it was followed by veena recital by S. Balachander. During the veena recital, ‘Arignar’ Anna and ‘Kalaignar’, who were seated in the front row, were talking between themselves about something very interestingly. Balachander, who was irritated at this, stopped playing and told them that he would resume after they finished talking. I was very much embarrassed. When I went to them to defuse the tension, ‘Kalaignar’ apologized to Balachander after which the recital was revived. Initially, S. S. Rajendran was signed to play Vallaithevan in the film Veerapandya Kattabomman. When he was unable to work, they approached me. I insisted to P. R. Panthulu, the director that they should get me a letter from Rajendran that he couldn’t act. When Panthulu asked me for the reason, I told that I didn’t want to earn the bad name that I grabbed the opportunities offered to other artistes. Rajendran gave the requested letter to Panthulu.
I had introduced many artistes to Tamil cinema. But, I do not tell everything I had done because people might mistake that I blow my own trumpet. Kalathur Kannamma film was a milestone in my film career. Initially, direction was done by T. Prakash Rao, but it was taken over by Bhimsingh in the middle. They were looking for a child artiste for the film. During the shooting of a song sequence for this film at A. V. M. Studios, Charuhasan was there. I took Kamalhasan, who had accompanied his brother and who was only five years old at that time to Meyyappa Chettiar. He was very much impressed with Kamal’s sprightliness and signed him for the film to play my son. We got a great artiste through this film.
Once, I presided over a function held at Island Ground. A girl, called Daivanayaki danced at this function. Governor Cherian attended the function. Deivanayaki took a photograph with me and the Governor after the function was over. I got the photographs of the function the next day. Director K. S. Gopalakrishnan wanted a new face for his film Karpagam. I showed Deivanayaki’s photograph to him. He was very much impressed. I introduced that girl to KSG. She was K. R. Vijaya, the ‘Punnakai Arasi’!”