Sreedevi hugging her knees and batting her eyelashes as Kamal Hasan lip-syncs Kannai Kalaimaane. Two decades later this is still one of the most heart warming melody in Indian Cinema. The film Moondram Pirai (Sadma) was directed by Balu Mahendra who passed away on Feb13th 2014
Born and brought up in Sri Lanka, Mahendra was deeply influenced by Bicycle Thieves which was screened in his school. After spending fives years as a cinematographer for acclaimed films like Nellu, Chattakaari, Makkal; Balu Mahendra debuted as a director with his Kannada film, Kokila in 1977. After which he slowly expanded his reach to other languages including Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi.
Olangal based on Erich Seghal's Man, Woman and Child is a film that created a wave in Malayalam Cinema. Yathra and Oomakuyil are his other Malayalam directorial films that helped him make his mark in Malayalam films. With an amazing record of five national film awards and a handful of state awards,Balu Mahendra has also mentored several newbie directors including, Ameer, Seenu Ramasamy and Bala.
Thalaimuraigal, released in 2013 was his last film which was a coming of age story about city bred Aditya who visits his grandfather and learns more about his own roots.