Chennai’s sweltering heat sometimes can make us insane…
tempers on the rise, tolerance level at its lowest ebb, deadlines not met and ‘Ibaco’ selling like hot cakes!
In the midst of all these frayed tempers and sizzling hours of work, my chat with Lakshmy was, I must say both relaxing and stimulating!
I met Lakshmy in a common family-friend’s party. Vishu introduced her to me as a character artiste who wants to-be-a-director sometime soon. This was August of 2009.
I was reminded of a proverb my mom often quoted to me,
‘Follow the river and you will find the sea’.
That’s what she has done…f(ol)lowed (her dreams) to find her destiny!
She is the kind of person, if you leave her in mid sea, you will for sure find her soon enough on the shore!
Her entry into the reel world, again reiterates my theory ’Life is all about serendipity and destiny’.
She was busy spending her ‘Great mom good wife’ days watering her plants and decorating her spacious bungalow in Coimbatore when a lad in his mid twenties walked into her house. He, Shanmuga Sundaram unknowingly also signed her decree to name and fame! He wanted to know if the Ramakrishnans would permit his director to shoot in their house. It was then that Lakshmy for the first time flipped through a script he had brought along. With her spontaneous enthusiasm Lakshmy decided to write her own script that she could direct as a film! With her disarming charming smile she continued, “I never knew each scene had shots let alone dividing them!”
How serendipity is this, her debut film Arohanam’s release is around the bend and the DoP is Shamuga Sundaram, though not that same chap who started the ‘join the dots’ game to shape her destiny.
Till date she has directed 9 short films and acted in 33 films.
To Karu Palaniappan goes the credit of casting her in his ‘PirivOm sandhipOm’ as Sneha’s mom. After Poi solla pOrOm there was no stopping her…this river flowed sparkling with bubbling energy. Thiru thiru thuru thuru, Eeram, Nadodigal, Vettaikaran, VTV, Naan mahaan alla, Boss engira Bhaskaran, Yuddham sei, Rowthiram to her latest release Leelai she carried herself with élan.
She played Trisha’s mom in VTV in all the 3 languages, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. When Gautham Vasudev Menon told her that it is a very small role, she replied, “I don’t mind, even if you ask me to walk, I will”!
Yuddham Sei made her realize her passion for cinema runs reel deep! She tonsured her head for the film in July 2010. She felt free, as if she had down-loaded all the unnecessary baggage she had been carrying all these years.
2010 also introduced her to the world of advertisements, Maruthi Suzuki and Virgin Mobiles being her passport to newer horizons. She fondly added, “Rajiv Menon taught me how to smile, making me hold a mirror to my face”
On her husband Ramakrishnan, quote “He has more confidence in me than I have in myself!” unquote. And let me tell you this lady breathes confidence (like a dragon emits fire) and glows with the most positive halo you can ever visualize!
The day before she started as ‘captain of the ship’ her director- friend Mysskin, told her, “wear your highest heels and with your head held high, loudly announce this is the shot you want and the world will be at your feet”. This was the right dialog at the right time to boost her to flow on…
1st December 2011, she called the shots donning the director’s cap.
This is what I find so endearingly refreshing about this ordinarily extra-ordinary lady. Knowing she hasn’t studied film making formally nor apprenticed under a director, she invested her hard earned money and made the first schedule of her debut film reach its crescendo!
Then she showed it to her producer who was happy to take on the producer’s mantle. He was ready from the start but she wanted to be doubly sure! It is easy to play on a home ground, but Lakshmy has chosen the back drop of a slum and the events that happen in a single day which has a lifetime impact.
She sincerely acknowledged to me her deeply etched gratitude in the sands of time to actors Sampath, JP, Uma Padmanabhan, Rajee Vijaysarathy (Aishwarya’s mom in Enthiran) who lent their dates, presence and hours of sweat and toil without lining their pockets to make Aarohanam scale the highest note!
May this river have tributaries that are a shining tribute to Sollywood!
A special thank you to all my dearest ‘E-friends’ from distant shores who read and support my dream of taking Indian cinema worldwide,
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