Rich tributes paid to Balu Mahendra

Film personalities visited Balu Mahendra’s residence in Chennai to pay tributes to his mortal remains. He passed away following heart attack.

After completing his under-graduation in London University, he joined Pune Film Institute to pursue a course in cinematography and passed out with a gold medal. Then began a journey which took Indian cinema to greater heights. His lens had the knack of capturing emotions under natural lights and characters sans make-up. The soft tone used by him spoke a different language on screen.

A slew of Malayalam movies which had Balu Mahendra cranking the camera won him accolades in the early 1970s. A man, who was instrumental in the marriage of cinematography and direction, ventured to film-making with Kokila in the year 1977. Having directed 22 films in his long career, he always stressed on quality rather than quantity.

With Azhiyadha Kolangal in 1979, Balu Mahendra started a fresh innings in Tamil cinema as a movie-maker. Though the film had music by Salil Chowdhary, his partnership with Ilayaraja marks one of the highlights of south Indian films, as the master director managed to get the best out of the maestro in every outing. He often called Raja the God of Music and had a knack of picking the right tunes. With his musical knowledge, hardly a song from their combination went unnoticed. Music and songs by the combo in the 80s still hold sway over audiences.