My Dear Daughters, GFs, Sisters, Friends and Gracious ILites, Surprised about the title, right? Is this another card up your sleeve,Varalotti, you ask. No it isn't. I just want to pay tributes to one of the great Tamil Directors Sridhar who passed away at Chennai yesterday. Sridhar was 75 when he died. What was Einstein and Newton to the world of science, Sridhar was to Kollywood. In the pre-Sridhar days movie-dialogues will be in literary Tamil, which is way different from our conversational, colloquial Tamil. eg. நாதா, நீங்கள் ஏன் இவ்வளவு தாமதமாக வந்திருக்கிறீர்கள்? is something the heroines would ask. Sridhar's heroines started asking simply "ஏங்க லேட்டு?" It was Sridhar who made the audience recognise that there was much more to a movie than the actors and actresses. Only after his entry people started asking "Who's the director?" When the Directors of those days used to cast all popular stars and try to make a hit movie,Sridhar boldly experimented with all new faces and made them all great stars. In just one film, Vennira Aadai he gave us Jeyalalitha, Vennira Aadai Murthy, Vennira Aadai Nirmala and Srikkanth. In addition to that he gave us a wonderful story as well. Women went crazy over his films Kalyanaparisu and Nenjil Or Aalayam.In the latter movie there was a wonderful knot. Devika and Kalyan Kumar love each other. But they get separated.Devika marries Muthuraman. Muthuraman is seriously ill and is admitted to the hospital in which Kalyan Kumar is the Chief Doctor. Muthuraman wants Devika to marry Kalyan Kumar if something happens to him. (Remember the song Sonnathu Nee thaana..) Kalyan Kumar strives hard to save his ex-lover's husband.He works day and night for that. Muthuraman is saved while Kalyan Kumar dies of exhaustion. Kalyanaparisu was another epic. Kadhalikka Neramillai was a classic and defined the standards for a decent high class comedy. That perhaps is the last comedy film which you can see with your teenage children. The comedy scenes of these days.. well as an ILite said, you can't even see with your DH sitting by your side. In the late 70s came Ilamai Unjaladukirathu starring Rajni and Kamal.It was a soft love story of course with a few glamorous scenes added to satisfy the new wave trend of 70s. But at the end of it all it is the love that would be in the minds of the audience. I was hardly 20 at that time and used to hum the duet song "Ore Naal unai naan nilaavil paarthathu" constantly. MGR movies used to be stereotyped. But Sridhar could bring the best of love from MGR and Latha in Urimaikkural. When MGR lip-synchs the ever green duet unakkakave naan vazhiren even those loveless hearts would melt in love. And my dear ladies there is one more reason that his death affects me this much. Do you know that I was named after the great Director? Kalyana Parisu was Sridhar's Directorial debut.It was running to packed houses. My aunt, who later became my adoptive mother,Padmasani (wife of Varalotti Rengasamy Iyengar who gave me my pen name) was Sridhar's ardent fan. She was so much impressed by Kalyanaparisu that when the telegram announcing my birth (there were no phones in those days) on 29th April, 1958 around 9 in the night, she virtually decided to call the newborn Sridhar. May be that is one reason that I love writing love stories and that I always fall for sentiments and nice feelings. That Sridhar gave us so much of happiness. He gave us wholesome entertainment and taught us some values as well. May his soul rest in peace!