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​Happy Birthday, Kamalji​



I have known Kamal Haasan long enough to be considered a part of his inner circle. I’ve seen him go through several crises in life,  blows delivered by  fate that would have left us ordinary mortals devastated and writhing on the ground.

But Kamalji(we address each other as ‘ji’ as he insists on doing with everyone including his own children) has picked himself up each time and gathered together all his strength to emerge  a champion survivor.A born fighter, a cogent thinker ,an intellectual and an atheist…Kamlaji is all of  this, and more. Some day soon I hope to put together my biography on this fascinating man who loves cinema more than his own life.And loves his daughters more than even cinema.

The ​hardest personal blow​ just days ahead of  his 62nd birthday,  when his soul-mate Gautami decided to leave him. Kamalji didn’t want out. She did. He tried to reason, protest, cajole, plead and pacify…But she was adamant. He then gave in to her  wish and let her go. He insisted  that she wait until she finds a proper accommodation for herself and her daughter Subbulaxmi whom Kamalji dotes on like he does on his other two daughters Shruti and Akshara.

From the time Gautami came into his life Kamalji took charge of her daughter. I know the bond that Kamalji shares with Subbu is precious .The girl  is grieved by the breach in her mother’s bonding with  the man who was father to her for 13 years. Kamalji has ensured her the doors to his home and heart are always open to Subbu.She can walk in any time. So can Gautami.

As I watch him struggling with yet another trauma I wonder why some are chosen for special bumps from the powers  above. Time and time again Kamaljihas been walloped on his heart.When  his second wife Sarika and he parted ways he was shattered and battling the bottle to get over his grief.This time he is stronger, perhaps wiser.

There are rumours that Gautami “got  tired of Kamal Haasan’s womanizing ways.”Oh, please! Spare us these simplistic solutions to complex problems of the heart that have no clear demarcations and definitions. It’s easy to pin some easily identifiable transgression on a man when a woman walks out. But every broken relationship is not about infidelity.Sometimes a partner outgrows a relationship  to the extend that it doesn’t matter how much the break would affect the other partner.

​Now this  year there is speculation​ on his joining politics.I feel it is  not the right time for him to take the plunge yet.

I hope at least a bit of the hurt would be healed on November 7 when you turn a year older and a lot wiser.

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