For filmmaker Priyadarsan, screenwriter-director V.R. Gopalakrishnan, who passed away on Monday, was not just a colleague. VRG was one of his close friends from his college days. It was when he was pursuing the intermediate (Pre-degree) course at Government Arts College in Thiruvananthapuram, that Priyadarshan met VRG for the first time.
They were batchmates. That friendship grew outside the campus and it was how VRG became Priyan’s associate. “Though we were not classmates or in the same friends’ circle, I knew him very well as we belonged to same batch. He was studying in the second group. One day, while reading Kumkumam magazine, I saw a short story named ‘Cycle’ in that which was written by one V.R. Gopalakrishnan and more than that, the story has bagged the Kumkumam award. It was then I came to know that it was my batchmate Gopalakrishnan and that was really a surprise for me. Because I did not know that he has interest in the literature. That incident made a big change in my approach towards him and he became one of my close friends,” Priyadarsan recollects.
It was after he shifted to Madras, now Chennai, he met his old friend of his college days after around five years. “That was a struggling period for me. When I met him, he was assisting Balu Kiriyath and I was working as script supervisor in Padayottam. I was then staying at Swami’s lodge and he was at Uma lodge. We used to meet occasionally during that period. But it was from Aryan, in 1987, he started working with me as associate director. He was in my crew for around three years and in that period was the associate in my 12 films, including my debut ventures in Tamil and Telugu. More than, that he was the screenwriter of my two movies — Cheppu and Vandanam,” he says.
It was around seven months ago, Priyadarsan met his old friend for the last time. “It was during the shoot of television programme at Ooty, in connection with the 28th year celebration of my film Chithram. With the demise of Gopalakrishnan, I have lost yet another close friend of mine," says Priyadarsan....