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Gautham Menon makes you wanna fall in love

I wasn’t a fan of Valentine’s Day for the longest time. I didn’t understand why only one day had to be dedicated to love. My father, Prabhakrishnan, however, was a romantic. He had a zest for life. He had a love for literature and cinema. He loved his sunshine and the rain. And he loved my mother. He would express it in endearing little physical ways all the time.

He would not shirk from sneaking a kiss in front of us. Else, he could be found sitting with his hand on her feet. She would be embarrassed and mock-reject his advances. My father loved to travel too. But he would always home because of her, because of us.

He would go riding on his Lambretta, like it were the most precious thing in his life. He was of modest means, but enriched by a heart that wanted to live life to its fullest. He would often narrate stories of being in cars owned by his father as a child.

A romantic, he would never allow himself to forget his past. He also liked his drinks, perhaps a bit too much. Sometimes, he would drown himself in a bottle, and settle down on the floor to listen to ‘Kanne Kalaimane’ again and again. He died early. That too is a sign of a romantic. And he died on Valentine’s Day. Those who knew him said, “Trust PK to pick February 14 to pass away.”

Hence, the day is of great significance to me. I’ve sort of begun believing in the idea of Valentine’s Day slowly, reluctantly. I think of it as a day to celebrate love though, not the only day to express it. I’ve come around so much that I wanted to release ‘Maruvaarthai’ (Enai Noki Paayum Thota) on Valentine’s Day. Out of respect for AR Rahman, I backed out as I heard that there were plans to release a track from Kaatru Veliyidai on the same day. Perhaps soon, I’ll release a film itself on the day. It’d, of course, be a love story. I’ve always been passionate about romantic love, thanks to my father. I’m today an admirer of a woman’s feet, thanks to him.

I can’t help but remember the scene from Pakeezah in which actor Raajkumar, upon entering a train, sees the feet of actor Meena Kumari. He leaves her a note: “Don’t ever set these beautiful feet on the ground.

They should never get dirty.” I found it endearing, this audacity to admire a woman’s feet. I’ve since realised that it is also a way to fall in love with a woman. 

I’ve always been a believer in love at first sight. You know when you see somebody walk into a room, and even without knowing who they are, something happens to you. You could ask me if it’s all about the looks then. But I do feel that when your instinct kicks in, when the mere sight of a woman tugs at your heartstrings, you can’t be wrong about her.

It’s important though to recognise these almost spiritual connections when they happen. And when it does happen though, how far are you willing to go for it? In Minnale, Rajesh (Madhavan) finds that the girl is already engaged. Perhaps you want to label his eventual actions ‘stalking’, but certain lines are never crossed.

It’s a delicate balance between pursuing a woman, and yet, holding back when you have to. In Kaakha Kaakha, the woman dissolves into the man despite being asked to stay away. She tells him she wants to make love to him; she tells him she wants to have babies in his likeness. Or how about a widower and a divorcee falling in love (Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu)? They are destined to be together. That she has a baby only makes it all the more beautiful. In that sense, love isn’t by choice. You don’t go looking for it. Adhu unna thaakanum. Thalakeezha pottu thiruppanum.

In Pachaikili Muthucharam, you could say it was more lust than love. In Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa however, they are star-crossed lovers. It was love, but one that was never meant to be. Karthik (STR) sketches his life from those tender moments of love. My films, just like his, are sketched from my moments of love. In Neethaane En Ponvasantham, it’s sort of the opposite. It’s two people who just cannot keep away from each other. You could say they keep fighting, but that happens sometimes between two people who are crazy about each other.

That’s when it gets intense. Sometimes, I wonder if things have changed at all as far as love is concerned. From my father’s time till today, it’s still the same. It’s about two people lying down on a terrace, looking at the stars. The sheer beauty of the moment is enough to create love. A split-second instinctive decision taken, without rationalisation of the potential pitfalls of love. Isn’t this the quintessential setup of love?

Love! When you crave to see her. When you draw lines that you’ll never cross when in pursuit of her. When her glance sets off something deep within you.

When the touch of her hand makes you deranged almost. When the thought of being with her is almost always at the top of all of your thoughts. When conversations with her never are mundane. When the wait to hold her in your arms is so beautifully painful. When you finally do hold her in your arms, and it’s magical and so transitory. When she feels all this too, that’s when it’s love. Be a romantic, now and ever. Celebrate love as you never have today. And every day.

Source: The New Indian Express