“From being brought up in a very small rural village near Srivilliputhur, financial hooks kept tracking us. Amma worked in the ‘Mid Day Meals Program’ (Saththunavvu Thittam), wherein Appa was a daily wage worker. I was always fond of cinema, & got an idea about Cinema through my uncle.
I wanted to be a cinematographer and, unfortunately, did not get a seat in my desired colleges due to financial burdens. I then thought that my dream would just fade away being a dream.
I worked in all odd jobs to save money so that I could join my favorite course. Finally, after my entrance exams, I got into an institution, but again, money kept barging into my peacefulness.
For 3 years, I somehow managed to have food and cut down all other expenses.
Mornings – I had only one tea & some butter biscuits. Lunch – I shared my institution attendees’ lunch boxes. Some nights, I skip food.
I was hungry in my mind and did not leave a chance to learn cinema. I was sure to join as an assistant to any of the upcoming cinematographers then. I completed my diploma in March and started my work assisting in April. I worked in Maththappu, Madras, Kabali, Kala, a couple of Ad shoots, and so on. I had the fire, but there has always been a gap between one project and the other. During those gaps, I became lost in the midst of monetary responsibilities.
My first project as a cinematorgapher was in 2018 – Yes, my dream was fulfilled but was that it? That’s all? Nahh!!
When I thought I can proceed further in covering up my career with my passion, the next offer I received was also to be an assistant again. I was disappointed, lost my hope, became pathetic, and got completely low, but I instantly regained my hope by saying, “This can teach us something better”. Days passed on, me being an assistant for a couple of more films too.
Practical difficulties can divert your goal but focus! I see every chance as my biggest boon. Put all your efforts into your work because there are so many people craving and wanting to get to your place, and that is YOURS now, so make use of the position you are in wisely.
Though there were gaps, I snatched them all. It took a while – around a decade to get to my dream place. But I cherish the journey! I enjoyed my experience of becoming a complete cinematographer. Yes, now I’ve grown to taking up leads in being a cinematogprhaer and will always remember my roots.
Don’t let your dream fade away – one day, you will be that WHOLESOME person you wished to be!”