Filmmaker K Balachander, fondly called 'KB sir' by fans, scripted unparalleled impact both in celluloid and on the small screen by championing stories about women empowerment and social issues besides introducing future stars like Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan.
The Dadasaheb Phalke-winning filmmaker, 84, who was in hospital for sometime, died today after suffering a heart attack.
He would remain as one of the rare personalities in the Indian film industry, who not only mastered the art of filmmaking but also nurtured hundreds of youngsters in the profession.
The multi-lingual filmmaker drew his storylines predominantly from social themes and family issues thus demystifying the anatomy of lives of socially dense Indian joint families.
A pioneer in making women-centric films, which were rare in the 1960s, Balachander focused on issues encircling the lives of ordinary women facing social and economic odds in films like 'Aval Oru Thodarkadhai', Haasan starrer 'Apoorva Raagangal' and Rajinikanth and Sujatha starrer 'Avargal'.
His scripts were also the first which captured heroism in the lives of ordinary women in south Indian cinema.
Born in Thanjavur in 1930, Balachander developed an interest for films when he was just nine years old. He nurtured his interest during his college days in Annamalai University at Chidambaram, where he did a bachelor's in Zoology.
Balachander had a brief stint as a teacher and a clerk but these could not keep him away from his real passion- cinema.
Though he took up a government job at Accountant General's Office, he continued his experiments in theatre and wrote dialogues for 'Deivathai' in 1965.
It was a mere coincidence that he ended up writing the script for 'Major Chandrakanth' which turned out to be a huge success. It was such a hit among the audience that the hero of the film Sundarajan came to be known as 'Major' Sundarajan ever since.