Balu Mahendra, a storyteller who has spun silken tales out of daily happenings... Today his story ends...

He was admitted to the hospital yesterday and went into a critical condition from which he did not recover. He passed at 11 am today. Directors like Bala, Ameer and Ram visited the director at the hospital, before he passed away.

It is truly a sad day for Tamil cinema indeed as we bid adieu to a man who has moved us to laughter and tears with his stories of simple people. At a time when cinema was getting larger than life, he always kept it real, happy to tell the story of the common man. His noted works as director include the realistically portrayed story of forbidden love in Kokila (Kannada), the unforgettable love between Cheenu and Viji in Moonram Pirai, the eerie Hitchcock inspired Moodu Pani, the beautiful family drama Olangal (Malayalam), the hilarious Rettai Vaal Kuruvi, the moving drama Veedu, the revolutionary Marupadiyum, the laughter riot Sathi Leelavathi and most recently the touching tale of a granddad (himself) and his grandson in Thalaimuraigal that released last year.

And even before he had turned director Balu Mahendra had toiled in cinema behind the lens for a decade. Many filmmakers of today hail from his school of thought and we hope that the spark that he put in their minds will show the light towards brighter and more meaningful cinema.

The entire Galatta family joins the film fraternity in mourning the passing away of a legend.