Silk Smitha and a director seeking pardon for love (lust)
Eyes like bubbling cocktail. A glance that tugged at you like magnet and the curl of the lip that troubled a lot of hearts… Ask anyone who the pin up girl of the 80's was and many a voice would join the chorus 'Silk Smitha.' Among those who knew her as an actress with an animal magnetism, he is the one with a noble heart. That she was getting burnt up inside with grief were the secrets that were tied to the rope with which she hung herself.
Director Velu Prabakaran has now made his flashback public: her wishes to be a good person besides being a glamourous actress who terminated her life with a short length of a rope. Let us now read Velu Prabakaran's version that appeared in Junior Vikatan before our rebuttal.
December 2, 1960…If that scrap of silk cloth were preserved, it would be 48 years old today. But it had destroyed itself on 23rd September 1996. At the dawn of another new year as my life force is slowing down I am now looking back. I believe that the time has come for me to open up something that has been kept locked.
That was a season of romance…
It was a primitive period of a quest for love and getting drowned in it. Indeed that can be termed as 'a time of hunting for women'!
I was 32 years old then. Nature had handed over to me the advantage of seeking women when I was just 13 years old. Consumed by the fire of lust I was covered with a cloak of love woven by our society and our culture. I took shelter within it willingly. Since my pre-teen years to my 32nd year, many a women have provided heat within that cloak and passed through!
My cloak was getting refreshed for every new woman. In the meantime an angel happened by. I fell in love with her. I don't need to mention the name of the girl or the kind of love that was. Having decided to marry her, I made a marriage pledge to her. That was the instant when I said enough was enough for romance and wanted to start a family. But what is incredible is that it was also a time I was compelled to start a new love affair.
When everyone was chasing that angel, she was there just within my reach. She was the incomparable dream girl who troubled every Tamil young man in his sleep; she was none other than the celluloid sculpture Silk Smitha. It was a time when not only Tamilnadu, but also the whole of South India was haunted by that alluring tsunami.
In August 1989, I signed up as a cinematographer for the KB Films production 'Pickpocket' starring Sathyaraj and Radha. It was then I became familiar with Smitha.
As the film progressed, the distance between us as a cinematographer and an actress started shrinking and slowly we enjoyed holding hands. We started building a close relationship. Every man in our society is given to prevailing over any girl that gets close to him. And I am no exception to that. The process of conquering began.
One day I asked Silk, "Have you ever seen any of Michelangelo's creations?' to which she answered, 'No.'
"Take a look at your image in the mirror. The only difference between those sculptures and you is that they are lifeless and you are a sculpture full of life," I said.
That instant there was a lightning in those deep eyes. That was the instant that ignited the flame of love in her that joined the flame of my love for her.
My only fear for that beautiful sculpture was that it should not be grasped in the clutches of those who are just blind. I started reiterating within myself, "I alone am fit for Silk."
On a day when there was no shooting for 'Pickpocket,' I went to the outskirts of Chingleput looking for Smitha who was doing another film there. Seeing me there, she ran towards me as if she was just waiting for me. She took my hands and looked at me with those longing eyes. That raised a million question marks in the eyes of those who were watching the shooting. If their inquiring and jealous eyes could write, the words would be, "What makes him appeal to her?"
I did not bother about it. I told Silk, "Your blue and green dress and the way you walked towards me make me think of you as a real peacock." Continuing on the same vein, I pointed out to her the dried up lilies in the pond nearby and said like an infatuated poet, "Look how they put their heads down in shame, for they are not as beautiful as you."
As she raised her eyebrow, I blurted out, "A glance from you would make a poet out of an idiot." Her face registered how thrilled she was to hear those words.
I was in a great hurry to learn what was in her mind. But I believed that mere words "I love you" might not be enough to reveal the intensity of my love, my concern for her and other things. But somehow reacting to my unsaid words to express my love for her, she took my hand and uttered the words, "I love you."
Suddenly I realized the blood was rushing through my system. In my lexicon in those days, love meant just lust. And it ends in sex. Should I not be frank in admitting having decided to bare all? The disease that afflicts all men is to prevail over a woman in the name of love and after accomplishing that, treating her as ordinary. I did not think that I would also fall for such affliction.
Our relationship was becoming very intense. We decided to meet at Nilgiris department store on Radhakrishnan Road one afternoon at 4pm. She had come there by 4, but I reached there by 4.50. Sitting on the bonnet of the car waiting for me, she was surrounded by a large crowd. I was overcome by guilt, but she swept away my guilt by saying, "I hope you won't make me wait hereafter."
Sometime in June 1990, I stayed overnight at Silk's home. She was living in Kumaran Colony behind the Vadapazhani bus terminus in Chennai. It was past midnight. I was very hungry. I was looking into the fridge to lay my hands on something to eat. Turning in her sleep, she looked at me and enquired if I was hungry? She got up and went into the kitchen. She made a very tasty and high class uppama and made not only my hungry stomach full but my heart also. As days went by and our relationship became intimate, the marriage promise I gave to my other love started worrying me. My worry was, whom was I betraying? I was wondering as to how to resolve the issue, when the end came in an explosive way.
My other lover who came to know of my relationship with Smitha landed in the place where we lived. She narrated my betrayal and my taking advantage of her to Silk Smitha who was thoroughly unprepared for such a turn of events. She started shedding tears. Not having the courage to look at her eyes and not mature enough to seek her pardon, I followed my other lover sheepishly.
In my heart I was crying aloud, "Oh Smitha, I happened to come across an ideal woman rather late. Please pardon me," but I did not tell her that.
The years that followed saw me deserting that woman and there came another angel, another romance and in the end all love lost their meaning.
If I had married to Smitha, could I have avoided falling for other women? Offering human decency to the flames of lust and frequently changing partners, I had become a mentally ill patient.
It is not only I, but I am sure that many in our society are taking refuge in darkness away from bright light. But today I can say the truth. I have discarded that diseased cloak of love. I stopped covering others also in that. I never try to defame that honourable emotion of love.
But the wounds still bleed. If I make society a scapegoat for my mistakes, seeking a pardon becomes meaningless and I am the culprit. Stop wasting time in pursuit of lust and remove the cloak of love. Treat those wounds and get cured from your mistakes fast. It is not for the society to know, but do it with all your heart.
That was Velu Prabhakaran's statement.
Where was the need to make the statement now? It is not civilized behaviour to delve into other's intimacies. It is still worse to discuss in public about someone who is dead. Velu Prabakaran, who has done the film 'Kaadhal Arangham' has exposed his filthiness by making this statement.
Let him smudge himself with all the filth in the world. But judging mankind by the standard of sex is not tenable.
To quote him, Velu blurts out in a place, "In our society it is given to every man to prevail over any woman who comes close to him. Am I an exception to this? The process of prevailing over began." He is not fit to debate about it as he has confessed to being mentally ill.
Uttering pleasing words and showing false emotions to Silk, it is the height of betrayal to her after having serial relationships with many women.
Therefore Velu Prabakaran's statement seeking a pardon can only be termed as 'pardon for lust.'