Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Haasan and director Balu Mahendra shared a long standing and beautiful friendship over the years. In fact, it was Kamal who played the lead role in Balu Mahendra's first movie as a director, Kokila in Kannada.
Moondram Pirai for which Kamal won his first national award as a lead actor is certainly a milestone movie in their careers. Later, it was remade in Hindi as Sadma and still remains one of the memorable movies of Kamal in Hindi for many movie lovers.
Kamal, writing an obituary in a newspaper recalled, "When he narrated the story of Moondram Pirai to me for the very first time, I listened to him for 20 minutes and then told him I was on board. But I added that we need to work on the climax. We pushed the idea of the broken-hearted man to its extreme. We got my character crawling on the ground and soaking in the rain, which became quite the iconic image."
1995's comedy super hit Sathi Leelavathi was the last movie in which they worked together. Since they loved world cinema, they often discussed about international cinema and tried to bring in some of the elements to their movies.
Kamal will certainly miss a good personal and professional friend – "Balu" as he affectionately called him.