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A Tribute to K.Ramachandra Babu, ISC

 

My brother Ramachandra Babu remains to be the biggest influence in my life. He was a quiet man. A poet and a painter. He had a great sense of composition sense and in-depth knowledge about every aspect of cinema. He was a voracious reader and had a great collection of books on films and literature. 

We were seven children in the family. As I was the youngest in the family and he was the eldest, there was a huge age difference between us. The school we all attended had his name right at the top, on the school toppers list, that was on display for all to see. When any of us, at any time, did not perform at our best, the teachers used to march us to that board and 'lectured' us, about how good a student he was. While at school, he had many 'double promotions'. He completed his school-final when he was just 14 and graduated with a B.Sc degree when he was 16 years.

He got his first camera when he was in college and clicked many pictures of us at home. He was always experimenting on how to draw the best out of it and soon he began to excel at it. He used to try a lot of trick photography, like multiple-exposures, perspective-compositions, and so on and so forth. He had his own little lab at home and developed his negatives and print them. Some of those pictures got him a seat in the Pune Film Institute.

While still at FTII, in his second year. he got his first opportunity to shoot a full-length feature film. Thanks to him we had a large library of books and most of them were about cinema. Our dinner conversations were peppered with the names of French Avantgarde filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut et al.

When I entered this fascinating world of cinematography I had this huge responsibility of living up to his legacy and am constantly reminded of his genius as one of the greatest cinematographers of Indian cinema.

Contributed by Ravi K Chandran, ISC

 

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