I should not leave out other non- Malayalee senior students whom I came in to contact during my first year. There was Vikas Desai with his impressive stature and the ever active Student’s Union President Gurucharan Singh, both from 1969 Direction batch. Guru as he is fondly called had been a regular fixture at the Institute as he had earlier done his Editing Course in 1965 and then joined Direction course. So being Super senior he knew all the in and out of the Institute and took control over the students, staff and faculty with ease.He was the Students Union President as well. From the 1970 Direction batch, I remember lively Ashoke Aggrwal, soft spoken Vishnu Mathur, brooding Madan Gopal Bawaria and a quiet Amar Kumar Bhattacharya.
From the Motion Picture Photography (1969) U.M.N. Sheriff, S.R. Krishnamurthy, Naresh Bedi, Barun.K. Mukherji, Bala Mahendran, A K Bir, Sona Ram Talwar, Mohd. Sidiq Aminzai, J.P.Gautam, F.R. Khan and Daulatram.R. Kulmi were there. I remember Naresh Bedi showing Shri.Kulkarni, the photographs of cobras that he had taken during the Nag Panchami festival. Some of the photos were later published in the National Geographic magazine. He used specialise in wild life photography andhis home in Delhi was a mini zoo itself!
I used to meet U.M.N. Sheriff whenever he dropped down to Thiruvananthapuram for the International film Festival of Kerala. Many years back I had occasion to interact with S.R. Krishnamurthy in Mumbai while I was doing a Hindi Film “PATITA” and he did some sequences which were re-shot by the Producer Promod Chakraborty in conflict with its Director I.V.Sasi.
Bala Mahendran was from
S.Ramachandra deserves special mention, as he was the room mate of Azad and like Azad he used to call me “Thampy" (younger brother) and was a friendly, affectionate mentor to me. We still keep in touch with each other.