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Personal


Interest in Sports

K. Somu was very much interested in both outdoor and indoor games. He played hockey, cricket, tennis and football for the local clubs He was a very good goal keeper in hockey and football and stands tall in the hockey team photograph. He founded the Udumalaipet Cricket Club with his friends and when the cricket club celebrated its golden jubilee, his old friends and members remembered the founder member for his contribution to the club. They invited him as the chief Guest and felicitated him.

He was also very talented in indoor games like chess and carrom board. His children used to look in awe and wonder when he used to pocket three coins in his first strike. In 1967 his interest in chess resulted in the conducting of a chess tournament named after his late father "Kandaswamy Memorial Non-Medalist Chess Tournament". It was organised with the help of the ThamizhNadu Chess Association and was held at his residence in T.Nagar. The first three prize winners received cups made of solid silver.

Hobbies

Director K. Somu had very many intellectual hobbies. He was an enthusiastic, numismatist, coin collector and had with him rare coins of different countries and ancient coins in different shapes. Sivaji Ganesan and Padmini used to give him coins after their foreign visits. Nadigar Thilagam in particular gave him the photographs taken during his American visit in 1962 and President John F. Kennedy's commemorative coin. He also had huge collection of Gramaphone records of early Thamizh films and classical Carnatic music of great carnatic artistes both vocal and instrumental with whom he had a mutual admiration and friendship. He had a huge collection of English and Thamizh literature books and novels apart from a collection of vast Saiva literature.

Wife

K.Somu married Veeraswamy Pillai's daughter who was an agent of Zamin Nangavaram at Trichi in 1944. He used to recall the day when he went to see the bride at Nangavaram. He fell in love with the very charming girl in her teens, fair, long haired and whose face he did not see as the girl was very shy and looking at the floor. This innocent, fair minded girl became a very supportive wife. She was kind, loving, tender hearted and like her husband very generous. She was a loving wife, caring mother and great lip smacking cook of south Indian cuisine serving her husband's friends who used to visit often to taste the delicious dishes starting from Salem, Coimbatore and Madras.

Sons: S. Natarajan, S. Mathivanan, S. Kandaswamy

Daughters: Ms. Kannagi, Ms. Chandra, Ms.Nirmala, Ms. Vijayalakshmi, Ms. Janaki, Ms. Vadivu

Grand Sons: S. Anand, M. Vijay Vignesh Vanan, M.Akshay Somasundaram

Grand Daughters: P. Abirami Kanmani, S. Bhavishyakokila

Character

Director K. Somu' letter pads would reveal his personality. The first letter pad during his upcoming years carried this confident statement. GIVE ME A CHANCE, I WILL PROVE MY METTLE. And the last letter pad he was using carried the philosophical statement" WHEN A MAN FINDS NO PEACE WITHIN HIMSELF IT IS USELESS TO SEEK IT ELSEWHERE."

Hailing from a cultured, religious, spiritual and fourth generation educated family, Director K.Somu imparted good qualities to his children. In his later years he felt very much that he could not pursue higher education. Hence, he saw to it that all his children were educated. As a result his sons and daughters are well educated with two doctorate degree holders.

Short temper was another quality that he inherited from his family. A stickler to perfection and an upholder of honesty and virtue, he was a strict disciplinarian. He was a terror to his children during their growing up years but later mellowed to reveal his great personality. Their love and admiration tinged with respect and fear was positive and paved the way for the success of his children. Even though he was great dramatist, writer, and sportsman he was happy to see his children excelling only in education.

Many a time he would go out in his car and if he sees any of his friends on the road, he will get down and ask the driver to drop them at their destination. On the days if he were at home, the car would be given to his friends and relations for their use as the call taxi system did not come into vogue then.

K. Somu's family did not like the idea of him joining films. He proved them wrong by being successful and went in his Plymoth car to all his brothers and sisters places in Thamizhnadu and Karnataka, gifting them profusely.

Being a voracious reader in Thamizh and English, he had a huge collection of books in these two languages-fiction, nonfiction and spiritual. He was healthy till the end.Reading, writing and praying, gave him all the comfort in his old age.

Magnanimity was another quality which was ingrained in him. During his peak years, inspired by his seniors and peers, he used to help quite a lot of film workers during the festival seasons. The goodwill he had in all walks of society enabled many to get a job on the basis of recommendation letters from him. Till the end he used to carry a packet of sweets every day and give to the children he would come across during his regular walk.

Makkal Thilagam M.G.Ramachandran and Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi were very close to him from his Modern Theatres days. On the other hand they felt very much that he had distanced himself from them after they become Chief Ministers. But K. Somu never took advantage of this friendship in later years and was contented to see them become great in cinema and politics.

Last Years

Even during his peak period, Director K. Somu was into spirituality. His spiritual companions included the veteran actors S.V. Subbaiah and D. Balasubramanian. He was in the spiritual company of saints and religious heads and Siddhars. He spent his time with regular prayers. He was a voracious reader of English and Thamizh writers. He used to exercise and go for walking. He led a contended simple life thanking God for all that He had given him. In 1994 as usual he went to worship his favorite God Lord Muruga on the Adi Kiruthigai day at Vadapalani in the morning and came back home at Saligramam. During the previous years he used to visit his birth place Pazhani during Adi Kiruthigai festival. After watching T.V Programmes, he went for his regular siesta in the afternoon and never woke up for his evening Tiffin. Director K. Somu's fervent prayer was to breath his last in his sleep. And Lord Muruga granted his wish. "Remember only the good things in life and always be grateful to God for what he has given". This was the message he gave to his children.

Film Photographs