“Since I was requested to give tips on success, I thought I’d use the four letters of the word (T, I, P and S) to explain how I approach life,” says Parthiban, whose recent Oththa Seruppu Size 7 came in for much acclaim.
T – Talent
According to me, you need innovative talent to succeed in a field of your choosing. I learnt the English alphabet only in Class 5. Until then, I studied in a Corporation school where teachers used to read magazines and answer the exam themselves. When I went to Hindu High School in Class 6, I could not compete with the standard of education there. After Class 12, my parents couldn’t afford to pay for my education, and cinema was my dream. I could not get into the industry, and that’s when I realised that I should have a special talent. When I did not get any opportunities to act, I decided to become an Assistant Director. To be an AD, you need knowledge, and I didn’t come from a family of educated people. I then saw Bhagyaraj Sir getting to play the hero after working as an AD. I thought I could do the same, and without any prior knowledge, I joined as an AD. There were about 10 to 15 other people, and they were all well read. That’s when I realised that the only chance I have of competing against them is by picking up a talent that none of them possessed. Slowly, I started doing movies that no one had done before, and people still say that I make very different movies.
I – Interesting
When we enter a room, how interesting does the environment get? That is the reason a few people are still famous. It’s not just about talking humorously, but saying something that reaches the audience. Without uttering a single word, are we able to capture the audience for half an hour? Do we have a personality so interesting that we can do that? If yes, we need to use it and improve upon it.
P – Punctuality
Punctuality is an important trait in any industry. Usually, people think that punctuality isn’t important for the film industry. My father had no idea that I would work in this industry one day. He used to work at a post office and once told me to come there at five in the evening. I went there at 5.10, and he wouldn’t even look at me. It was a huge office. He disappeared and I cried. He then told me to be on time the next day. I used to reach at 4.55, then on. He trained me to be punctual. Even now, for a 9 am shoot, I reach at 7. All the big stars are punctual.
S – Society
How do we associate ourselves with society? Personally, I came from a family that was below the poverty line. Speaking communism seemed right at a point of time. Those who can’t do anything speak about things that can be done. But, thinking practically, when we want to be a part of society, there should be a trigger. I came into this industry at a time when I could not afford three meals a day. On April 13, 1989, I was lying on the road, and on the 15th, I was traveling by a car. The one day in between, April 14, was the day my first film Puthiya Pathai released.
The only thing that changed everything for me was cinema. In turn, I have to associate myself with society as much as possible. There will be politics in my films, not between governments, but between humans. I don’t know whether I do this consciously or subconsciously, but it’s always there in my films. I ask myself if I can associate myself with society the same way I serve my parents. I earn a little bit more than the common man, so why can’t I render this service? So, I started the Parthiban Humanity Association, where I use a part of my income to help people. This is something that I take pride in. Once people experience the happiness in doing good, they won’t stop.
So, no matter what job you do, try to associate yourself with society. I do this, and I hope you do too. It gives me extreme happiness. These are a few things that I know. You can follow them as well.