"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.