And they won... Rs 1 crore!!!
Yes, this was a tribute to Mahesh Mahadevan (78BMD), who could play his guitar (and "raghupati raghav raja ram") holding it above his head, who ventured into composing music from a corporate career - and won the National Award for his first film "Nammavar"... And though he is no more with us - his motto remained "Live - Beyond Cancer"...
...And he lives - and still makes a difference in the lives of people.
Before his death, in his will, Mahesh ("Dracula Mahesh" he used to call himself, while living on blood transfusions) formed the Trust, which will aid and support institutions involved in the treatment of cancer and create public awareness about the disease.
The list of trustees reads like the city's "who's who" directory and includes Kamal Hassan, Mani Ratnam and former cricketer K. Srikkanth.
The obituary on the site of Mahesh Memorial Trust reads:
Mahesh Mahadevan, the respected composer and music director, passed away in the early hours of October 29, 2002. He was 47 years old and had been battling cancer for 13 years. In these 13 years of affliction he had brought to his life and the life of those around him a joy that epitomizes the trust’s motto "LIVE – beyond cancer".
Mahesh was a very versatile and talented person. He handled his business and creative interests with dexterity. An MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur, he was a Director of Finance and Administration at Real Image Media Technologies. Prior to this, he worked in various capacities as a Corporate Manager in companies including Chennai based India Pistons Ltd..
Mahesh had developed a childhood passion based on prodigious talent for music. Over the last decade, Mahesh has composed more than 250 popular advertising jingles including the extremely popular Regaul Blue jingle. He has also directed the music for six very successful multi-language motion pictures. His first feature film, Nammavar, won him the national award for the best music.
Over the last ten years, Mahesh was actively involved in cancer counselling and in motivating other cancer patients to approach treatment with a positive attitude. His work in this area has been of immense help to patients.
It is coincidental (or perhaps not so, really, given the common DNA of XL) that the last page of Abhijit Bhaduri's (84PMIR) book Mediocre But Arrogant ends with this letter from Fr Hathaway (or Fr Hathi... No prizes for guessing the person;0):
"...No, you were not here to understand the Corporate Sector or the intricate theories of management. You came here to understand yourself and your strengths. To believe how easy it is to make a difference. That is the purpose of higher education.... There are no limits to which we can grow as human beings. Every morning we get up and make a choice about how much we will do to make a difference... Too many people give up the opportunity because they do not believe they can make a difference. I do hope this education has given you the belief within.... Never underestimate your ability to make a difference"
Mahesh intuitively understood this wisdom.... And continues to make a difference!