He was speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural of the Onam-Tourism week celebrations organised by the State government, where Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan honoured the thesipan by presenting him with 'ponnada' and showering glowing tribute to him as an artist and socially-concerned individual.
' It was veteran Mlayalam film director K S Sethumadhavan who initiated me into my career as a young boy. Later, I was adopted by leading Tamil director K Balachander,' the actor said.
'I am at a loss for words to express how deeply I am indebted to Malayalis. It was they who helped me come up forgiving my shortcomings as an artist', he said.
Referring to the eye-donation campagin being launched at his initiative here tomorrow, he said 'now the people of Kerala ask me what have you done for us in return.It is as an answer to this question this campaign is being launched,' he said.
He said the eye-donation movement was part of his humble endeavour to reciprocate the love, affection and support the Malayalis had extended to him by seeking to do something above parochial considerations.
Sethumadhvan, who initiated Kamal into Malayalam cinema when he was just a five-and-a-half year old, was among those who feliciated him on the occasion.
A light-and-sound show titled 'Suvarna Kamalam' in honour of Kamal Hasan when he celebrates the gold jubilee of his career,conceived by eminent director T K Rajiv Kumar, was the highlight of the evening.