COLUMN: Spouse's Turn
Poet Bindu Krishnan talks about life with the director KB Venu
By Shevlin Sebastian
Photo by Ajesh Madhav
One day there was a poetry reading at the UC College, Aluva. KB Venu, an English literature student, read out a poem. One girl in the audience, Bindu Krishnan, was taken up with it. A few days later, when Bindu saw Venu in the campus, she went up to him and asked for a copy. Venu said he would give it to her.
“But he did not ask me my name or in which year I was studying,” says Bindu. “Because I was an introvert, very few people knew me in the college. So I felt that I would not get it.”
But, to her surprise, a few days later, a hostel mate gave her the poem. A happy Bindu began to chat with Venu now and then. After a while, they developed a habit of writing letters to each other. Slowly, they got close, and fell in love.
So they decided to get married. “Many of our college friends were shocked at the news,” says Bindu. “They had never seen us on the campus, walking together or talking to each other.”
The wedding took place on August 23, 1995, at a small Karthyayani temple at Thrissur. During the wedding, they got a surprise telegram: the post master of Puthenvellikara, Venu's village, and his colleagues wished the couple. “Puthenvellikara is a small village,” says Bindu. “So when hundreds of letters began to arrive, addressed to one person, the postman noticed it.”
For Bindu, her most exciting moment occurred when she went to Puthenvellikara after the marriage. “Venu's house is right next to paddy fields, and there are so many rivers and lagoons,” says Bindu. “It is a beautiful place. I grew up in Thrissur city, so I loved it there.”
Soon after the marriage Venu left for Delhi and joined an English newspaper as a sub-editor, while Bindu did her M. Tech. from Cochin University. Later, Bindu left for Delhi. One-and-a-half years later, they returned to Kerala and Venu joined the Kozhikode branch of the New Indian Express.
Asked to list her husband's qualities, Bindu says, “He is the most positive and optimistic person I have ever known. This has helped me a lot because I am not a positive person. In fact, I get depressed very easily. But Venu keeps me floating.”
Other qualities include supporting Bindu in her career as a poet. “Very few husbands support their wife's literary career,” she says. “But Venu has not only supported me, but he has ensured that my poems have got published.”
As for Venu's drawbacks, Bindu says, “Sometimes, he is not sensitive to what the other person feels. I have to specifically tell him that I am hurting, only then will he become aware.”
Apart from that, both are not good at financial planning. “That is because we are not practical people,” says Bindu. “So we just manage, that is all.”
While Bindu is an assistant professor in the department of physics, Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, Venu is a freelance teacher of film studies at various colleges, as well as a columnist. After a long career in print and TV, when Venu decided to embark on a career in films, Bindu offered unconditional support. “Venu is passionate about films,” she says. “I felt that if somebody is so passionate about something he should do it. After all, we only have one life.”
But there was disappointment in store. Venu's first film, 'August Club', which starred Murali Gopi and Rima Kallingal, did not do well at the box office, and received mixed reviews. “He was upset,” says Bindu. “But I told Venu that many more excellent films will come out of him.”
Apart from being a director, Venu has done small roles in films like 'Oridathoru Puzhayundu', 'Orma Mathram' and 'Pranchiyettam and the Saint'. At this moment Venu is busy writing the script for his next film.
The couple have two children, Yamuna, 14, and Meghna, 9. “Venu is a loving father, but does not get involved in their studies,” says Bindu. “I have to do all the disciplining. But the children are close to both of us and are interested in films.”
Finally, when asked to give tips for a successful marriage, Bindu says, “You should be friends first and then husband and wife. If somebody asks me who is my best friend I always say it is Venu.”
Secondly, the marriage should have space in it. “The poet Kahlil Gibran, in his book, 'The Prophet' said, 'Let there be spaces in your togetherness',” says Bindu. “Husband and wife should have space and freedom. And they should be allowed to keep their individuality.”
Lastly, even though there are quarrels, affection should always be there. “You should not be angry with the person, but with the issue at hand,” says Bindu. “In the end, love will overcome all quarrels.”
(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)