Tuesday, April 29, 2014

An Unique Talent

COLUMN: Spouse's Turn

Supriya talks about life with the actor Suraj Venjaramoodu

By Shevlin Sebastian 

On April 16, the news was announced that Mollywood actor Suraj Venjaramoodu had won the national award for best actor for his role in the film, 'Perariyathavar'. On that day, Suraj's wife, Supriya, was returning home from a visit to her brother's house in Thiruvananthapuram. When she stepped out of the car she got a jolt. She had never seen such a large crowd of reporters and television cameramen before.

What was most shocking was when they asked me to say a few words about Suraj winning the award,” she says. “That people wanted to know my views was such a surprise. I am a person who has never been in the limelight.”

Not surprisingly, not a single word came out. Instead, Supriya began crying silently. Later, her friends said that she should have said something. But Surpriya has no regrets. “I thanked God for this great gift he gave my husband,” she says.

For Supriya, Suraj is also a gift. And it was Supriya's close friend, Sreelatha, who is a cousin of Suraj, who came up with the proposal. Supriya was agreeable and met Suraj, along with Sreelatha, at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram on December 6, 2002.

At that time, Suraj was a well-known TV artist. And he was dressed flamboyantly in an orange shirt and black jeans. When Supriya saw him she was in a state of shock. It was the first time that she was seeing an actor in the flesh. Supriya's first impression was that Suraj was a down-to-earth person.

Suraj asked me a few questions about what what I was doing,” she says. At that time, Supriya was giving entrance coaching to post-graduate and MBA students at a private academy in Thiruvananthapuram. Evidently, Suraj also liked her. Because he met Supriya's father, and said, “Sir, I would like to marry your daughter.” Supriya's parents said yes, because they liked him as an actor.

However, when the horoscopes were matched, the astrologer suggested a delay. Eventually, the couple got married, two-and-a-half years later, on July 3, 2005, at the Sree Vaikuntam Kalyana Mandapam in Thiruvananthapuram. There was no honeymoon. Instead, they went to the 'Rajamanikyam' film set in Pollachi, where Suraj had to do the shooting for just one scene.
And that was where Supriya met Mammooty for the first time. “He asked my name, and blessed me to have a happily married life,” says Supriya. “Mammooty then and now is a simple and humble person.”

Meanwhile, when asked about Suraj's plus points, Supriya says, “Whereever he is, the first thing he does in the morning is to call me. He will always ask about the children [Kashinath, 7, Vasudev, 5, and one-year-old Hriddya]. At night, he will ask about the happenings during the day. Suraj is a caring person.”

But Supriya finds it difficult to adjust to the lack of pre-planning on Suraj's part. “Suddenly, he will say that we will be going on a trip the next day,” she says. “Then I have to rush to get everything ready.”

Recently, the family had gone for a holiday in Dubai. They had the opportunity to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. “It was an awesome experience, to see the whole of Dubai from the top,” says Supriya. “We also travelled on a ship at night. It was beautiful.”

But vacations are the rare periods when the family is together. On an average, because of his hectic acting career, Suraj spends ten days at home every month. In fact, that is one of the reasons why the family moved to Kochi from Thiruvananthapuram three years ago. “It is easier for Suraj to come home from location sets,” says Supriya. “As a result, the children miss him less.”

When Suraj is at home and if a new film of his has just been released, the family goes for a night show at a hall. “Suraj always prefers to see films on the big screen,” says Supriya. And after the show, Supriya does give a critique. “Most of the time, it is positive, but at other times I will say, 'It could have been better',” she says. “Suraj listens carefully to what I have to say. Sometimes, he will say that he can only do what the director tells him to do. There are occasions when he has asked whether he could try something different and directors have said no.”

Finally, when asked to give tips for a successful marriage, Supriya says, “Marriage is a big change in your life. It is a new life you will be sharing with another person. So you must try to understand your spouse as well as his family. You have to learn to give space to him. If there are flaws in you, it should be corrected. I am not saying that you should change your personality, but it would be better to correct the mistakes.”

(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)

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