COLUMN: Spouse's Turn
Anuja talks about life with the actor Dharmajan Bolgatty
By Shevlin Sebastian
Photo by Melton Antony
On the morning of November 15, 2007, Anuja woke up in her house at Netoor, Kochi, feeling nervous and scared. She was not sure whether the decision she had taken was the right one. Nevertheless, she steeled herself. At 10 a.m., she slipped out of the house, without informing her parents.
Waiting patiently, at some distance away, was the actor Dharmajan Bolgatty, along with his friend, Stanley, in a car. After changing into a saree, at another friend's house, Anuja, along with Dharmajan and Stanley, went to the Sri Keraleshwara Puram Temple at Mulavukaddu. There, in front of a priest, the couple exchanged garlands and got married.
When they reached Dharmajan's house nearby, the actor's elder brother, Babu, called up Anuja's father, Purushan, and informed him of the event. Two days later, Purushan, accompanied by his son-in-law, Ajayan, came and gave Anuja a few gold ornaments. “My father and I felt sad,” says Anuja. “But for nine months after my marriage he did not speak to me.” The thaw took place when the family invited Anuja and Dharmajan for her brother Anil's wedding.
Anuja and Dharmajan are related to each other. He is her second cousin. They would see each other at family functions. When Anuja was 21 years old, one day, Dharmajan came to the house, took her aside, and said he liked her. Two days later, she told him the same thing.
Her father had opposed the marriage, because Dharmajan did not have a steady job. He was getting bit roles in TV and finding it hard to get a good break. “But we loved each other, although there is a six-year age gap,” says Anuja. When her family showed no inclination to arrange for the marriage, the couple took matters into their own hands.
In fact, they planned it well. One afternoon, two days before the wedding, Anuja packed a few clothes, as well as her educational certificates, in a bag, went out of the house and gave it to Dharmajan who was waiting outside.
And today Anuja is all smiles. “I have no regrets,” she says. “It was a right move.”
Asked about her husband's plus points, Anuja says, “Dharmajan is a nice person, with a sense of humour. Recently, when we were going out, Ajayan and my sister Ambili were sitting in the backseat of a car. As I was about to get in, Dharmajan said, 'Squeeze yourself in. After all, you don't do that in the house. At least, do it in the car.'”
She admires Dharmajan, because he is confident enough to give her a lot of freedom. “I can go anywhere that I want,” says Anuja. “Not many husbands are like this.”
Dharmajan is also a cool person at home. “He might be having a lot of tension, but never tells me much, even though I can see it on his face,” says Anuja. “It may be because of upcoming programmes or the stress of writing a script. Sometimes, he goes to a hotel to write in peace, because we have two children at home.”
They are Vaiga, 5, and Vedha, 4. The children are his fans and often watch his films at home. Once they were watching a Mohanlal film called 'Ladies and Gentleman'. And in many of the scenes, they saw Kalabhavan Shahjohn.
Suddenly, the door opened and in walked Shahjohn. “The children were stunned,” says Anuja. “They could not believe that the person, whom they were seeing on the screen, had just walked in. Vaiga said, 'How did uncle come out from the screen?'”
Usually, when a new film, in which Dharmajan has acted in, is released, he will take the family to see it at one of the cinema halls. “When I see my husband on the screen, there is no difference for me,” says Anuja. “He is the same person on and off-screen.”
For Anuja, the films which she liked the most, in which her husband has acted, are 'Ordinary' and 'My Boss'.
Asked about his negative traits, Anuja says, “Dharmajan can be short-tempered, but he forgets quickly. As for me, the anger remains with me for a longer time. When that happens, Dharmajan will go to the bedroom, dress up in one of my sarees and come back and pretend he is a woman. That makes me laugh.”
Dharmajan's one regret is that he is not able to spend much time with the children. “Most of the time, he is sleeping when they get ready to go to school,” she says. “But whenever he is at home, he plays with them.”
Finally, when asked to give tips for a successful marriage, Anuja says, “Both spouses should show tolerance to each other,” she says. “But, usually, the wife has to do more adjustments, especially when there are children.”
There should also be an honest communication between husband and wife. “Even if it is only for five minutes every day, it is very important,” says Anuja. “And when spouses fight, one of them should quickly make the first move to reconcile. In our marriage, Dharmajan always reaches out first.”
(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)