Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Joy Of Winning Awards


Actor Jomol talks about her experiences in the films, Mayilpeelikkavu’ and ‘Punjabi House’

By Shevlin Sebastian 

The shoot for the song, ‘Onnanam Kunninmel’ in the film, Mayilpeelikkavu (1998) was taking place inside a hall at Thiruvananthapuram. Jomol was clad in a black top and leggings and black shoes. She was acting opposite Kunchacko Boban, who was also dressed in a black jacket and trousers.

The floor was made of a large white sheet with black etchings at different places. It was a dance sequence. But as she began moving on the floor, Jomol suddenly slipped and hit her head on the floor.

“I felt a severe pain in my head,” she says. “Then I was rushed to the hospital. I was given an injection to lessen the pain. Then the doctor told me to rest. So I returned to the hotel. After a while the pain became less. I wanted to resume shooting but Anil [Babu, director] said no. The shooting resumed the next day.”

After pain, she experienced a moment of joy. Jomol was aware she was on the short-list for the best actress state award.

On one particular day, it was announced that the awards would be announced in the afternoon. But post -lunch, there was no announcement. Then Jomol was told that the jury was still going through the screenings. There was no announcement the entire day. “I was quite anxious,” says Jomol.

The next day Jomol got a call at her hotel and told that she had won: for ‘Ennu Swantham Janakikutty’.

Expectedly, she got a lot of congratulatory calls from friends, colleagues and the media. But her happiest moment occurred when, on the set, her father [KA John] came and gave her a tap on the back. “My dad is a non-expressive type of person, so this pat showed how much he felt proud of me,” says Jomon. “It was the most memorable moment for me.”

Jomol had another memorable moment on the sets of ‘Punjabi House’. The climax was being shot in a house at Kochi in March, 1998. All the top stars were there. They included Dileep, Lal, Janardhanan, NF Varghese, Cochin Haneefa, Harisree Ashokan as well as the directors Rafi and MeCartin.

Then a call came on the landline. “Usually, in those times, when a call came on the landline, it was only if there was an emergency,” says Jomol. “Somebody attended and they said it was for me. As I walked towards the phone, I felt nervous. I was wondering what happened and why I had got the call, and that, too, on the landline of this house.” 

A smiling Dileep said, “Jomol, it may be a call from your college saying that you had missed too many classes.”

When Jomol picked up the phone, it was Dinesh Panicker, the producer of ‘Mayilpeelikkavu’.

He said, “Congrats. Did you get the news?”

Jomol said, “No, I did not get any news?”

Then Dinesh told Jomol she had won a national film award.   

Jomol started laughing and said, “You are joking.”

Dinesh said, “No, I am serious. You have really won the National Award.”

Jomol was shocked to hear the news. Later, she came to know that it was a Special Jury Mention award for her role in ‘Ennu Swantham Janakikutty’.

When she returned to the set, everybody was curious to know who had called Jomol.

Jomol said, “I have won a National Award.”

Immediately, there was a collective, “What!!!?”

Jomol said, “Exactly!”

Soon, there was an eruption of joy on the set. People ordered ice cream and chocolates. It was distributed to everybody. There was loud clapping and cheers. “I was in a daze,” says Jomol. “I was still not sure. But when it was announced on the TV, I finally realised it was true.”

(The New Indian Express, Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram)  

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