In the lobby of Hotel Hyacinth in Thiruvananthapuram stood a woman, greeting the many people who stopped to talk about films. It was the final day of the 18th IFFK and she bagged four offers to act in mainstream cinema, two in festival films during the festival.
Devi Ajith's appearance has changed in the last few months. She has shed 10 kilos with a rigorous diet.
“Not so easy at my age, I mean I am not 25," says the actor, who recently made a comeback to cinema after a gap of several years. “But I am done talking about that. I am back now and really focused on cinema."
There have been too many passions in her life to focus on any one. She has been a fashion designer for 18 years, a trained classical dancer giving performances, and one of the first anchors in Malayalam television.
“When I was a 19-year-old compering for Asianet, I loved to dance. My guru -Nattuvam Parama Siva Menon had also trained Lalettan for his role in 'Rajashilpi'. I had a dance troupe that did choreography for major events like Miss Kerala Contest. I also made a name through hosting TV shows."
At one of the shows she was hosting she met Shyamaprasad who asked her to act in his serial 'Manal Nagaram'. Under him, she learnt to 'behave rather than act'.
Another meeting with Latha, wife of T.K. Rajeev Kumar, got her a role in 'Seetha Kalyanam'. “It was the role of a paavam pattathi but it didn't release and people first saw me in 'Ivar' as the bold Reetha. The bold image stuck."
Her roles in 'Mazha', a couple of telefilms 'Cupid' and 'Sthree Parvam Navam' won her more appreciation. Then she decided to take a break.
Years later, a phone call to Anoop Menon after watching 'Beautiful' brought her back to cinema. “He said I should do the role of Zarina in 'Trivandrum Lodge'. After he saw me perform, my two scenes became five," she says.
But her role in 'Kanchi' raised a few eyebrows for the 'erotic scene with Murali Gopy'. “If you watch the movie, you will know why that scene was necessary ."
Today, a completely focused Devi wonders why she cannot pair opposite Mohanlal or Mammootty.
“I am saddened, why don't the directors and scriptwriters call me?"
Not that she doesn't have enough work on her hands. She has just completed shooting for her first Tamil film 'Sooraiyadal'. An Ashiq Abu film is in the making. And she has opened a new boutique in Chennai. “I wish to create a new brand called Asdinade."
Devi gets all the support she needs from her husband Colonel A.K. Vasudevan.