Deccan Chronicle

Stage role that changed Lakshmi Priya's life

Deccan Chronicle| cris

Published on: May 12, 2015 | Updated on: Invalid date

Lakshmi lightens up when asked about her last-minute decision to play Hidimbi

Lakshmi Priya

Lakshmi Priya

It was a crucial time — Lakshmi Priya was planning to have a baby. But here was Vidhyadharan master, a great musician and an old friend of her dad, telling her about an opportunity that will make her grow as an artiste. She was to play Hidimbi in a play by Kalanilayam, and travel to many places with it. She kept her baby dreams aside, and took his advice.

A decision that would make her very happy in days to come, a character she realised she might not get an opportunity to do through any other medium, television or cinema. Hidimbi went on stage on March 18 at the Sopanam Auditorium in Kollam, and more than 1,500 people watched Lakshmi at her best so far, some writing in their feedback that she was Lady Mohanlal.

"The character came to me in the last minute. They had someone else rehearsed but with a few days to go, she got sick and needed a replacement. I learnt the dialogues in a week but there was a lot of rehearsal needed and for one-and-a-half months, I was at it all the time," says Lakshmi. It has been a challenge because of the physical energy needed to play Hidimbi, a forest girl who’d be running and jumping and climbing trees and hills. She is on stage for the entire one hour 50 minutes of the play. And the first one hour and 15 minutes, it is only her, before another actor joins her.

"Through the play, Hidimbi says and reacts to all that she hasn’t in the books we read about her. She goes through all the emotions of a woman. Every woman would be a Hidimbi at least for a day."

With Hidimbi came good days for Lakshmi. She got signed on two television series: Nirupama Fans on Flowers channel and Grand Kerala Circus for Media One. "I am so busy with it that I didn’t even get to stay one day in the house we shifted to in Kochi!" Fed up with the typecast comedy roles she got in movies, she is now very choosy with her films. Two films she accepted now are Jiju Asokan’s Urumbukal Urangarilla and Chila Nerangalil Chilar, in which director Aji John turns hero.

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