Suhasini unplugged!

Veteran actor Suhasini Mani Ratnam, who is back in Malayalam films, opens up about her NGO and her other interests

Give a mike to Suhasini Maniratnam and she will make the audience laugh throughout. At a speech for a women managers’ convention, Suhasini said, “I am a humble speaker, I speak very well.” And when that gets her a laugh, she talks about her husband Mani Ratnam, a professional management graduate, who once solved the crisis of a wedding getting preponed with two sheets of paper and a 20-point programme.

“When I asked who’s going to do all this, he said, ‘They didn’t teach me that, they told me to delegate, so you do it’. What they teach at management institutes...they are enemies of wives,” she says to another round of laughter.

It is true that she loves laughter and mindless comedy. Answering e-mailed questions, she says, “I don’t think too seriously about anything, neither does my husband and my son. When we are home, we are constantly laughing over some trivial matters. It’s a contrast in the movies where I have to be serious and give a message. I would like to give one message. Live life light with a smile.”

Her latest on-screen performance is of a widowed doctor who finds her old love (played by media personality Shashikumar Menon), in Love 24x7, the first Malayalam feature of Sreebala K. Menon, long-time associate to veteran Sathyan Anthikad.

That was an easy decision for her. She says, “I have to stay away from our office Madras Talkies, from my family and my other commitments to do a film in Kerala. So I think not once or twice but 20 times. But with Love 24x7 I didn’t have to. It had one good reason. A female director who convinced me that I was right for the role in just 20 minutes.”

Her next is also a Malayalam venture, where Biju Menon plays the protagonist. “I play a bureaucrat who has given up work to look after her child’s education and to create awareness on children’s education.”

Dance was her passion in childhood, but her dad and actor Charu Haasan didn’t want her to dance in public. Surprisingly he wanted her to act, but her uncle Kamal Haasan did not. He was upset with her for going away from cinematography that he had brought her to.

“I take life as it is. I don’t confuse past with the future. Yes my uncle wanted me to be a cinematographer and he was disappointed when I gave up that dream to become an actress. But he too had to accept and respect my decision, no other choice.”

She misses cinematography, she says, but then she was an athlete in school and she misses running and jumping too. “But this is not the time to do either long jump or cinematography as we have other duties. So I admire the camera and the sports stadium from afar.”

What she does spend time on is reading and writing. She writes columns for magazines and short stories that she feels are too personal to publish. “The other thing I love is watching well-written American or European TV shows.” Apart from these, she has her NGO Naam, empowering single, underprivileged women. “Naam made me look at all my personal problems from a different perspective.”

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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