She tries to lift the tea cup with her right hand and then transfers it to her left. The right hand is still a little stiff from a recent accident she met with in Kochi. Hima Shankar Sheematty had shifted to Kochi a few months ago and is now planning to start an office space here, to use theatre for the relaxation of body and mind. It’s not the pain in her hand that worries her though. The actor, known for expressing herself at all times, is a little hurt by the stories that have gone online the day before, about her revelations on casting couch. “I don’t mind that they have carried it but I was there, at that press meet, for another purpose. To talk about the film Sarvopari Palakkaran, for its female lead is largely inspired by my character. They have completely ignored that part,” she says, sipping her masala tea.
At the press meet, she had spoken about losing offers because she said no to casting couch. She later posted a video on her Facebook page, expressing her disappointment with the way the story was reported, ignoring what she came to say. “Isn’t it big that there is a character inspired by you while you are still here, and played by another,” she asks. Hima, a theatre and film actor, has not acted in the movie, but she has written about the incidents in her life and given it to the makers. “The writer of the film – Suresh Babu – is my friend, and he used to call me to ask about my life, with the curiosity of a writer. One day we were discussing about my interactions with the police on various occasions. This was before the Kollam incident,” she says, mentioning the episode when she and her male friend going on a bike in the night became victims of moral policing (by policemen).
“I had many interesting anecdotes to tell him from my School of Drama days in Thrissur. I’d be going on the road past 11 in the night and policemen would ask me where I was off to. I’d say I am going to the School of Drama hostel and once it so happened that some of them also acted in dramas, and one of them had won a best actor awards” she says. The initial idea was to make a short film, but then it grew into a larger film and Anoop Menon became the male lead. She says, “He plays this male chauvinist called Jose and believes women should be quiet and discreet. That’s when a character called Anupama (played by Aparna Balamurali), inspired by me, steps in. And slowly his perception about women changes.”
She believes the film will really help in understanding women like her, who have an opinion. “Society will always tell you women should be bold, have an opinion. But when you do express it, you are isolated. I have lost many chances because of this. But I will continue expressing myself. I will wait till they are ready to accept me as an actor with an opinion. For I don’t plan to stop once I am 28, I will be an actor till the end,” she signs off....