Most people know Aswathy Sreekanth as the host of a popular comedy TV show. For a few others, she was one of their favourite radio jockeys during her seven-year stint with FM stations in Kochi and Dubai. The pretty anchor is now all set to unveil her lesser-known side — of a writer — by bringing out the book Ttha Illaatha Muttaayikal, a collection of stories and childhood memories.
But Aswathy reveals that during her school-college days, she was known as a poet and a dreamer, and that she was an introvert! “I was not a chatterbox back then. I was a bookworm lost in thoughts. And poetry writing and recitation were my forte during arts festivals.” It may sound unbelievable, but she came out of her shell through RJing. Talking to those unknown thousands from an empty studio made her a confident presenter who can woo any crowd with her lively chat.
Explaining about the interesting title of her book, the chirpy Aswathy says, “As children, we pronounce mitthayi (candy) as muttayi; the change in pronunciation somewhere between childhood and teenage is about us losing innocence. My stories are a reminder of that sweet era — the sights I have seen, the people I have known, the dialect of my hometown Thodupuzha and my special memories.”
Her love for literature was cultivated by her father, an expat who always made sure he sent his daughter book bundles as gifts, especially during summer vacations. Soon, she fell in love with Malayalam and literature and hungrily read every book that came her way. A diehard admirer of Vaikom Mohammed Basheer, she feels her writings are heavily influenced by him, Subhash Chandran and Priya A.S., her other favourites.
Marriage, motherhood and TV anchoring had kept her away from writing for some time, but after joining social media, she started putting up posts again. “Friends started appreciating my Facebook posts and many asked me why I couldn’t publish my writings. A friend connected me to Saikatham Publishers and I started writing for the book. There was not much planning; it all happened in just one month,” she recalls, as the book is all set to be released on Wednesday by screenwriter S.N. Swamy, who will hand over a copy to writer Thanuja Bhattathiri at Layam Koothambalam, Tripunithura.
Next, Aswathy wants to bring out her poems. After that, she says, she might collaborate with her four-year-old daughter, whose out-of-the-box ideas are her inspiration, for a children’s book. “Her little questions are thought-provoking and she keeps on asking things like ‘what would a bat feed her baby if guavas on the trees are kept covered?’, ‘where does the grasshopper live?’, so on. Sometimes, she finds answers too… that the grasshopper lives in a white space between the sky and the trees,” she laughs.
Becoming an RJ, VJ or a writer were nowhere in her dreams. “I have always been a dreamer. I still have stage fright and can’t easily bond with people. Neither do I have the physique of a TV anchor. But my family — my parents, husband Sreekanth, daughter and in-laws — stood firmly behind me and have been immensely supportive of my eccentricities and shortcomings. All of this happened only because of them,” she concludes....