Natsha in Thai-Chinese is for river, mostly misspelled as Natasha. The girl Natsha Nair bears in her name the heritage of two countries, the first part belongs to Thai-Chinese and the latter half is of Malayali origin. The great granddaughter of Jnanpith award winning author Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai and daughter of doctor-filmmaker-author Raj Nair and his Thai-Chinese medico wife Anut Itthagarun, is an ardent theatre student, who in Class X bagged the Barbara Sisley Award instituted by the Communication, Speech and Performance Teachers Inc. in Queensland, Australia. It is given to the students scoring top results in each grade of Drama and Performance followed by cracking the Trinity College London examinations.
Humility personified she is, as her father says Natsha usually prefers to keep silent about her talents. Nobody in the household would know if any honour comes her way. She hides that too. This time there was no hiding and before beginning an over-the-phone interaction with a media person, she ensures the room is emptied of others.
“My teachers came patting my back and that's how I knew I got this award. I prefer doing creative things — theatre, acting and painting. I act in plays. I started doing drama in Class VII. It has been into the fourth year. I am more interested to continue doing this,” says the 14-year-old.
Most of her creative outpourings are meant for herself. Her dad explains what happens at home. “We’d know from someone else that she has won something. Two weeks ago I begged to see a painting she has done. If I raid her room, I find her works peeping from their hideouts. She is so seriously into swimming as well,” says the father.
It’s difficult to find out whether it is in the wonderment of receiving the award from the Premier of the State or the innate shyness in her breaking the mould, Natsha is less vocal about her achievements. Looking from taste and talent, she is many persons in one. She speaks at the same time passionately about art and science.
“Painting is my hobby, kind of fun. I really enjoy the academic side as well like science and history. At this moment, I really don’t know what I want to do. Too many options before me,” she says. Hers being a family of medicos – her elder brother Ramil Nair is a medical student – chances are that she later develops some flair for science.
Having visited her dad’s place, Thakazhi, many times, Natsha remembers the good times here. “I have my grandparents there. We go to Thakazhi, spend time with the families there,” she shares. How does she speak? “In li’l bit of English, my dad translates,” she smiles.
Knowing that his daughter loves to act, Raj Nair has kept aside a role for Natsha in his next movie....