PRAKASH RAJ AND ABIRAMI QUIZ EACH OTHER
`I cannot allow love to rule my thoughts'
That's great news. Do I have a role in the film? - Abirami
Prakash Raj and Abirami enjoy a friendship that allows them to call each other by their nicknames.
He calls her `raindrop' because she likes to get drenched in the rain, and she calls him `traveller' because he gallivants across the globe whenever he can spare the time. When the two met at Chola Sheraton, they greeted each other with a bear hug. After some banter, they began to quiz each other for Take Two.
S. R. Ashok Kumar eavesdropped.
Abirami: Don't you touch the cigarette case! You are not smoking till we are through with this.
Prakash Raj: (With a helpless look) I will try not to! Hey, how long are you going to remain single? Have you spotted Mr. Right?
Abirami: (Pat comes the reply) Not yet.
Prakash Raj: (His eyebrows go up) You mean to say nobody has proposed to you yet?
Abirami: Ah! Even at school, there was always some lovelorn boy mooning over me. (Disdainfully) But I turned them all down. Right now, I am too tied down to work to allow love to rule my thoughts.
Prakash Raj: How efficient are you in the kitchen?
Abirami: (Laughs) You cannot expect more than rice, rasam, lady's finger porial, noodles and a few salads from me!
Prakash Raj: The guy who marries you must be lucky. With such a diet, he does not have to worry about getting obese.
Abirami: (Pouts) I like your sarcasm! Can you cook?
Prakash Raj: Of course, I can. I mean I can cook up stories. (Laughs aloud)
Abirami: How do you manage to bring so much intensity to your screen character?
Prakash Raj: Because I surrender myself to the script. (Plaintively) Can I have a smoke, please?
Abirami: (Sternly) Nothing doing. Now, don't sulk.
Prakash Raj: Who's sulking? I am doing fine.
Abirami: (Looking thoughtfully at him) I have noticed one thing about you. Whenever I ask you how-do-you-do, your answer is always the same: `I am wonderful.' Surely, you cannot be in high spirits always! What about the times when you feel low? What do you do with yourself?
Prakash Raj: I wander. I travel. That is my way of coping with setbacks and disappointments.
Abirami : Hey, when are you going to direct a film?
Prakash Raj: You know what? This year, I will be making my directorial debut.
Abirami: (Looks genuinely happy) Hey, that's great news! Do I have a role in the film?
Prakash Raj: The project is yet to take off. Once everything is finalised, I'll let you know. Tell me, Abi, is there a dream role that you think is worth giving your life for?
Abirami: (Laughs) I will not give my life for anything.
Prakash Raj: Do you enjoy working in the Tamil film industry?
Abirami: Absolutely. Mainly because it allows me to speak my mother tongue, Tamil.
Prakash Raj: What!? Tamil is your mother tongue? You must be kidding!
Abirami: Hey listen, I am a Tamilian who was brought up in Kerala.
Prakash Raj: That explains it. I always used to wonder how you could speak Tamil slang like `Mami' and `Atthu' (house).
Abirami: Where and when were you born?
Prakash Raj: In a lifetime, one is born many times. I was born in the 1960s in Bangalore. And I was `born' in college again, as a theatre actor. But I became serious about theatre only when I joined Kalakshetra. Those days, I used to act in back-to-back shows for a measly Rs. 300 a month. Most of the nights, I used to sleep backstage. After 2,000 street theatre performances to my credit, I realised I was made for something bigger. And a series of births followed. First, as a television person. Cinema came next. After disappointing stints as editor and assistant director, I almost gave up. When the situation seemed utterly hopeless, the tide turned. Convinced that I had talent, K. Balachander gave me a chance. And an actor was born. And it is almost time for my next birth - as director.
Abirami: Have you ever felt challenged or threatened by another actor?
Prakash Raj: No. That too, despite having worked with titans such as Mohanlal, Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan. I am very strong-willed and a bit arrogant too. With absolute modesty, I can say that I am good and therefore have no reason to feel threatened by any other actor. How about you?
Abirami: (Laughs) Well, I have often felt threatened by your presence. Many a time your acting has dwarfed mine. You simply steal the show.
Prakash Raj: That's a great compliment!
Abirami: "Okkadu" and "Gilli" - which is better?
Prakash Raj: I am not so sure about that. But this much I know - the best thing in both the films is Prakash Raj!
(At the end of it, Prakash Raj reaches for his cigarette case. And Abirami looks on disapprovingly)
Send this article to Friends by