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Updated: September 28, 2012 18:24 IST

India calling

Saraswathy Nagarajan
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The Hindu Kaniha

Actor Kaniha hopes to be seen more on screen once she shifts base to India in December

Heroines making a comeback after a long interval following their marriage does not make headlines any more. There is a long list of them now. But someone who has steadily continued to juggle marriage and cinema is rare. In that category falls Kaniha, who is married, is a mother and still continues to work with superstars of Malayalam cinema like Mohanlal, Mammootty and Jayaram.

In Kerala for the shoot of Bavuttiyude Namathil, Kaniha is working with Mamootty in their fourth film together after the period film Pazhassi Raja, the slapstick comedy Cobra, and the thriller Drona 2010.

“But this character of mine is very different from my previous ones. I play a docile Muslim girl who works as a maid. Mammooka is the driver there and we are fighting all the while,” says Kaniha giggling.

“There is no shooting today and so I am on my way to Guruvayoor,” says the actor on the telephone.

It was Ranjith who wanted her to act in this movie scripted by him and directed by G.S. Vijayan. Not surprisingly, Kaniha immediately agreed considering that it was Ranjith who cast her in the role of Meera in the blockbuster Spirit. Kaniha was in her element in that subtle role of wife and mother, and, as before, proved that she was more than just another pretty face.

Although she moved to the United States (U.S.), following her marriage to Shyam, Kaniha acted in Sathyan Anthikkad hit film Bhagyadevatha and continued the act with a film or two every year. On a serious note she adds that it is very important to have a partner who trusts you, respects your profession and understand the demands of that profession. “Distance was a problem. Moreover, after every film, there would be offers to do more films and it was quite difficult to say no to some of the movies. But, then, I was keen on doing justice to my marriage as well and so after a film, I made it a point to return to the U.S.,” explains Kaniha.

Balancing act

But then multi-tasking has always been a forte. As a student of engineering she made her debut as a model and actor and then successfully completed her graduation. After settling in the U.S., Kaniha also worked for a while till her son Rishi was born. “With no support system or help to look after my son, I decided to quit my job as I did not want him with strangers,” she explains.

But looks like happy days are here again with the couple deciding to return to India as they want their son to be brought up here. “We hope to make Chennai our base by December and then I will able to devote more time to cinema,” she adds. In the meantime, Kaniha hopes to work in the film EMSum Penkuttiyum, a reel adaptation of a short story by Benyamin. “If all goes well, then that film, which is being shot in the United States, will be completed by the time I return to India in December. I am looking forward to work with Sreeni ettan [Sreenivasan] in that film on the issues of immigrants.”

And, no, she has no plans of directing although she does admire Revathi and Suhasini a great deal.

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