Vaijayanthi K., the young actor who won the Kerala State Award for best child artiste, believes in smiling in the face of adversity
Vaijayanthi K. can’t stop smiling. The young actor won the Kerala State Award for best child artiste for her role as a young domestic help from Tamil Nadu in Anjali Menon’s Manjadikuru.
She says receiving the award from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was the most amazing moment of her life. “It will be a day I will always remember fondly. Although I did win the best emerging talent award in the South Asian International Film Festival in New York, I could not attend the ceremony. The Kerala State Film Award function is my first ever award ceremony. Coming from a small town in Virudhunagar in Tamil Nadu, I felt I was living a dream while sharing the stage with some of the best in the Malayalam film industry,” says Vaijayanthi, speaking in Tamil and bits of Malayalam and English.
Says Anjali Menon, the director of the movie: “I searched high and low while casting for the role of Roja, the maid. When I first saw Vaijayanthi, she was carrying a relative’s child whilst going about her daily chores. The smile on her face as she went about her work captivated me. It exuded a positive energy. I needed that positive force around her to portray Roja, who has been abused at the hands of many.”
It is this positive spirit that drives Vaijayanthi in life. The 17-year-old is now looking after her mother after her father passed away two years ago. She is currently working as an assistant supervisor at Priya Agencies at Virudhunagar. Prior to this she worked as a receptionist at Ganesh Photo Studio in her city. “I love the thought of being able to look after my family. As a child, I worked at a matchbox factory during the school holidays to supplement my parents’ income. Now, although my mother works in a cardamom factory, the money she earns is not enough to make ends meet.”
Although Manjadikuru propelled Vaijayanthi into the limelight, the movie is not her first. She starred at the age of nine in Vasanthabalan’s Veyyil. The young actor will soon be seen in Sasikumar’s Kutti Puli, which will hit theatres on May 31.
Ask her what kind of roles she seeks and she replies: “Anything. I do not mind the role as long as I am part of movies with good stories.”
The petite girl who had to leave her studies after her Plus Two intends to pursue a career in law. She will be joining a law school shortly. “But I will not leave the world of cinema. There is something fascinating in bringing a character to life and I intend to continue doing so.”