A man torn between love and responsibility is pouring his heart out to Rose Venkatesan, who shot to notice four years ago as the country's first transgender television chat show host. Head over heels in love with a widow, he is dallying with the idea of leaving his family — two children and a wife, who is threatening to commit suicide, if he does.

Rose asks him to consider the possibility that his love for this widow will wane after he marries her; opposition only strengthens illicit love. “Your love for this widow may lose its intensity if nobody objects to it,” Rose says on a parting note.

This conversation took place recently on the radio waves: Rose hosts ‘Roseudan Pesungal', a show on relationship issues, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Monday to Saturday) on 92.7 BIG FM. The live call-in programme promises to tackle questions relating to divorce, polygamy, long-distance relationships, sex and orientation issues. Rose plans to bring in celebrities and experts too.

On the difference between a chat show on television (where Rose anchored ‘Ippadiku Rose' on STAR Vijay, followed by ‘Ithu Rose Neram' on Kalaignar TV) and one on radio, Rose says: “On television, you can take time to build up an argument. On radio, you have to be really snappy. Ideas have to be articulated with greater clarity on radio, because people can't see your body language.”

Given its nature, ‘Roseudan Pesungal' is likely to draw opinions countering Rose's; she believes that is part of what makes the show exciting for her. “This show gives me new insights into matters of the heart,” she says, and adds that she is adept at defusing tense situations. On her show in Kalaignar TV — where she attempted to debunk superstitious beliefs — Rose often dealt with intense and bitter arguments.

Rose likes to focus on topics — contentious or benign — that are close to her heart. “I am a permanent student of how people act in relationships, and my interest dove-tailed with the requirement for this radio show.”

Recognition as the nation's first transgender presenter on television, and now as the first one on radio, has not led to complacency; Rose is still in pursuit of her other dreams. She trains to play the keyboard in the hope of launching an international music band. She is considering film offers. “I am keen on roles as heroine. In addition, I would take up a role as a transgender if it is powerful and sensitive.” Politics is another area where Rose wants to stamp her identity. Incidentally, she campaigned for the AIADMK-DMDK alliance in the recently-concluded State Assembly elections.

Keywords: Rose Venkatesan