Sridevi

He wanted to blaze a trail in animation. In pursuit of this goal, he left a well-paying job. The funny part was that he was undecided about what he had to do. But then, creative people are quirky; and, it is quirkiness that contributes to their creativity. As I believe fresh ideas germinate in a mind that is not cluttered with mundane concerns, I encouraged him to take it easy. I had a job, and it was sufficient to support the family.

Venky

I would potter the day away watching movies on television. Barring the odd freelance job, I did nothing.

Sridevi

When I quit my job rather unexpectedly due to a difference of opinion, we knew difficult times lay ahead. He hurried into a venture. It promised much, but ended in disenchantment. But, there was no question of going back. In August 2004, we launched Mayabimbham Media (an animation film company) with a bank loan acquired by mortgaging my parents’ property and with the support of small investors. He was the creative head; and, as a cost and chartered accountant, I handled the operations.

Venky

Wherever we turned, there were words of discouragement. They said there was no market for animation films in India. Puli Raja, a 24-minute retelling of the Panchatantra tale (where a tiger outsmarts an old man) proved that well-made short animation films can command big television viewership. So, we were out to prove that they work on the big screen as well. Our 90-minute full-length film Inimey Nangathan V4 (a story about four lazy men who want to make it big) was well received. Most importantly, it fetched us a national award.

Sridevi

The years since we started Mayabimbham have been a test of patience. Creating an animation film is highly taxing. Add to it the frictions that arise from being a husband- and-wife team, and you have a time bomb that can go off any moment. But we are sensible not to carry resentments at home to work. In the office, we square off against each other for purely professional reasons. Creative people are often impractical and don’t care about the balance sheet; when he comes up with a grand but unviable idea, I get into a fierce argument with him. Sometimes, the argument follows us all the way back home.

Venky

The advantage of having your spouse as business partner is that you can talk shop at home. But, that is also the disadvantage.

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