The Hindu MetroPlus catches up with a few celebrities who explain what it is that keeps their friendship ticking
Friendship Day, celebrated on the first Sunday of August every year, transcends boundaries and celebrates relationships. Personalities in the film and music industry tell us how and why they bonded with some of their friends in their life…
Music director Shaan Rahman
Everyday is Friendship Day as far as we are concerned. We met at Nedumbassery airport almost six years ago and we kept in touch. Whenever Vineeth [Sreenivasan] was in Kochi, he would drop by my studio. Then, one night, I got a call from him asking me to compose for his album ‘Coffee@M.G. Road’. It’s a testament to our friendship that he chose me for his debut film Malaravadi Arts Club and, now, Thattatin Marayathu. I admire his sincerity and we share a great working relationship. It’s as if we can read each other’s minds! Apart from music, we share a love for food. We eat anything and everything. Vineeth is a seafood person, while I’m more into meat dishes. When Vineeth is in Kozhikode, he eats only at my house because he loves my mom, Laila’s cooking. It’s when we are in Chennai we really experiment with cuisines – Italian, Malay, Chinese, Japanese…
Director and scenarist Shankar Ramakrishnan
Anoop’s [Menon] birthday is today [August 3]. Every year, no matter, what I forget, this is one day we try to spend some time with each other. Invariably I have a gift for him. It used to be books. This year, these words about our friendship are my gift for him. We have been classmates and friends since school. After I lost my father, it was Anoop who filled that void in my life. Books and cinema brought us together. Both of us were determined to make our way to Mollywood. While growing up in Thiruvananthapuram, we used to treat each other’s home as a second home.
We are each other’s harshest critics. Perhaps that is why we have not done a film together. But, we constantly raise the bar to better ourselves. We also have a secret society called ‘Mutually Praise Society’. Its members try to see life with a dash of humour and believe in celebrating life to the fullest.
Director Arun Kumar Aravind
It’s tough to explain about my closest friends in a few words. They are not different people but they are part of me. My best buddies are Vinu and Ganesh and have been so since 1992. Vinu, a techie, lives in Bangalore and Ganesh, who is into farming, in Doha. So, because of our busy schedules, we don’t meet for months and even years but when we do we revel in it because we get to be ourselves – no holds barred. My best friend in the industry is actor-screenwriter Murali Gopy. We met less than two years ago, when we got together to discuss a couple of scripts. But friendship is never about the time, it’s about the connection. It’s hard to find a friend like him. He is by far one of the best human beings that I know. He is not only a friend, but a big brother, philosopher, guide all rolled into one.
Playback singer Jyotsna
I stepped into the music industry sometime in 2002. By then Gayathri was already an established singer. I knew she was a playback singer from Thrissur but never had the opportunity to spend time with her. In 2004, we were in the city for a few days for a recording and photo shoot. That was when we started talking. I discovered we had similar interests and thought on the same lines. In addition to music, reading is a passion for both of us.
I can talk about anything under the sun with her and I know it will remain with her. Gayathri is spiritually inclined and when I went through a crisis, she was there to offer a helping hand. As I began singing professionally when I was in Class XI, I could never really hang out with friends or have a close friend. That void was filled when I met Gayathri. The best thing about both of us is that we are never judgemental.
Sujatha [playback singer] and I share a 20-year-old relationship. Ours is not just a person-to-person friendship. It is more about our families. Obviously, it was music that brought us together. I’ve been a big fan of hers. In fact, I called her up after listening to ‘Puthuvellai mazhai…’ (Roja). I was in a different profession then. Later on, when I became a singer and met her, she never treated me as somebody who has just come in. We have a lot of respect and affection for each other. Our families bond well.
(inputs from Nita Sathyendran, Athira M., Saraswathy Nagarajan)
Dubbing artiste Bhagyalakshmi
Circumstances brought us together. Whenever I went to Chennai for dubbing, I used to go and meet Bharatettan (director Bharathan) and Lalithechi [KPAC Lalitha]. Once he passed away, chechi was devastated. She moved to Thiruvanathapuram with her kids. Around the same time I was passing through certain family problems. We found comfort in each other’s company. We share our happiness and sorrow. Whenever I feel like taking a break, I just go to her house at Vadakkanchery. She may not be there at home, but that place makes me feel secure. We travel a lot. Once, we decided to go to Pune by train, which takes around two-and-a-half days. Hardly two hours into the journey, we understood that being impatient souls, we can’t sit that long. So we dropped the plan, took a taxi to Bangalore and then a flight to Pune! But we are poles apart when it comes to shopping. She loves to shop. The best thing about our friendship is that we never discuss the money spent during our trips.