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WEARING MANY HATS Janaki Sabesh.
WEARING MANY HATS Janaki Sabesh.

As she manages work and family effortlessly, there's never a dull moment in Janaki Sabesh's life

Janaki Sabesh's father was against her modelling or working in movies, and told her she could do it only after her marriage. But, he also gave her an advice — to never miss an opportunity in life, and be committed. And, she followed it.

She graduated in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College for Women and did her masters in Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi. During her college days, she had a wide range of opportunities, met all kinds of people, and learned how to manage them effectively. And, when she was asked to assist Simi Garewal on her series on Rajiv Gandhi, she was more than willing. Married then, and living in Mumbai, she travelled alone at odd hours and that boosted her confidence.

She giggles and says people stop by on the street and make a conversation. “They say we have seen you somewhere and try keep struggling to recollect where it could have been. I am raring to tell them but I stop. It gives me a kick and I'm constantly smirking.”

Janaki has worked in many television commercials, she hosts shows, gives motivational lectures, does pre-recording for the messages on phone for banks and commercial institutions, lends her voice for cartoons, and acts in a few films a year (which she treats as a holiday!). There is no dull moment in the life of Janaki, a a business manager for Real Image Media Technologies.

She has worked in 25 films so far, and it all started with “Minsara Kanavu”, in which she played a nun. “I would take my three-year-old daughter, and colour pencils would keep her engaged while I put on the make-up.” She has played mother to a lot of actors, including Ajit, Vijay, Aishwarya Rai, Madhavan, Pavan Kalyan, Sada, and Jyothika.

Constantly travelling, she gives all the credit to her mother-in-law, who is in her 80s and manages home. Janaki says there is nothing like seeing the children bond with the grandparents, after coming home from work. She feels sorry for people who prefer nuclear families and are constantly dropping and picking up children after work.

She says: “There are problems in every family, but I make sure that neither of them suffers — home and career. My ego is on an all-time high when my colleagues enquire where I have been when I'm absent for three days. I have fantastic people at work too, and bonding with people is not difficult for me.”

Does she make money on movies? Not all she guffaws, “It is all about enjoying what I am doing, the bliss I feel after I have captured that perfect moment in a frame, everything else is irrelevant.”

The number of films she had rejected has outnumbered the number of films she had been offered but God had been very kind that all the films she had worked in so far had done commercially well.

About her entry into films, she says: “Life is such a beautiful accident.”

Born in Bangalore, bred in Calcutta, lived in Mumbai, and finally a career in Chennai, Janaki has seen the world from different perspectives. After all, as she puts it: “Life's such a beautiful accident.”

Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY

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