Actress, politician, mother and a preacher. PRABALIKA M. BORAH catches the many-faceted actor Jayasudha at her office and listens in
She burst on the Telugu screen as a fresh faced teenager in short skirts. She danced around trees with countless heroes and then played the role of a mother with equal elan. Now in the rough and tumble of active politics, Jayasudha's life has come full circle. Holding all the contrasting pulls and pushes together is the spiritual side of the actress-turned-politician.
A couple of months into politics,and the actor-turned-politicianknows there is lot to be done. "I can'treally say how politics has treatedme. I joined the Congress party inApril, got elected in May. In September,the man who offered me the roleof a real politician passed away andnow we are in December and I amstill learning. Each day is a new experiencefor me," she says.
Dressed in a beige jute kurtateamed with a silk hand-printed dupatta,Jayasudha sans the airs of anactor and a politician, welcomes youwith a warm smile. "I felt sick suddenly.I had lunch with a friend and Idon't feel too well," she said as sheplonked herself in a single-seaterleather sofa.
"I panic when I fall sick. I startimagining the worse. I am quite atimid person with health issues," sheconfesses. "Doctors have asked me toexercise, to control my weight and toavert other ailments which arecaused due to hormonal imbalances,but I hardly get the time to do anything,"she regrets.
Jayasudha says that in real life tooshe is quite the timid sort. "When myhusband and sons are not at home Iwould ask my mother to come andstay with me. But of late I am becomingcourageous."
Ask her how she celebrated herbirthday on Dec 17 and she replieswith a laugh, "I usually do not celebratemy birthday. But this time myguest list reached up to 2,500. Someof my colleagues did everything, includingthe job of inviting the guestsand I was completely unaware."What about celebrating Christmas?
"I am the only believer in thefamily so there is no Christmas athome. But I am all excited aboutspending time with my two boys inSingapore, for New Year," she sayswith excitement. Ask her, what she islooking forward to most and she says:"To cooking and spending time withmy family. My sons have been askingme to watch Avatar but I haven't hadthe time. Maybe when I am in Singapore,holidaying with my sons whoare studying there, I will watch it,"says Jayasudha, who doesn't enjoyshopping for anything else exceptelegant cotton saris.
To the actor, her husband and kidsare her best friends and says withpride that her sons treat her as theirfriend too. "They discuss everythingwith me from their day at college totheir girlfriends and while I don'twant my sons to be cheated or takenfor a ride by anyone, I ensure that mysons too do not think of hurting orcausing pain to anybody. I fight withmy husband but he is also my bestfriend," she giggles.
The actor is married to Nitin Kapoorwho is Hindi actor Jitendra'snephew. She met him in the early '80sand after marriage loved visiting herin-laws in Mumbai when they werealive. "They used to pamper me a lot."What about friends from outside theindustry. "Not too many. I either talkabout sports, books or spiritualityand I know that people get tired withmy spiritual talk and with no commontopic to discuss, I'd rather notmake friends and sit and gossip. Gossipis not healthy, besides tarnishingsomeone's reputation it doesn't doanything," she says.
A sports enthusiast Jayasudha recallstelling her friends as a young girlthat when she gets married she willhave 11 kids. Eleven specifically sothat she could form a cricket team. "Ilove cricket and that love comes fromme being born into a house that overlookedthe Chinnaswamy Stadium inChennai. I grew up on cricket. But Ilove other sports like soccer, tennistoo.
Keeping the faith
Jayasudha has a little privatetrust of hers through which shehelps the needy with funds formedicines. Arogyashree is veryclose to her heart and that is onereason for joining politics.
Her popular sari sale justconcluded and she is gearing up forthe summer sale. She wonders whatmakes people go gaga over hercotton saris on screen and the samewhen put up in exhibition finds notakers. In 1985 when she washoneymooning in Pataya beach,Jayasudha who doesn't know toswim was about to drown.
As she fought for air and to berescued, a face appeared in front ofher. She saw the piercing looks inhis eyes and his golden locks andeven while she was drowning shespoke out loud, `Tanu Yesu Prabhukada?'
The incident she says is still freshin her mind because she feelsblessed by that encounter.