Theatre

‘Even our choices are karmic’

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi  

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Multi-faceted Suchitra Krishnamoorthi is set to woo audience with her fictional memoir, ‘Drama Queen’

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi seems your quintessential girl-next-door. But she can defy that image as she pleases. Or she wouldn’t have proposed to Ram Gopal Varma on impulse. Yes, that amusing incident is revealed in her book Drama Queen, the stage adaptation of which she’s set to present this evening. Suchitra’s fame had always come in spurts; a hit TV serial Chunauti (one of the first campus stories) in the late 80s, a successful modelling career in the early 90s, film debut in the Shah Rukh-starrer Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa in ‘94, marriage with the internationally renowned filmmaker Shekar Kapur in 1994, singing for Andrew Lyod Webber, reinventing herself as a painter, singer and actor post-divorce; Suchitra continues to play all her roles with élan and on her own terms. In the city for the play Drama Queen, being presented by Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation, Suchitra impresses with her unpretentiousness and honesty. Excerpts from a conversation.

It’s been an eventful journey from ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ to now. Would you have preferred the journey to be any different?

I was quite clueless then and frankly quite clueless even now. My journey has been a unique one, if not ideal and I wouldn’t trade it with anyone else. I believe even our choices are karmic and what is meant to be will be. So might as well enjoy the ride.

Was ‘Drama queen’, a voice that you gave yourself to make the world hear your side of story or a creative output?

Drama Queen is purely a creative venture. It actually started off as a compilation of my blogs that a publishing house asked me to put together. As I started writing the linking pieces, I found a whole new story and a novel emerged. I surprised myself at the tone of the narrative. I had no idea I felt that way about many of the events that had occurred in my life. Drama Queen is a Roman a clef — a fictional memoir. Kabhi fact Kabhi fiction.

Whose idea was it to adapt ‘Drama Queen’ for the stage? What was the biggest challenge in doing so?

I have been trying to find suitable material for the stage for a while and toyed with some works already published and performed. Then my producer Ashvin Gidwani suggested I should write Drama Queen into a play and I jumped at the idea. I wrote the play myself and frankly, I struggled with writing it The biggest challenge was to confine it to a format suitable for the stage — what events/ characters to keep and what not to; while retaining the spirit of the book and the narrative.

Drama Queen is a new concept in theatre (as in it doesn’t follow any rules) and the reaction of the audience has been amazing. My two big fears before opening night were that I would forget my lines and I would start laughing every time the audience laughed. Luckily neither of those two things happened.

You’ve had highs and lows in equal measure in your life. How tough was it to tide them over?

I've had as many lows than highs and it’s been a long chaotic journey. More than the events that occur it’s how our mind and soul reacts to them. I chose to look at the bright side — laughter is the best medicine and creativity, a panacea.

Your teenage daughter Kaveri is already making a mark as a singer.

I knew from when she was a very young child that she is an exceptional talent and I’ve tried my best to encourage that in every way. I give her the freedom to be whoever and whatever she wants to be. I want her to be happy in whatever she does. I would support her in anything she chooses to do. Happiness is a state of mind that doesn’t necessarily come from achievement, it comes from a positive spirit.

With your family members living in Hyderabad, do you feel a special connect with the city?

Hyderabad is like a second home to me. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid. Family, friends, food, the language — I love everything about Hyderabad. Most people assume my mother tongue is Tamil, it’s actually Telugu. Though being born and brought up in Mumbai, at home we mostly spoke English.

Ever considered being part of the Telugu film industry, as an actor or singer?

I did sing a song for a Telugu film — the song was called Hello Honey and I did release a pop album in Telugu called Oohalu a long time ago but I've never done a Telugu film. I would love to.

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Printable version | Nov 21, 2019 9:19:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/theatre/suchitra-krishnamoorthi-interview/article17140454.ece

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