Life & Style

Young changemakers from Kerala capital pick the best of their memories of 2019

Aishwarya Lekshmi

Aishwarya Lekshmi   | Photo Credit: special arrangement


MetroPlus speaks to some of the young and the eager from Thiruvananthapuram who recount what has been their most memorable event or moment of 2019

It has been a year when the youth flexed their muscles and showed their mite. MetroPlus speaks to some of the changemakers from the city who recount what has been their most memorable event or moment of 2019. Read on...

Aishwarya Lekshmi


That day when I got a call from Mani sir [Mani Ratnam] is still fresh in my mind. It was for his Ponniyin Selvan. The sense of euphoria and happiness I felt is unforgettable. 2019 was filled with many such memorable incidents. For instance, when I saw Insta photos of actors shooting abroad, I used to wonder when I would be cast in a film that was shot abroad. In 2019, I had a shoot in London with Dhanush for Karthik Subbaraj’s new film. Now, another film is also being filmed abroad. It is unbelievable. From the day I began modelling, it has always been like that with me. If I wished for something earnestly, it would come true.

Sudeep Elamon


After working in several short films and documentaries, some of which won awards, the first film I worked in as an independent cinematographer, Shankar Ramakrishnan’s Pathinettam Padi (PP), was released this year. Since then, I have been doing back-to-back works. As soon as I finished the work on PP, I began working on Finals and then Ayyappanum Koshiyum and Qalb. I hope it remains like that for 2020 as well.

Sreekanth Hariharan


2019 has been special for me because of two things — I sang for Rahman [AR Rahman] sir and I’ve got a new teacher, Sriram Parasuram. It is every singer’s dream to work with Rahman sir and I got that opportunity in the Vijay-starrer Bigil with the duet ‘Unakkaga’ with Madhura Dhara Talluri. Sir noticed me after I became one of the finalists of the sixth season of ‘Super Singer’ on Vijay TV. I’ve got a few offers from the Tamil and Malayalam music industry after this song.

Ever since I moved to Chennai, I was on the lookout for a teacher. Sriram sir, adept at Carnatic and Hindustani music, took me into the fold and I look forward to improving myself as a musician.

Hazim Amaravila

Theatre person

My directorial venture Veendum Bhagavante Maranam, based on KR Meera’s story, has been well-received ever since it premièred in 2018. In March this year at Ranga Shankara in Mysore, writer and rationalist KS Bhagawan, the inspiration behind the story, was in the audience when we staged it.

Although threats to his life have forced him to stay indoors after 6 pm, he turned up at the venue with his wife, after taking special permission from the police. He had read the story in English and had translated it into Kannada for the magazine run by slain journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh. He stayed till the end of the play.

He even posed for a picture with us, which, apparently, was his first public photo session after two years.



Finals was the high point of the year. I debuted in 2012 and have been waiting for a role like that of Manuel’s in Finals for a long time. Career-wise, I am getting better scripts, that too of different genres.

A lot of effort was put in to playing the character, Manuel. It involved tremendous physical and mental preparation and it is satisfying when all of the hard work pays off.

Arvind Soju

Co-founder of Eat At Trivandrum

Until a few years ago, Thiruvananthapuram wasn’t really known for its food culture. But things have changed. 2019, especially, witnessed the opening of the most number of restaurants and I’m happy to make my contribution to this growth. I feel it’s a coming together of a love for the city and a love for good food. But the one occasion that stands out was the succour Eat At Trivandrum could deliver as a social media group during the floods.

Although, we chipped in during last year’s devastating floods, our community has grown bigger and we had a better reach this time and participated in rescue and relief effort on a larger scale. Of course, it’s a collective endeavour, but being part of it gave me great satisfaction on a personal level.

Sherin Noordheen

Founder-director of NGO Let’s Live

Though I have been working towards the cause of generating awareness about mental health and suicide prevention for the past two years, a session for the hearing-impaired community at The Orange Room in November has been an eye-opener. In the first session, only four persons from the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) along with four interpreters came. But the feedback was so heart-warming that when we organised another one, the room was packed. Indian Sign language, which has a small vocabulary, does not really include direct words to explain concepts such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar and so on and hence it was challenging to help them understand such ideas. But listening to them and helping them share their experiences was rewarding.

Siddhartha Babu

Rifle shooter

Undeniably, the best experience of 2019 has been clinching a quota place for the Paralympics to be held in Tokyo next year where I will be representing India. The qualification came at the World Shooting Para Sport Championships held in Sydney in October. I have been working towards this (Paralympics), in fact right from the Rio Olympics (in 2016). Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it then and, now, I have been preparing in earnest for the Tokyo event. Perhaps, for any athlete, participating and winning in Olympics must be the biggest goal and Paralympics is on the same level and intensity. This is my first Olympics and I’m really hopeful. Of course, my dream to win a medal...

Deepa Ananthapadmanabhan

Eco-warrior and educator

A one-week camp on ecology and environment for school students up to the age of 17 on the banks of the Vellayani Lake was one of the big high points of the year. In the meantime, I was able to continue the efforts we had started last year, post the floods, to help women in Alappuzha by collecting saris and old clothes and getting them to recycle those by making cloth bags.

While Sustera is about making the youth aware of the needs to conserve, Bhava helps the women by selling the bags and giving the proceeds to them. Both are close to my heart.

With inputs from Athira M, Harikumar J S, Saraswathy Nagarajan

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 6:48:36 AM |

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