Nayika Nayakan winners Darsana and Shambu are well set to light up the silver screen in M-town. As Mazhavil Manorama’s talent hunt show came to an end on Wednesday, little did the duo realized that they were at the right place at the right time. The winners of the popular show will get a chance to be part of ace director Lal Jose's movie.
“I’m not the most deserving or the most talented one among the finalists but somewhere I was just the luckiest,” said awe-struck Shambu. “I came along with a bunch of friends for the auditions. Although I was the least interested, I was the only one who got through. None of them got selected,” he recalled.
Ask Darsana on her victory and she says, “I used to follow cinema since a young age – be it about the new movies, the gossips, the style statements etc. When actresses like Kavya Madhavan or Samvrutha Sunil gave interviews, they would say I came to the industry as Lal Jose’s 'Nayika' and those words always lingered in my mind. Sometime, somewhere I was so admired by his movies that I too wanted the same title. And that’s how I came for the auditions, just to see and meet him personally.”
Through mentors’ words...
Actor Kunchacko Boban, the mentor of the show, however, showered praises on the duo. According to him, Shambu’s height and dialect helped him bag the role in Lal Jose’s movie. “Shambu never had a steady graph - he had his ups and downs. But he knew what he wanted and how to achieve it. Hardwork and persistence never fail and Shambu stands as a big example for this,” said Kunchacko Boban.
Ask him one character that would fit Shambu and he cites Dulquer Salmaan’s role from 'ABCD'.
About Darsana, he said, “She is someone high on energy. Darsana knows the reality of life. You point her mistake and she will make sure she changes it the next time, was her best quality.”
Facing the camera the first time
Shambu, a theatre artiste, has a half a dozen plays to his credit but he revealed it was for Anjali Menon’s 'Koode' that he first got to face the camera but in a very small role.
“I was called for audition for a bigger part but it didn’t work out because I was too tall for the character. But later I was referred to another small role. I was on the sets of Koode for about a month and had 7 days of shoot. The first time I faced the camera turned out to be hilarious. When Anjali Menon sat on director’s chair and called action, I ran out of the frame out of excitement. She in turn, asked me not to run in excitement as I have got to do lots in life ahead.
The learning lesson
Darsana, a Bsc nursing student, faced the camera for the first time at this show itself during the second audition before Lal Jose. “I always had this feeling that I never looked good on camera and I didn’t like my smiling face.
“When I left to Delhi to pursue nursing, I kind of enjoyed my life in hostel. I used to stand before mirror and put up various expressions and act. And later, when this audition happened, Lal Jose sir gave me confidence and I started to shrug off the inferior feeling,” she said.
A native of Pala in Kottayam, Darsana is one big dreamer. Calling actress-dancer Shobhana as her role model, Darsana says she wants to meet the veteran star in person.
Darsana is one who lives in memories, was how Lal Jose described her. Agreeing with Lal Jose, Darsana said, “I think one becomes a good human being when they live though memories, knowing the bitter past and building a better future.” Although offers have come her way, she says Lal Jose movie is the first in hand that will begin shoot mostly by April.
'Not aiming to be a star'
Born in Thrissur in Ollur, Shambu constantly changed cities as his father was in the airforce. After initial years in Coimbatore, he did his schooling and college in Bombay. ‘Whatever comes or happens to you will pass’, is the quote he lives by. “As an actor, one should have a holistic approach. In theatre, we were taught not to speak unnecessarily in scripts, but in movies one has to improvise,” he said.
“I had this view that I was poor in slapstick comedies until I came to this show,” he added.
Before winding up, he reminds us how he never dreams of becoming a star. “I prefer to be an actor more than a star,” and he signed off.