My marriages were experiments which failed: Pratap Pothen on his divorces

Pratap Pothen
The filmmaker’s first marriage was with Tamil actress Radhika. He later married Amala Sathyanth, who was general manager with the Tata’s in Mumbai. File photo

Personal life was not a smooth affair for film personality Pratap Pothen as he went through two failed marriages. Pratap Pothen, who passed away on Friday, once described his matrimony as ‘a new-gen life of those days.’

The filmmaker’s first marriage was with Tamil actress Radhika. However, they were together for barely two years and separated. Sometime later, Radhika became the wife of Tamil actor Sarath Kumar. Pratap Pothen also married a second time to Amala Sathyanath with whom he has a daughter, Keya. But this marriage too subsequently collapsed in 2012.

Radhika was the female lead in ‘Meendum Oru Kaathal Kathai’, the first film directed by Pratap Pothen, and the two fell in love during its shooting. Pratap Pothen and Radhika soon decided to get married, but the families on both sides opposed their plan. “My relatives said that I was doing something wrong. Radhika’s kin also did not cooperate. However, we went ahead and lived together,” said Pratap Pothen in an interview.

“We were together for two years, but had no children. The relationship later became dry. Issues developed and we soon split. Both of us were responsible for the situation. You couldn’t blame one person alone,” he had added in that interview.

Pratap Pothen later said that a marriage was “just an adjustment.” “There is no love. No passion. We prepare a route and try to travel along that path. But it could be boring,” he said.

Pratap Pothen’s second wedding took place in 1990. His bride was Amala Sathyanth, who was general manager with the Tata’s in Mumbai. But, finally, they divorced.

Pratap Pothen had a clear idea on why his marriages failed. “Two different individuals come together in a marriage. However, in many instances, they don’t really come together. As long as they don’t become one, the relationship will collapse. All my relationships were experiments in joining together with another person. But those experiments failed,” he said.


Mother’s influence

The woman who had the biggest influence on Pratap Pothen was his mother. Pratap Pothen lost his mother while he was aged 29 and the filmmaker said that her death had orphaned him.

“My father was among the early activists of the Communist Party and he was mostly in hiding those days. At that time and after the death of Pappa, Mummy raised us without informing us about her troubles,” Pratap Pothen had said.

“Mummy went to court to regain all that she had lost. Later, she won the case. It was her victory alone,” he remembered.

“Moreover, Mummy was the only person who encouraged my artistic talents. She played the piano very well, cooked tasty dishes and did colourful embroidery,” Pratap Pothen said once

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