Journalist-turned-film producer Supriya Menon, who is carving her own space in the Malayalam film industry, reveals how she met her husband Prithviraj.
“My editor Srinivasan Jain (of NDTV), who goes by the name Vasu, assigned me to cover Malayalam cinema because I was a Malayali. I did not know cinema. Much less regional cinema. I, for the life of me, did not know how I would be able to handle this assignment. I didn't know anyone here, barring the two big M's of Mollywood cinema. I mean, you would have to be living under a rock, if you are a Malayali and did not know these two legends, obviously."
"But a fellow journalist came to my rescue. She handed me the number of a young actor and told me to contact him saying that he would probably be able to help me. That one phone call changed the course of my life. You see, my friend had given an introduction to my future husband, Prithviraj Sukumaran,” said Supriya delivering a talk during the TiE Kerala Women in Business programme held in Kochi recently.
Supriya said that a friendship blossomed soon and they soon started dating. “I was looking for an opportunity to further my career and I had applied to Colombia University for my master's and was trying to generate funds for my studies. I was spotted by a BBC journalist when I was out on an assignment. They were setting up a new business programme in India and had wanted someone to anchor the programme. They told me to come and attend an interview,” she added.
According to her, the interview went well and she knew in her gut that she had nailed it. “I was sure that I made it. I was happy that I had made it to the mecca of journalism. However, there was a big catch. I had never done business reporting before and had no clue about the ups and downs of the market. Personally, it was a big challenge for me. I was practically learning to swim from day one,” she said.
“My professional life was going great guns and I decided to give up my dream to go to Columbia. Also, after dating for four years, Prithviraj and I decided to announce the news of our marriage and tie the knot. So, I took six months off from my work and got married at a low-key function. I moved back to Mumbai for my job. However, you know, that an actor's life is difficult. So, I decided to move to Kerala,” she said.
Supriya admitted that it was scary for her in the beginning because, for the first time in her life, she did not have a plan. “Initially, I travelled a lot with him, but I realised that I needed a plan, which is why enrolled in a management course for women entrepreneurs in IIM,” she said.
According to Supriya, both she and Prithviraj had been planning to start a production company for some time and that is how they started Prithviraj Productions. “I was learning on the job. There are hardly a few women in the business of production, so whatever mistakes I make are my own. But it is a great journey,” she added.