Meet Mammootty's 'wives' from 'Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam'

Ramya Pandian aka Poonkuzhali hails from Tirunelveli while the Thrissur-based Ramya Suvi has her roots in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Photos: Instagram

During the 'Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam' press meet, Mammootty remarked—“I have two wives in this film.” So that brings us to the question regarding these two characters. Does that mean he has married twice in the film? All such questions have been answered with the release of the film and it has received unanimously positive reactions from all quarters. And the actors who played Sundar’s Tamilian wife Poonkuzhali and James' Changanassery-based wife Sally are ecstatic that their characters have been so well received. Coincidentally their off-screen names are also the same—Ramya. Ramya Pandian aka Poonkuzhali hails from Tirunelveli while the Thrissur-based Ramya Suvi has her roots in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.


The start was unexpected

Ramya Pandian, who completed biomedical engineering, was working in a private firm when a chance acting gig in a friend’s short film introduced her to the world of films. She got noticed in 'Joker', 'Aandevathai', 'Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum'. Her performance in 'Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum' was praised by the late comedian Vivek. She later became a household name after she started appearing in television reality shows. After participating in Big Boss Season 4 reality show, she then took part in the show 'Cook with Komali'. She also has a fan group with lakhs of followers called Gethu. She was invited by the 'Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam' team after watching her Tamil films. The actor says she has always dreamed of acting in a Malayalam film. So what if she was playing a Tamilian in a Malayalam film?


From Bharatanatyam to films

After finishing graduation and post-graduation in Bharatnatyam from Kaladi Sree Sankara Sanskrit University Ramya Suvi only intended to blend ‘abhinaya’ with her dance. Films never featured in her list of priorities. And to think that she debuted on screen as Mammootty’s heroine! Her only experience was acting in a music video called Chirutha. She went to give an audition for a small role in the film and came back bagging the role of Mammootty’s heroine. Though she had no idea about the world of cinema, on the sets of Pazhani, she observed everything with the excitement of performing her first dance. She was there for 30 days. Considering the Bharathiyar poems and Sujatha stories she heard from her Tamilian mother, it didn’t take her much time to make herself home in that surroundings. She felt it reminded her of her grandmother’s Sirumukai village in Mettupalayam.


Acting quiz and Mammootty’s humour

It isn’t humanly possible to be on the sets of a Mammootty film without trepidation. But then both heroines are happy to have met a superstar who treated everyone equally, teased everyone on the sets, and gave acting tips. They would play this game now and then. A dialogue will be given and you are required to recite it in various ways. If you use the Navarasas and try out different voice modulations, the megastar will be impressed enough to remark that “You are on the right acting track.”

During the breaks, he would also give master tips on how to better your acting. But he is also a lot of fun. Cracking jokes all the time. He would crack jokes about everyone and leave the crew in splits with his little counters. He made up a story that Ramya Suvi had ‘fear fever’ when she was down with a fever due to the change of weather. And when the megastar was down with fever he pretended to be upset with Ramya and playfully accused her of passing the fever to him. That was how he left the final day of the shoot. All that it required was just a trip to Pazhani, to discover the man behind the star.


Happy ending

The film which was like a delirious afternoon siesta dream offers wonderful possibilities for the two actors. Though the film had an ambiguous ending, they seem to have found a happy ending considering the overwhelming responses to the film.

At her Chennai home, while discussing new Tamil projects, Ramya Pandian is eagerly waiting for offers from Malayalam. Meanwhile, Ramya Suvi is busy finding space for her new dance venture: Space for dance: Heal. She has added an unexpected chapter called cinema to her life and is waiting to write a new narrative.

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