‘Education Brought us Together’ - The New Indian Express

‘Education Brought us Together’

Published: 02nd June 2014 10:46 AM

Last Updated: 02nd June 2014 04:11 PM

One day, in 1996, Anjana was going down the steps of the MES Indian School in Doha when she slipped and fell. When Sudhir Karamana, her husband, came to know about it, he became very tense. There was a reason for it: Anjana was pregnant. “In fact, we felt panicky,” says Anjana. “We were around 24 years old. There were no relatives around. And it was not easy to get an appointment with the gynaecologist Dr. Malini.”

In fact, they had to wait for two days. Eventually, when Dr Malini examined Anjana, she said that everything was fine, much to the relief of the couple.

A few months later, Sudhir and Anjana returned to Thiruvananthapuram, because the former wanted the child to be born in Kerala. However, Sudhir decided to stay on because his own father, the noted actor, Karamana Janardanan Nair, was unwell.

Anjana had fond memories of the one year she spent in Doha. “It was a honeymoon for us,” she says. “We went to lots of places. And I can never forget the sight of Dukhan [which is the place where oil was first discovered at Qatar in 1935]. The petroleum well looked impressive.”

At the MES school, while Sudhir taught geography and was the basketball coach, Anjana was a chemistry teacher. And it was education that brought them together.

Both were doing their B. Ed studies at Kerala University. The course director, Gourikutty Amma, who was a friend of Anjana’s family felt that Sudhir would be a good match for the girl. So, she suggested this to both families.

When Anjana met Sudhir, on September 10, 1995, at her home, she was taken aback by his height: 6’ 2”. Anjana, herself, is 5’ 6”. However, there was a mutual attraction and both said yes. The marriage took place on March 15, 1996, at the Trivandrum Club. 

At the reception, Anjana met the state’s celebrities for the first time. They included the actors Madhu, Bharat Gopi, Jagadish, KB Ganesh Kumar and the director Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

“Adoor Uncle and Sudhir’s father had been close friends even before Sudhir was born,” says Anjana. “So he looked very happy when he greeted me.”

At the time, Sudhir and Anjana had secured jobs in government-aided schools. Today, Sudhir is the principal of a higher secondary school for girls at Venganoor, Thiruvananthapuram, while Anjana is a chemistry teacher in the Raja Kesava Das NSS higher secondary school at Sasthamangalam.

Sudhir is unusual in the fact that while he is a principal, he is also actively involved in acting in Mollywood films. “The reason why he has kept his principal’s job is because it provides a sense of security,” says Anjana. “So, we are not dependent on his actor’s income. He is into films because he has a passion for it.”

And whenever Sudhir gets a role, he takes leave. “In fact, he has received an order from the government giving him permission, although it does result in loss of pay,” says Anjana.

For Anjana, the films of Sudhir she has liked the most include his first, ‘Vaasthavam’, ‘Thalappaavu’, ‘Left Right Left’ and ‘Amen’. “He has played a variety of characters,” says Anjana. “I am proud of that.”

Most of the time they see the films in which Sudhir has acted at home. If Sudhir is in town, sometimes, they go to the cinema hall to see it. But after the movie, when people recognise him, they will come up to have a chat. “They will discuss the characters he has played,” says Anjana. “Some will ask whether a few of his roles have been a bit negative.”

But, at home, Sudhir has been a positive role model to his children, Sooryanarayanan, 16, and Gouri Kalyani, 11, both of whom study at the Christ Nagar Higher Secondary school.

“As a father, he is strict and friendly at the same time,” says Anjana. “He is keen that the children should be good in their behaviour as well as their studies. But Sudhir is a child at heart and likes to go swimming and jogging with them. He cracks a lot of jokes.”

Anjana likes the fact that Sudhir is a family man. “No matter how busy he is, Sudhir will always call me or his mother,” she says. “Whatever we do it will be under his guidance.”

And they go for holidays whenever possible. Last year they did a tour of Mumbai, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Himachal Pradesh. “We had a wonderful time,” says Anjana.

However, Sudhir’s drawback is that he has a short-temper. “He gets angry quickly, but returns to normality very fast,” says Anjana. “In the earlier years, I would get upset. But now I have got used to it. Because of this hot temper he had to face many unexpected situations in the family. But, somehow, he has managed to resolve it.”

Finally, when asked for tips for a successful marriage, Anjana says, “A husband and wife should find time to spend together, no matter how busy they are. You should not hide anything from each other. And if you have a fight, one spouse should take the first opportunity to solve it. There should not be any ego trip about who will talk first. In our marriage, I always take the initiative.”  

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