IIt was her first film. And Nadia Moidu was all eager and excited. The shoot for the Mohanlal starrer, Nokketha Doorathu Kannum Nattu (1984), was taking place at Udaya Studios, Alleppey. In the movie, Nadia, as Girly, plays Mohanlal’s love interest.
There was a Christmas scene. And a cinematic dance was taking place. A group of dancers, along with Nadia in the lead, held sparklers in the hand and moved across the stage, to the song, ‘Lathiri Poothiri Punthiri Cheppo’, composed by Jerry Amaldev.
“Just behind me there was another dancer,” says Nadia. “Suddenly, her sparkler touched my arm. I did not feel anything initially. After the shot was over, when I looked at my arm, I realised that it had been burnt a bit.”
She was rushed to a nearby hospital. After a close inspection, the doctor concluded that the burns were not very serious. So, she returned to the set the next day and resumed shooting. But today, there is an inch-long scar on the inside of her arm. “However, if I keep my arm close to my body, you cannot see it,” she says. “But the mark is a memorable reminder of my debut film.”
There is a superstition in Mollywood that if an actor suffers an injury, the film tends to become successful. “I don’t know whether this is true, because I am not a superstitious person,” she says. “Nevertheless, it is a fact that Nokketha Doorathu Kannum Nattu became a super-duper hit.”
In 1987, with rising excitement, Nadia prepared to go for her first trip abroad. This was for the Tamil film, Poo Mazhai Pozhiyudhu, which starred Suresh and Vijayakanth. In the storyline, both of them are wooing Nadia. But, for one scene, at the Kowloon Bay, at Hongkong, Nadia was supposed to step onto a speedboat and go in search of Suresh.
“Because I enjoy speed a lot, I began going very fast,” says Nadia. But, for this scene, there was no need to do so, because the director could easily speed up the film, to create an illusion of speed. But Nadia did not care. However, there was one person who got very nervous. That was her own father, NK Moidu, who always accompanied Nadia for her shoots.
“He was extremely protective of me,” says Nadia. “The moment he saw me go off so fast, he immediately hired another boat and followed me, with an anxious look on his face. Thankfully, nothing happened, but I enjoyed it so much. It was an unforgettable experience.” Nadia also had an unforgettable experience in the film, ‘M Kumaran/Son of Mahalakshmi (2004). At the shoot, in Chennai, there was a song during which, a man, Kumaran, played by Jayam Ravi, is taking his mother Mahalakshmi (Nadia) to the hospital where she has to get an injection. But the junior artiste, who was tasked to do the job, instead of pretending to give one, actually inserted the needle into Nadia’s upper left arm.
“Even though I was shocked, because the needle had not been sterilised, I just kept quiet and swallowed the pain,” she says. “But then, M. Raja, the director, got very nervous over what had happened. He immediately rushed me to the hospital, where a nurse gave me a tetanus injection, and ensured that I faced no problems in future.”