Dhanya was 15 years old when she saw actor Sudheesh for the first time in 1995 during the wedding reception of a relative in Kadalundi, near Kozhikode. “I saw him speaking to others and got the feeling he had the ego and pride of a film star,” she says. “He did not pay any attention to me.”
But Dhanya did not mind. She was just excited that she had seen a film star at close quarters. “I only wanted to tell my friends about it,” she says.
A few years later, her colleague at the Calicut School of Fine Arts, Arun, a distant relative of Sudheesh, told the star’s parents about Dhanya. “At the same time, a relative of my mother approached Sudheesh’s family with my proposal,” says Dhanya. “She said that if Arun’s choice does not work out, she could suggest another girl, not knowing that it was me in both cases.”
Eventually, Sudheesh met her officially at Dhanya’s mother’s home at Kurumboyil. Both liked each other. Says Dhanya: “Sudheesh looked like an innocent and sweet boy.”
They got married on March 30, 2005. And what she likes most about Sudheesh is his relaxed attitude towards his career. “Sudheesh is happy with whatever roles that he gets,” says Dhanya. “He does not get tensed up if he is not getting more opportunities.”
However, it seems that the public is tense. “Whenever we go out, people will come up and tell Sudheesh, ‘You act so well, why can’t you be the hero?’ My husband is never affected by this. He is not ambitious. So, it is easy to live with him. He spends a lot of time with us [The couple has a six-year-old son, Rudraksh]. I am happy about this trait.”
The family goes for holidays, as and when they get the chance. But one vacation nearly went wrong. “We had gone for a trip to Ooty,” says Dhanya. There was Sudheesh, Dhanya, her brother Dileep and Rudrakash.
They were returning on their Honda City car through a dense forest in Wayanad at night. A notice board announced that there were wild animals and travellers should be careful.
“But we did not see any animals,” says Dhanya. “We felt that the notice was put up to fool people.” But suddenly, on the road, they saw an elephant, with a raised trunk. Unwittingly, Sudheesh sped towards the elephant, instead of braking. “It looked angry and came charging at us,” says Dhanya. “Somehow, Sudheesh swerved the car and we managed to go past. That was a close escape for all of us.”
The couple is close, but every now and then, Sudheesh gets angry with Dhanya. And the reason is simple. “If some youngsters come to the house to sell things, even though it may not be useful for me, I have a tendency to buy, just to encourage them,” says the Kozhikode-based Dhanya. “I just take the money from his purse. And he gets upset and says, ‘Why do you buy things which you don’t need? You are emptying my pocket!’”
When Dhanya reads about financial appeals for help in the newspaper she wants to immediately send the money, but Sudheesh prefers to check out whether the recipients are genuine or not. “I am impatient,” she says. “Sudheesh gets angry about that.”
Although Sudheesh has acted in numerous films in his 25-year career, he is still best known for his role as ‘Chanthu’ in the 1993 film, ‘ Manichitrathazhu’. “There is not a single day when we go out and somebody does not call him by Chanthu’s nickname, ‘Kindi’,” says Dhanya.
In fact, recently, they had gone to a restaurant. There was a young woman, who had a child on her lap. She pointed at Sudheesh and said, “Mole [Daughter], look at uncle. You can call him Kindi.”