Love Blossomed on Stage
The first time...
Well it was way back in January 2004. I was auditioning for Bhargavi Rao’s - Saugandika (an English monologue) for a female lead when my junior from University of Hyderabad, Raghavendra Swami introduced me to Sowmya, who was doing her Masters in Communication. I had auditioned quite a few girls for the same role. Then came Sowmya. It was the session after lunch – a simple and good looking girl, not that conventionally gorgeous kind. She came up to me and said, “Hi sir. I am Sowmya. I am also interested in theatre.”
I asked her where she was from. She replied Thrissur, Kerala. This made me happy because Keralities are passionate about theatre. I explained the role to her and asked her to improvise. I also asked her if she performed earlier. She said she performed on stage while in college.
She did give a decent performance. But I had actually shortlisted one more girl for the role as I thought she was apt. I did not want to disappoint Sowmya so I told her, “You are good but I think I found the right girl for the role. I feared disappointement. But she replied, “No problem sir. That is absolutely fine. But one thing sir, please let me know if there is any work backstage, because I am passionate about theatre and would love to be part of any theatre production.”
Laws of nature
I was surprised. At a time when every body is vying with each other to be onstage, here is a girl who is ready to work backstage. I was completely struck by her attitude and thanked her for the audition. I told her that we will meet up again soon and that I will keep her posted. Was I fortunate or was it destined to meet my dear Sowmya that the girl I shorlisted called me to inform that she will not be able to perform as the timings were not suitable. Instead of feeling dejected, I was happy. The happiness only doubled when I met Sowmya again and without thinking twice, I said, “Look Sowmya, you are my Sougandika.” She very innocently asked me, “Are you sure I will be able to do justice to the character?” and I replied, “I am not sure but confident that you will be the best,” he recalls with a wide-toothed smile.
Moment of Truth
She was as Sougandika, (though her first major performance and that too a monologue) exceptional. Her commitment, discipline, dedication and her passion for theatre along with her acting skills made me go head over heels.
Even after the performance, I wanted to meet her, talk to her, be with her, share things with her, be there to support her. Little did I know that I had fallen in love with her.
After Sougandika, we were rehearsing for Surya ki Antim Kiran Se Pehli Kiran Tak. That was when we became best of friends. In the year 2005, I expressed my feelings for her. She said, “Ram don’t tell me that you have fallen in love with me,” and I replied “I have already dear,” he smiles. “I proposed on Valentine’s Day in the middle of the football ground -- our regular meeting spot. However, she never said yes. She saw me as her best friend and it took her a couple of years to convince herself that deep inside she loved me more than I loved her. Finally in the year 2007 she said yes. So, the moral of the story, be patient because patience always pays. We got married on November 12, 2008.
Passion for theatre
Though we both have different personalities, including our ways of dealing with things, our aim has always been the same -- theatre. We are bound by this magic of theatre and we are constantly looking explore.
Disagreements are part of life
There should be fights and disagreements between husbands and wives because if there is no spice then life ka mazza kya. Having said this I would seriously mention that any issue should not be stretched too long which will add sourness into the relationship and strain the relationship. Let there be fights short and sweet which when cherished as memories should bring smiles on faces. Never involve a third person as that makes the situation uncomfortable and ugly. Sowmya and I, argue and fight to achieve perfection but from different perspectives. So at times she understands my point and agrees and at times I bow down agreeing to what she says is right.
Gift of life
The couple have three-year old son Madav Divij Holagundi, who completes their family. He is just amazing little wonder kid who always surprises us with his quest to know and learn more.