Faithfully yours

He is from the first family of the Sandalwood; she from one of the premier families of the State’s politics. Together, they are perhaps the foremost couple of the ‘made for each other’ pair in Sandalwood.

Shivarajkumar and Geetha will soon be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. The two have wonderfully complemented each other. Shivanna, as Shivarajkumar is called, has sparkled on the screen. Geetha has remained the quintessential woman behind her man, managing as she does everything from his accounts to the production side of his business.

And Shivanna never fails to mention that she is the reason behind all that has made him a success. He says everything from his fit physique to successful career is because of her. “She makes sure I stay grounded,” he says.

Geetha on her part says she can be critical when it comes to his career. “I criticise whenever and wherever it is necessary. And I appreciate him when he deserves it. But I think he has been brilliant in every role that he has done. There’s a Shivanna touch to every role he plays,” she says.

Off the screen, Shivanna is a total family man. He makes sure he gets home by six in the evening and spends quality time with his family. Shivanna along with his two daughters sweat it out in the gym in the evening. Later, between 8 pm and 9 pm, the couple go for a long drive during which they plan, share ideas and perspectives and talk just about anything from films, food to family stuff. “That is the sacred time for both of us,” says Shivanna.

The couple’s perfect chemistry shows in the family as well. The four of them take regular holidays. Geetha says their two children love to visit Singapore and Mysore every year. What about shopping? Shivanna says his wife and daughters are never too lavish in their choices, “We don’t go in for any extensive shopping. If we go gold shopping, my daughters always pick up something small and never yearn for anything big,” he says.

He’s proud of his daughters and says with a sparkle in his eyes that they’re completely focussed and grounded, “The fame and name hasn’t got to them.” Shivanna hopes to make a film with his second daughter someday, “She acted in her first film when she was barely five years old and now she’s grown up and can decide when she wants what,” says Shivanna.

They love food and have just about tasted every food from every corner of the world. While Shivanna sticks to his idli-sambar, fruit diet and light food most of the time, the kids love to explore different cuisines. Geetha, who swears she’s an ace cook, keeps the family’s culinary instincts sated. “Appaji used to love Geetha’s biryani,” recalls Shivanna.
What’s their take on spirituality? “I believe in an inexplicable power called God, whether Rama, Jesus or Allah, they are all one and the same,” says Shivanna.

The couple say they owe their smooth sailing relationship to not holding high expectations, and living life as it comes. “You always look straight and never want to bend down or even aspire to get too high,” says Shivanna.

The actor in Shivanna has a few unfulfilled dreams. He says he would love to do a Bhakti film someday and a comedy one as well. So will we get to see these films when Shivanna completes 100 films soon? “You never know. We plan to start our own banner someday and my first films could be these two. Nothing has been planned as yet. Only time will tell,” says Shivanna.

Why hasn’t Shivanna tried his hand at other languages? “When I have room to build talent here why should I go seeking opportunity elsewhere?” he asks.

Besides he has vowed that he will never touch remakes. “When Kannada films have some of the best original scripts why do a cut, copy and paste job?” he reasons.
And how has he managed to ride success for so long? “Every time I sign up a new film, it’s like I am acting for the very first time. I put my all into it,” he says.

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