'It was a pleasant surprise for Dhanush'

Candid conversation

'It was a pleasant surprise for Dhanush'

She may be the daughter of a famous father and the wife of an actor who is as popular as her father, but that has never stopped her from moulding her individuality or pursuing her interests. Even as she was growing up, Aishwarya Rajinikanth Dhanush has been putting the pen to paper, and writing diaries. However, this director added another exciting chapter to her life recently by bringing out her memoir and debut work ‘Standing on an Apple Tree’ (published by Harper Collins). Aishwarya who was at the ‘Bangalore Literature Festival’, chatted with Anupama Ramakrishnan on how it is sharing her life with the world though the book, what moulded her into the person she is now and how it was to grow up under the guidance of a simple superstar.

The world knows you as a the daughter of Rajinikanth, not as a writer until now. What motivated you to sum up your memories?
I used to write a lot. But the book just happened, it was no way planned. Everything fell in place.  Even now, there are days I want things out and I write it. I tear it out if I don’t want people to see it. Writing has always been a companion for me.

Some of the episodes from your memoir renew the close bond you share with your father... What did the family have to say to your recollections?
It was extremely reminiscing. We relived the moments though my book and my
family was happy about how it has come about. They were part of the book and felt nostalgic on reading it.

Balancing many roles, does it give you the time to write and follow other interests?  
I’d say that I am blessed with a very good support system in the form of my family. My mother takes care of my kids when I am out of town. My husband (Dhanush) is extremely supportive. He encourages me to stand out, do my own thing, be my individual self. For any woman, more so a working woman, a support system is very important. As for my writing schedules, they are not planned. Some days, it’s during the day and some days during the night; when you feel you want to write or when you are in the zone.

What does your father and Dhanush think about you turning author?
They are extremely proud of what I am doing. My father, I think, had at some point known that I’d be a writer. He has seen me writing all along. So this was not surprising for him. But for Dhanush, it was a pleasant surprise — that I could write a book of 180 pages. (laughs)    

Are you fine with revealing a personal side of yours to the public through your writings?
I am not. Personal things have a right to be personal. But whatever I wanted to tell my wellwishers about my life, that’s what I have done through this book. Whatever I have written are happy memories, and I am happy to show it to the people.

Which is easier, writing scripts or books?
I have written for two films. One is about to go on the floors in March. Writing the book was easier; there is no need to cook up a story. Maybe if I write a fiction, it will be different.

You are a dancer as well..
I love to dance. In fact I am a trained bharathanatyam dancer. And I practise whenever I can.

Do your kids know mom is an author...
Oh yes. The first thing they asked me about the memoir is, ‘Are we in the book?’ and I said, ‘yes of course’. Both of them love reading. In fact, my 10-year-old is a voracious reader.        

How different are you and your sister from other star kids?
I don’t know whether we are really different. Our mother brought us up secure and secluded. Being brought up in a household like that, we didn’t  have to make an effort to learn to be simple. You kind of absorb what your parents are doing.

Lastly, how does your father take the memes being circulated on social media? Does he see them?
Of course, we too get the forwards on dad. And he sees it too. It’s in good humour and done by those who love him. He always takes it in a positive way and enjoys it.

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