Destiny's child

Destiny's child

Vijay Suriya. A star in the Kannada television serial Agni Sakshi, which has recently completed 1,000 episodes on air. The serial will have been on the air for four years in December, and there are no signs of it grinding to a stop - instead, the pivot for the storyline continues to revolve around the romantic onscreen pair of Siddharth and Sannidhi, played by actors Vijay Suriya and Vaishnavi. The debate about whether their on-air relationship is continuing off-air in real life continues to be the hot debating point among the viewers. Were these stories true? Vijay says that people need something to celebrate in life, and this pairing caught the public's imagination and set it on fire.  

A great start

Suriya had a dream debut in Crazy Loka, a Kannada film directed by Kavita Lankesh in 2012. He worked alongside the immensely popular 'Crazy Star' Ravichandran, Avinash, Daisy Bopanna, Harshika Poonacha and others, and also had a dance number with Ramya. But the offers he was expecting after that did not come his way. "At that point in time, the industry did not have the space or story for a college student, which is what I played in the film. Things are different now after films like Kirik Party," he says.

Suriya dropped out of Bengaluru's Christ College after completing his PU. "I was not interested in academics. And I did not want to waste my time." His parents supported his idea, and he enrolled in a film-making course at Subhash Ghai's Whistling Woods Film School in Mumbai, after which Crazy Loka marked his film entry. He started off quietly in Sihi Kahi Geetha & Chandru's TV serial Parvati Parameshwara, playing "a really small role."

He could not get his dialogues right, and the episode director had to give most of his lines to his co-actor. He had come with great expectations after completing his professional acting course, but he was not prepared for the 'instant reaction mode'. He was a little taken aback with the directions for quick, on-the-spot reactions. He returned home troubled with serious doubts about his career choice, and the fact that his parents Lalitha and Nagaraj had paid over Rs 13 lakh for the acting course didn't help.  

Strangely enough, this one role in Parvati Parameshwara had him getting 20-25 calls for various characters. "I kept refusing, although my mother told me not to run away from work," Suriya states. He was at a theatre watching Kung Fu Panda  when he got another call for an audition. He actually told the caller the truth - he was watching a film and would not be able to make it. "My mother blasted me and asked me to call back immediately. It was only then that I realised that the call had come from Kavitha Lankesh's associate director Karthik, and the audition was for Crazy Loka," he reveals.

This was a pattern that would keep repeating in his life - running away from acting offers that would ultimately catch up with him. It was three years since Crazy Loka and he had just a few modelling assignments. He was sitting at a cafe with his friend Lakshmi Anand, a former Miss South India winner who was into modelling and fashion. She received a call from a production manager telling her that they were looking for a new face. Suriya was not interested, but she sent his pictures when he went for a washroom break. The team liked his pictures. "By then, I guess I was once again a 'new face'," he said with a wry smile. And that was how he was cast as Siddharth in Agni Sakshi.  

He explains, "A lot of things that I was shying away from got back to me somehow… I kept running away from TV. But at the end of the day, it was from Agni Sakshi that I got my recognition." His mother was convinced that his casting as 'Siddhu' (Siddharth) in Agni Sakshi was not a coincidence. He was named Siddhu after his grandfather Siddhalingaiah.

Looking ahead

Suriya seems to have a very philosophical head on his 27-year-old young shoulders. He says he has realised that you can never get what you want in life. "You will have to deal with what you have. And that took me four years to understand. That line about the grass being greener? It's very true," he says.

What about that elusive thing called luck? "I believe in destiny. But luck? There is a point in everybody's life where they have yoga (ability) or luck, which will show you a path. To go in that direction you need yogyathe, which is hard work. And love for your work. That's how one should make use of a lucky break."

Apart from Agni Sakshi, Suriya is working in two Kannada films: Kadhdhu Muchchi and
Lucknow to Bengaluru. He has also just started hosting Comedy Talkies on Colors Kannada.

As for romance in his life, he says he is single right now. While he is open to the idea of that status changing, he says he is not very serious about it at present. "Like it happened in Agni Sakshi, falling in love after marriage seems much more beautiful. I think I'll stick to that."

Destiny might change that script. But one thing is clear - he has grasped his break and is working hard to go where it will take him.

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