I enjoyed the anonymity but will return to acting soon

I enjoyed the anonymity but will return to acting soon

Actor Sruthi Hariharan, who made a public appearance after a two-year gap, says temporarily moving to Kerala proved therapeutic for her

It’s two years since I made a public appearance. I recently ventured out with my four-month old daughter Janki and husband Raam Kumar to lend my support for a protest. I agreed because the issue pertained to sexual violence against women and this is something that I have discussed and debated on several platforms. It was indeed a fulfilling experience to be out there and register my point.

The break did a world of good

There’s a lot that has transpired in my life in the last two years. I got married to my best friend of 11 years, Raam, and we had a baby. The break helped me get a hold of my life and my emotions, enjoy every moment of being married and embrace motherhood. I’ve heard people say that motherhood is a glorious phase of one’s life. But I never understood the depth of it, till I became one myself. Being a mother comes with so much responsibility because you have another life in your hands. I have never been around children before so it frightened me a bit in the beginning to hold my daughter. It took me a while to get used to holding her. Each time she looks at me, I feel unconditional love and I am excited at every new movement or emotion that comes from her. The joy of discovering the changes in my little one is an inexplicable experience. 

I had temporarily moved to my hometown in Kerala during my pregnancy. The change did a world of good and proved therapeutic. After the #MeToo movement, the flood of abuses in the form of tweets and social media posts took a toll on me. I tried to stay detached from the whole thing but it did affect me to some extent. The change was a much-needed one. I also never used social media during this time. I enjoyed the anonymity. I have always used social media only for work purposes and never to update the status of where I am or post personal details. Staying away from it all gave me enough time to regain my strength.   

Sensitise men to respect women 

My participation in the recent protest only reiterated what I have been talking about on several platforms -- that we need to create a safer space for women. What happened with Nirbhaya can happen to anyone. We shouldn’t wait for anybody to take the first step, we must act now and not procrastinate what is to be done to ensure that our mothers, sisters and daughters are safe.  We must do everything we can to sensitise our sons and men about respecting women and why it is important to treat them as equal.  

Marriage is the best thing that happened to me 

Raam has been a huge part of who I am today. He has been with me through thick and thin. He may be a quiet person by nature but he has stood by me like a rock and seen me through tough times. Life has got better after marriage and nothing has changed. He and I have been working together for the longest time. We understand each other’s work pressure and know what goes into the creative process.  

Returning to acting soon

I will return to acting after my daughter turns six months. Till then, I want to enjoy motherhood and spend quality time with her. I have a Kannada film called ‘Aadya’ by K M Chaitanya ready for release and a web series in Tamil. I also have a couple of offers coming along, but I would like to take my time to pick and choose what I want to do. 

The National award was a big boost for me. It was not only a recognition of my work but also gave me more reasons than one to once again get in front of the camera. 

(As told to Nina C George)

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