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Suchitra: I want to marry again only for sex

Last updated on: December 03, 2013 18:55 IST

Suchitra: I want to marry again only for sex

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Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, at her candid best in a book inspired from the events of her life, Drama Queen.

The singer-actress-painter, who starred in one of Bollywood's best-loved movies, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, writes about her fame, divorce from filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, and the crippling effects of a condition that she suffers from, Aphallatosis (a rare mental disorder arising from lack of sex).

An excerpt from the book:

I was going to be in the movies and be a star. That would be my revenge.

But my battleship on the journey to stardom was fragile and the ride so choppy I often feared it would capsize and I would go down with it. Struggling to counter the I-told-you-so, finger-wagging warnings of my parents with the shady cloak-and-dagger shenanigans of the film world was doubly confounding for me.

‘Suchitra, you want to be an actress, you must do…’

‘Do? Do what?’

I could never figure out the code of conduct that newbies in showbiz were bound to follow by some unwritten law. It was the ‘they’ syndrome all over again.

‘Do. All actress - they do. They must do. Where are your parents? You phone them just now. I’ll explain it to them.’

Oh no! Had he guessed my runaway status, the fact that I was living on my own?

‘Erm…my parents will be in office now...I can’t disturb them...’

‘Okay, no problem. Phone them later. Who are you more close to - your mother or father?’

‘My father. Amma is a little strict but Nana is very kind...’

‘So will you phone your Nana in the evening and tell him to pick you up from my hotel tomorrow morning?

Tomorrow morning? What was I supposed to do till then? The old geezer was stodgy as hell. Had body odour, too. He was boring me already.

‘Where are you running away, child? I told you to be an actress you must do. Now relax...’

Oh really? Do him? Boo Hoo.

Doobey doobey doo.

And f*** you!

Extracted from Drama Queen by Suchitra Krishnamoorthi with the kind permission of publishers Hachette India. Rs 399.

Buy the book here!


Image: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi's memoir, Drama Queen


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Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

Unlike all the other girls of that era who were accompanied on the set by their mummies, I went alone. And continued to hide the fact that I lived alone from everybody in the movie business. Telling everyone that my parents were working people and were therefore too busy to follow me around.

It wasn’t long before I started to react with petulant derision to anything I was told.

‘Why should I pad my bra with mounds of stiff cotton under my dress?’ I mean, how were big boobs connected with acting prowess? These people were mental or what?

‘Suchitra, your forehead is looking too big. We need to get you a fringe...’ No way -- I would promptly instruct the hairdresser to pull my hair back as far as possible and pin it tight.

‘Suchitra, we need to shoot with you tomorrow...’

‘Sorry, I’m not free. I have to meet my boyfriend.’

‘You have a boyfriend?’

Back then, in the early nineties -- that coy, pretend era of 35-year-old actresses claiming to be saving their hymens for their husbands-to-be -- a teen admitting that she had a boyfriend was unusual. A shocker.

Extracted from Drama Queen by Suchitra Krishnamoorthi with the kind permission of publishers Hachette India. Rs 399.

Buy the book here!


Image: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi in a video for her pop album, Dole Dole.


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Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

My boyfriend was, of course, Shekhar Kapur whom I would phone every evening during the shooting of Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa in Goa, regaling him with the day’s proceedings and other random musings.

Sometimes wondering aloud to him why film folk seemed so different from regular folk. Like, why I was refused a Coca Cola on the set on a day when the temperature had soared to scorching. I was almost fainting in the heat, for god’s sake. What was their problem? I was just asking for a soft drink, not the moon.

And then when I had insisted on paying for it because I so badly needed one, the animosity had only seemed to worsen -- the Coca Cola still denied.

‘My boyfriend says that it’s because people in the movies mostly come from poor backgrounds and are not used to drinking Coca Cola or owning a car or...’

‘Suchitra, don’t tell anyone you have a boyfriend! Actresses should be unattached or producers are wary of signing them. You are not planning to get married, are you?’

Of course I planned to get married. I was a good girl from a good family -- who did they think I was?

‘But your career will be ruined!’

‘Career? Why did people talk only about a career? Didn’t they understand anything about love?

All By Myself
Don’t wanna be - All By Myyselfff!
Any Moooooorre!!

Celine Dion’s stricken, high-pitched, seizure-inducing soprano playing on a loop, slapped me back to the present. ‘Yes, Amma. You’re right. I ruined my life because I married Shekhar only for sex.’

Extracted from Drama Queen by Suchitra Krishnamoorthi with the kind permission of publishers Hachette India. Rs 399.

Buy the book here!


Image: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, Naseeruddin Shah and Shah Rukh Khan in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa.


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Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

‘Shut up, Chitty. If you’re going to talk to your mother like this I am going to put the phone down. Don’t think I don’t know how you tricked Shekhar into marrying you. By pretending to be a good girl from a good family -- poor fellow. He thought he will never otherwise be able to have sex with you. I am your mother -- you cannot fool me.’

‘That’s exactly what I’m saying. That I married Shekhar only for sex and now I want to marry again only for sex…Chitty Chitty - Bang Bang...’

‘Shut up and don’t be disgusting. You can marry a Hindu also, even if it’s only for sex. If you think you can marry a Muslim and get away with it, it’s your funeral. But remember, that if you do that I will not be your mother any more. Understood?’

Boy oh boy, wouldn’t that be a relief? With Amma no longer obliged to fulfill her maternal duties I would finally be liberated! I would not have to spend all my alimony on visiting shrinks and going for calming ayurvedic massages and Reiki and deep-tissue healing. I could use all that saved-up money to travel to exotic foreign places, to have glorious holiday romances with tall, dark and handsome strangers. Shamelessly and excessively. Go crazy and kinky.

I wouldn’t have to worry about finding myself a husband or about Amma’s disapproving gaze branding me a prostitute. Aaaaah, delicious! Glorious, born-again me!

Extracted from Drama Queen by Suchitra Krishnamoorthi with the kind permission of publishers Hachette India. Rs 399.

Buy the book here!


Image: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi and her then husband Shekhar Kapoor.
Photographs: Rediff Archives

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Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

I turned off my iPod. Phew! What a relief!

My spirits started to soar. I was going to shrug off my woes in no time. I knew it! The solution had always been so simple -- why on earth hadn’t I seen it all along?

A person is not technically born till the umbilical cord is cut, dig?

‘I still say you better marry Shekhar only. You’re not getting any younger you know, and you’re losing your looks too with all your bad habits.’

‘Crap, Amma. I have friends who are still single or just pregnant for the first time.’

‘Yes, I know. I have met your recent circle of friends... All spinsters and divorcees. Birds of a feather will always flock together. And some of them are so ugly... which man will marry them? You better stop this nonsense and do some work. Why are you not painting these days? And don’t you have any film offers? What about that Ram Gopal Varma chap? Why don’t you contact him again? He extracted a good performance from you in that Amitabh Bachchan movie…can’t remember the name...’

Rann.’

‘Yes, Rann. I think that is the best solution for you instead of “I want to marry this Iqbal” nonsense and calling up your poor old mother in the middle of the night. Ram Gopal Varma is Telugu like us -- he will surely help you.’

Telugu like us? Oh, so we were Telugu now and not Tamil? How convenient and mind-boggling was that? Like the adiabatic expansion of water that contracts to make ice -- and then, for reasons no one knows, expands suddenly to crack the very glass it’s set in. It’s what Amma’s blasé oxymorons did to my brain -- shrunk it into frozen ice till it made my fragile -- as -- glass skull crack and explode in protest.

Extracted from Drama Queen by Suchitra Krishnamoorthi with the kind permission of publishers Hachette India. Rs 399.

Buy the book here!


Image: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, in a recent photograph.
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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