EXCLUSIVE: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi Opens Up About The Big Bad World Of Bollywood

Disha Dadlani , 18 Oct 2016
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi
Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

Hanging out with kickass women with an amazing sense of humour is what we love doing at MissMalini. So we recently hung out with Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, a woman of many talents. We caught up with Suchitra and discussed everything from her social media game to her book, Drama Queen, that looks at the modern India woman with a different perspective.

Here are some of the excerpts from the interview

On her book, Drama Queen:

According to me, the things I wrote about seem pretty normal, like I didn’t write them to create a sensation. I was just writing it candidly and in a very straightforward manner and I was happy with the reaction because I think somewhere this whole closet culture, this Pai Lagoo Ji culture while you pinch your ass from the back, this doesn’t work for me so I’ve always in my own way rebelled against that and I think Drama Queen was the rebellion against that.

On adapting the book for theatre:

Well, I’ve always wanted to do theatre for a very long time, I’ve been toying with different subjects and materials. And finally I said, hey why don’t I write my own book into a play? That’s what I did and I struggled too, because writing a book is very different from writing for theatre.

On the current state of indie pop:

It went through a phase where indie pop was not organized enough and didn’t have the muscle enough to stay on par with the Bollywood biggies. For example, if we did a song and we get say Rs. 100 for promotions and a Bollywood song gets a lakh for promotion, at some point it gets very difficult to match up, you know. If you notice, all the people who survived from that era are ones who shifted to playback, like Shaan, Sonu Nigam – they are the ones who shifted to playback. I think the economics didn’t work out but I think it’s coming back because if you notice, there’s a lot of original music still coming on. I mean, its finally reaching a stage where people can’t stand these actors going and lifting their arm and lip syncing. I mean, it is getting ludicrous and absolutely insane, it looks comical.  There are more independent artists who are coming to the fore, so I think that’s good. I mean, recently I saw a show somewhere and some article has written about how Ranbir Kapoor has performed so brilliantly to this new song in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,  so I clicked on the link, he’s just sitting and lip syncing! So there is something really pathetic about the way Bollywood stars are pandered to, to the extent of neglecting other areas of talent. For example, music or writing or anything, they’re all talents and they need that same stardom and they need that same appreciation.

On her marriage and single motherhood:

I got married within few months of Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’s release and then I had this really, typically Punjabi MCP husband who didn’t want his wife to act and I was just typical Indian ‘good girl’, who said “Theek hai jee, phir main nahi karti hoon, main kucch aur karti hoon…chal ab gaana gaati hoon, woh toh koi problem nahi hai na aapko?” (“Okay, I won’t act if you don’t like it. I’ll do something else. I’ll sing. Is that also a problem?”) You never think you’ll fall into those kind of stereotypes but that’s exactly what happened and then of course, Kaveri was born and I stayed away from the workplace for the longest time. I’m a single mother. I needed to be around her. So my painting studio is right next to my home. I write from home, so in this way I could kind of be a mum, be hands on and still do my own thing.And now, she is older, so I feel like I can step out in the world again…and fly.

On how she coped with negativity:

I mean there was a time when I had stopped opening the newspapers because every article was about my divorce and everything was some nonsense and I used to be like, “Oh God, I can’t take this anymore”, but even at that stage, I never lied. I never held back. It’s just that at one point I said “Hey, this is very painful and I’d like to just back off and I’d like some privacy.” But I never lied about the events in my life. I was called many things from insane to psycho to greedy and gold digger. It didn’t bother me at all because I knew that I was speaking the truth – my truth as I know it.

On her desire to marry Ram Gopal Verma:

Ramu’s been a friend for a very long time actually, and I just randomly told him”Hey marry me na Ramu…what are you doing? Chal marry me na”. So it was one of those things from my point of view and I have always been very fond of him, but he panicked. I sent him an SMS and he got very scared. So the next day he called me to his office and he explained his notion of the institution of marriage and told me this and that, so I just sat there and said “Okay cool”, and I left.

On the big bad world of Bollywood:

There’s lots of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Infact you see some of them, you can see the effect in their eyes and I actually want to call up a few of them and say “Hey sweety, you need to go to that rehab centre”. But see, there is also a lot of hard work. Making a movie is a lot of hard work. A lot of hardwork, effort, creativity, coordination, money, risk, energy, so you can’t knock all that. So iske baad mein if you get little tired at night, chalo ho jaata hai (it happens) you know. But you can’t take away the hardwork.

On the craziest rumour she’s heard about herself:

I heard that I’m a lesbian. Somebody asked a friend of mine. And she was like “Have you gone mad, she’s got like a kid and all that” and she was like “Yeah, but how come she doesn’t have a boyfriend? So I’m like, “Oh God, you know some people should just get a life.” I found it so shocking and its so annoying. Even if I am, you know, I mean why would people even ask it. How is somebody’s personal life in that way anybody else’s concern?

On her social media game:

I hardly have any followers on Twitter.Even the most sidey Indian celebs have huge 100s of thousands. I have some 38,000. Recently, like last week or something I wrote to Twitter saying like listen what’s going on, you need to verify me because maybe my followers are so less because, and they refused to verify me. I find Twitter a very useful tool. See, I’ve stopped getting the newspapers, I don’t read the newspaper or anything so all my information comes to me through Twitter. The relevant, the irrelevant, the funny, whatever…everything comes to me through Twitter. And every thought I have, in the middle of the night I’m like “yaar main kisko bolun, chalo twitter ko bolti hoon.”  (who do I share my thoughts with, okay let me tell Twitter!) I find it nice, I mean the trolling and all gets a bit negative but I find it nice that people are just out there, putting their stuff out, exchanging ideas, being so interactive, pro active. Its like there’s so much energy on social media, I love the energy of social media.

Right now, Suchitra has a lot on her plate. After having completed her play in the end of September and the first week of October, her newest project is the third book of the Swapnalok Society series – titled Ghost on the Ledge.

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