Happy Birthday Asin!  

Asin - Sakshi Post

By Ravi Valluri

In 2008 the Aamir Khan starrer ‘Ghajini’, directed by A. R. Murugadoss, well known Tamil film producer-director scorched Bollywood, crossing the Rs.100 crore mark in India and raking in over Rs.70 crore overseas.

Aamir essayed the role of a rich business man who is struck with anterograde amnesia following a violent attack on him, preceded by a series of twists and tales in the plot. As a result the character suffers from abysmally short memory and attention span.

This Tamil remake introduced a prepossessing actress, mononymously known as Asin.

The actress was clearly not overawed by the towering presence of Aamir Khan and her histrionics were not masked or shaded by her more famous co-actor. Her stellar performance in the riveting film earned popular applause and critical acclaim in equal measures. She was feted with the Best Female Debut by Film Fare for her performance in ‘Ghajini’. The artiste has in her dramatic but short career won three Film Fare awards which is indeed truly momentous.

The estimable film critic Taran Adarsh described her Hindi debut as ‘fabulous’. Further he went on to say ‘to share the screen space with an actor of the stature of Aamir Khan and yet remain in your memory even after the show has ended is no cakewalk. She looks fresh and photogenic and acts her part brilliantly’. The erudite and scholarly film critic mentioned in particular the efficacious and positive attitude of the artiste.

The year was 1985 and the date 26 October. In the backwaters of ‘God’s Own Country’ a sprightly and radiant looking child was born to Seline and Joseph Thottumkal in Kochi. The young, bubbly girl, born into a Syrian Catholic family was to have been named Mary. But the will of her father prevailed and she was christened Asin instead. The word Asin signifies the colour white and in turn denotes purity. White and ochre are normally the chosen colours of seekers, savants and ages.

Asin’s father is a former CBI officer while mother Seline is a surgeon. While Joseph was decoding and cracking criminal and civil cases, Seline chaperoned and fashioned Asin’s career. The family migrated to Chennai from Kochi and eventually dropped anchor at Mumbai where Asin became a household name and carved a niche for herself.

It would not be out of place to mention that this gifted artiste is an accomplished Bharatnatyam dancer. Perhaps learning the craft has helped her in enacting a melange of roles.

She has been extremely expressive in the presence of camera, is remarkably photogenic and performs dance sequences with remarkable felicity.

This polyglot is an English graduate who has mastered several languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Sanskrit, English, Hindi, French and Italian and even knows a smattering of German and Spanish! No mean achievement. One reckons very few film stars and starlets would have the time, the passion or the tenacity to learn languages as varied as these.

Asin was once called the ‘Queen of Kollywood’. She made her acting debut in the year 2001 in the Malayalam movie ‘Narendran Makan Jayakanthan Vaka’.

Soon this multi-faceted and talented actress made a foray into Tollywood by acting in ‘Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi’ in the year 2003. Like her peerless and illustrious senior, Padmini from Kerala, Asin dubbed for all her performances.

There followed a spate of movies like Sivakasi, Ghajini (in Tamil), Pokkiri, Vel and the much acclaimed Dasavatharam. The Government of Tamil Nadu was singularly impressed with the varied nuances in the film and crowned her with the title ‘Kalaimamani’.

The cute and pretty actress continued to scale the summit and was decorated with the ‘Pride of South India Cinema’ Award by SIMA.

‘Ghajini’ in Bollywood was a turning point in her career and Asin went on to star in ‘Houseful 2’, ‘Ready’, ‘Bol Bachchan’and ‘Khiladi 786’, acting opposite all major artistes of Bollywood. Now she was well and truly hot property and a household name.

Stardom and popularity naturally made her gravitate towards endorsing a wide spectrum of products and brands such as Avon, Mirinda, Colgate, Tanishq, Big Bazaar, Spinz, Lux, Amruthanjan, Parachute and several health care products.

Once an individual reaches dizzying heights, it is quite difficult to call it quits, to say goodbye to all the trappings and adulation that come with being a popular and successful movie star. But this is precisely what Asin chose to do when she entered into wedlock with Rahul Sharma, owner of Micro Max, in the year 2016. A baby girl was born to the proud parents on 24 October, 2017.

Asin is extremely passionate about issues pertaining to women and was to once famously say, ‘This cause is probably one of the biggest women-centric issues in our country. I support the education of six children each year, five of which are girls. I have closely worked with these children and I know that if given the opportunity, women can educate themselves much better and know what is wrong or right for them. Education is a basic right and women should not be deprived of that.’

Also Read:Asin Enjoying Motherhood

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