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Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:26 pm

“My family is my first priority” – Menaka

Actress Menaka, who essayed powerful lead roles with Mohanlal and Shankar is on a comeback trail. After 19 years she makes a comeback as heroine in small screen. "I never said that I've stopped acting. Now that my daughter has finished her tenth standard, I'd like to have a second coming." says Menaka. Excerpts from the interview

For how long had you been behind the screen?
19 years. But all these years, many good offers came in search of me. But I refused those offers since my first priority was my family. The role offered was good. The name of the serial is Kaliveedu directed by Purushothaman and produced by A R Radhakrishnan. The script excited me a lot and the role was a challenging one. The story is that of a woman deceived by her husband and who faces problems boldly.

Will you act in films and your opinion about current day films?
No! In films, you will be away from the family for at least twenty days. I'll accept offers only if I am able to manage both. The films taken now are not as good as the films of the 80s and 90s. A Malayali touch is lacking in the films now. I was quite inspired by the recently released film Kazhcha. Even Saphalam released earlier was a good one. Rarely can one can see films like these. If films like Oppol and Panchagini were released now, it wouldn't have turned a hit.

Do you have friends in filmdom now?
I don't have any close friends, but am friendly with everybody. I have a good rapport with Mammootty's family. Suresh Kumar my husband is a producer and my two daughters are Revathy and Keerthy. Revathy is in the XI and Keerthi in the VIII standards. They like music and can play the keyboard, Hindustani and are interested in painting also.
As my husband Suresh Kumar is in the film field, I am aware of all the film related news. Mohanlal and director Priyadarshan are my husband's close friends. I spend two to three hours, talks with everybody and then leave the location.

Your hobbies?
My obsession is dance and my guru is Padma Subramaniam. A few days back I rang to wish her on her birthday. I told her about my decision to act and she was so happy to hear that. I have a plan to start a dance school, but won't teach anybody to get a Kalathilakam. It is only three years since I started doing oil and mural paintings and has painted pictures of Guruvayurappan and Ganapathy. Next have to try Meenakshi Kalyanam. I have done nib and Tanjore paintings and should learn to draw sceneries.

Do you watch serials?
No. I used to watch Radhika's Tamil serial Chitthi and later became addicted to that. I like to watch painting programmes and cookery show.

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