What Saira Banu tells about Manju Warrier

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What Saira Banu tells about Manju Warrier

Posted on : Thursday 23rd of March 2017

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Manju Warrier was at a difficult crossroads three years ago. She was about to return to her parents’ house at Pullu near Thrissur. Asked about her future plans, she said, “I have been losing sleep over that question. I have no idea where my life is headed to.” She looked worried over the prospect of hooking on to her parents. I asked her if she would return to her acting career. She said she did not know yet. “I don’t know if I am still needed. It has been 14 years since I last acted.”

She was miserably isolated. She talked very little. Now, when I watch her character in C/O Saira Banu, I am reminded of the lonely woman I met three years ago.

Saira Banu was Manju Warrier herself in many aspects. She smiled even when she was isolated and kept her worries to herself. She had acted the part brilliantly.

However, Manju’s life has changed in three years. She is always concerned about the poor and the destitute and finds time for them. She spent an entire day with the children of Attappadi who topped Manorama’s Nalla Padam project. She did not have anything to gain from that gesture but her kindness led her.

She goes to many places without fanfare. She went to a tribal hamlet in Wayanad and no one knew about it.

When a fellow actress was attacked by goons, she held her close for days. She was one reason for the victim to feel safe after the ordeal.

Manju shares a significant part of the proceeds from her dance shows with the poor even though she is not financially secure.

Saira Banu stands out in Malayalam movies. That character reminds us that we do not have many actors who can play it like Manju. There are many scenes marked by humility and pathos. Manju the actor is still intact, much like the days when she pulled off characters such as the one in ‘Kanmadam’. We do miss a writer like Lohithadas.

Manju the actor is back and anyone who has been tracking her career could vouch for it. More significant is her return to her self. I was awestruck when I listened to her speaking in flawless English at star-studded event in Chennai. Her words were measured and her face was composed. Yet she was not acting.

It is not easy to walk with your head held high after a series of tragedies. Manju has built around her a social life in her second coming. Not many actors have bothered to get involved in social issues in Kerala.

Manju is supportive of many persons just by her presence. Her commitment to issues does not end with a press conference.

You can criticize or hate her but you can never forget that this woman found her footing after a fall and paved her own path and shed light for others to follow.

Her personal survival is even greater than her success in movies. She is playing her part wonderfully in accordance with the scrip written by God.

Manju’s eyes revealed the angst in her when she joined her colleagues in protest of the attack on her fellow actress. Saira Banu revealed such an emotion, shared by hundreds of thousands of women in Kerala.

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