Aasha Paul…

I have been in search of fresh faces for different roles in Neelathamara for more than six months. It is quite interesting to see how each character got corresponding face! But till the final week of shoot I did not find an actress who could be cast as mother of `Rathnam’, played by Samvritha. This character, I thought, must have an aristocratic, sophisticated beauty as she is the wife of a leading advocate. Hence I kept wishing for a different face each time somebody showed a photograph. As the shoot crossed ten days the wait started touching my anxiety level. I was aware that the scene has to be shot within two or three days.


Producer Suresh Kumar’s friends Prof.Paul Mani and his wife Asha Paul visited the set one evening. They were having a leisurely outing with a group of friends. I was introduced to the couple. Instantly a thought flashed my mind. It was almost sure that I found the actress to be cast as advocate Balan Menon’s wife. After routine queries Asha and Paul gave their consent. I thought Asha enjoyed this moment as she remembered being asked by the crew of ‘Koodevide’ for a short appearance. Her friends who came along said they would be more than happy to see her in the role. The details of the scene were explained with the time and date of shoot. Before leaving the location she came with a request. “Do I really have to wear a saree?” she asked. “Of course”, I confirmed. “I have difficulty in wearing Saree”… my heart skipped a beat! Oh.., now what?! My mind wandered…is it some kind of fuss?! But her face showed genuine concern. “My back is not suitable to be shown on camera, in a Saree.. She explained. To avoid more trouble I responded that the shot would be from front. May be she thought I shouldn’t be kept in dark about this secret in her daily life and provided rest of the story…

Asha had a very bad fall about seven years back during one of her routine visits to her children’s school in Ooty. It was from a staircase. She hit ground after numerous somersaults. They tried Ayurveda near their home in Thachampara, Mannarcad. The damage worsened. After sometime she was taken to a hospital in Coimbatore for surgery. Instead of correcting the problem, the surgery paralysed almost whole of her body. As a last resort they approached Dr.Parthipan of KMCH hospital, Coimbatore. And it has been a fierce ground battle for the last six years, by replacing four spinal discs and undergoing eleven surgeries. Paul did everything and more; Children and friends stayed close. “This accident is a gift. I wouldn’t have been enriched with the capacity of understanding people from the bottom of their reality, if I didn’t go through the trauma!” she concludes. Knowing her story and experiencing the positive attitude she carried throughout her association with Neelathamara my feeling is much higher than gratitude and surprise… Words fail to express the grace of human Will….

During the scene, though I knew she was comfortable enough to perform, my mind stayed close to her… Observing each movement… Thinking we had something precious among us to care for…!

Advertisements

27 responses

  1. It is a real peasure to see and read how you pick certain characters for your film. I do not miss many of them but this blog on Asha Chechi who is my professors wife. I know them at various stages of the fight and she comes out in flying colors with a great smile on her face. You have really gone thru the entire history in so small a time in between your Busy schedule No doubt you are a success in your field and may god give you enough oppurtunities to find more & more finds like this All the best

  2. hey .. good to know that asha is acting in a film. Being a close friend of hers all i can say is that she is a great friend, full of energy…i have always admired her for her courage and will and her easy going attitude. i wish this sudden change in her life bring her lot of luck and happiness. M very proud to say she is my friend.
    Thanks to Lal jose and his team and all the wishes for the success of this movie and the ones yet to come! 🙂

  3. I really surprised to read this lively story. I heard about Mr Paul Mani And Asha paul very well through my friend Mr Sivakumar Kalladikode. He always spents his time for telling about his pioneer teacher Mr. Paul Mani and all. I am really appreciating her experiencing positive attittude and extraordinary confidence towards life. I would like to inform you that my sincere thanks to u for made a part of her for this auspicious film called “Neelathamara”. We will always pray to the GREAT GOD to give whole happiness throughout Ashachechies life.

  4. I am very happy to hear the news from Paul Sir because am persnally have in touch with Paul Sir and Aashachechi. I know both of them very well. Paul Sir is my beloved Teacher or Guru ( like that of a guide, elder brother or a good friend). Yesterday evening i got the message from sir to watch the site. Am totally surprised after read this blog with full of joyness. I really appreciate to you to identify the positive attitude and cofidence of Aashachehi. Am always praying to the Great GOD to give all sorts of peace and happiness throughout their life. I can’t express the relation with Paul Sir through words. Once more I congratulate Ashachehi to perform the role very well.Am eagerly awaiting to see that performance on the screen.
    By Sivakumar (Kalladikkode-Palakkad) Now from Dubai- U.A.E.

  5. Dear laljose,

    I don’t know how to express my feeling after reading your words. I am a student of Paul Sir. But he is not just a teacher for me but much more than that. The support and motivation of Asha Chechy and Paul Sir was with me whenever I am need. The sad incidences, which hunt Asha Chechy directly and Paul Sir indirectly, hurt me a lot. I felt guilty always when I think about me being away from them during these periods.

    We cannot press ‘Rewind’ and correct the incidents occurred. But what you did was a great thing. Thanks a lot for this nice action and the greatness to express it through your blog.

    Abdul Akbar Vengaseri

  6. Lal sir,
    This blog remind me what you said 7yrs back,after the release of ‘Meesamadhavan’. ‘This succes is the benediction extended by Him to the tears I wept”And I think it is True…

  7. The casting of Asha Paul in ‘Neelathaamara’ does not surprise me, since you have made some excellent casting earlier. One cannot easily forget the mourning face of Salim kumar in ‘Achanurangaatha veedu’. So is Muktha as his daughter, her fascination turned to grief in a short time. When you join hands with M.T.Vasudevan Nair, the genius observer, our expectations are nothing less than a great film. All the best !

  8. It’s been quite interesting to read about the way you cast for your films. And I believe that is one of the secrets behind your film ‘s success. we realise that you are in search of new faces for your films from your blog and I am one of them who want to put portfolios to class directors like you. But we don’t know the way to approach you. I could find two websites of yours , but only one of them working and the other one has’ nt got any contact details. It will be good if the websites are given some contact mail id’s. Lots of new faces could get an opportunity to knock the door of the image making business through that.

  9. Knowing Asha Paul before and through her spinal condition , her venturing into acting in the movie Neelathamara vindicates Dr Parthipan’s observation that it is her mind that has to decide whether she must take a physical setback as a permanent disability.
    It is really fascinating to note how director Lal Jose happened to cast her in the roll for which he was in desperate hunt for the ideal person.

    Kudos to the two who really matter here director Lal Jose and Dr Parthipan.

  10. Hai paul chettan and chechi
    It is a real pleasure and surprise to see ASHA chechi as a actress.Occassionally I used to talk with chettan and chechi.They never discloses the seriousness of her condition.Same way we appreciating her positive thinking towards life.Praying many more opportunities,wish u all the best wishes ,happiness and success in life.

    Thanks to Lal jose and his team and all the wishes for the success of this movie and the ones yet to come!

    By Basheer from enigineering kuwait airways-kuwait,Rausiba basheer,Anisa,Aslah and Asim

  11. Indeed a pleasant surprise for me to know that Ashachechi is making her acting debut in the Laljose movie “Neelathamara” . I know them (Paulchayan & Ashachechi) for the past 20 years & without any hesitation I can say that I haven’t met a couple like them in my life. They are more like friends than husband & wife. Always full of energy , fun n’ laughs – with a great sense of humour.

    Being known Ashachechi for so long I can say with full confidence that Laljose has made the right choice in selecting her for the role and that she will rise up to his expectations.

    I wish her all the best in her new endeavour .

    ” Behind every successful man there’s his wife. Or, is it, behind every successful woman, there’s the love, care and support of her husband ”

    Paulchayan and Ashachechy…………………. You guys are awesome.

    I’ve met Sri.Laljose once during the dubbing of “Kireedamillatha
    Rajakkanmar “, in Chennai many years back. Now he’s matured into one of the leading directors of the Malayalam movie industry. Frankly Sri.Laljose doesn’t need any of the “BIG Stars” in Malayalam film industry to make hits. He has that Midas touch in making a down to earth subject like that of “Meesa Madhavan” into a big blockbuster.

    I would like to say that Sri.Laljose is really lucky to work with Sri.M. T. Vasudevan Nair, one of the most gifted Indian writers today. ( He’s my favourite too).

    I wish him all success & I’m sure that this movie will be a major milestone of his career.

  12. I met Mrs. Aasha Paul frm the location. Among the members in the unit her name is 2 be stated specifically. She is wonderful. She is always pleasant & soft spoken.Her husband Mr.Paul gives her full support. May GOD ALMIGHTY shower his blessings on them. Dear Aasha…I love U sweet…..

  13. My Mom is the Super-Heroine in my story!!

    No words to express the many painful days we successfully surpassed together.

    I owe this to The One Almighty writing our script ( i hope i am not being blasphemous by this comment), Appa, Mathai, Dr. Parthiban, Anil Uncle and Family, John Uncle and Sunitha Aunty, RK uncle and family, Suresh Mammen and family, Sandeep chettan, Sudheep chettan and to many others who prayed for us and was beside us at all times ( too many names to mention therefore keeping the list to a minimum), last but not the least Mr. Laljose and crew.

    I had met the Genius Mr. Laljose with much awe for the first time at Le Meridien Convention Centre, during a World Shipping Forum and at the same place on a friend’s wedding day. It was just a Hi – Bye sequence and a smile too. Will make up for those lost minutes soon, keeping fingers crossed.

    Without you all and Amma’s immense acts of courage and determination, all this would have just remained a dream, like always.

    Thank you all for giving my Amma a reason to smile and chance to shine in stardom!!!

    All the Best to Neelathamara on its journey to a huge box-office smash hit.

    I Love You Sweetheart!!!

    Mani Paul a.k.a Bachu

    @ Suresh Mammen and Sandeep Chettan – My request is still pending and collecting dust!!!! hehehe

  14. My Mom is a Super-Heroine in my story!!

    No words to express the many painful days we successfully surpassed together.

    I owe this to The One Almighty writing our script (i hope i am not being blasphemous by this comment), Appa, Mathai, Dr. Parthiban, Anil Uncle and Family, John Uncle and Sunitha Aunty, RK uncle and family, Suresh Mammen and family, Sandeep chettan, Sudheep chettan and to many others who prayed for us and was beside us at all times (too many names to mention therefore keeping the list to a minimum), last but not the least Mr. Laljose and crew (Revathy Kalaamandhir)

    I had met the Genius Mr. Laljose with much awe for the first time at Le Meridien Convention Centre, during a World Shipping Forum and at the same place on a friend’s wedding day. It was just a Hi – Bye sequence and a smile too. Will make up for those lost minutes soon, keeping fingers crossed.

    Without you all and Amma’s immense acts of courage and determination, all this would have just remained a dream, like always.
    Thank you all for giving my Amma a reason to smile and chance to shine in stardom!!!

    I wish the best and good luck for Neelathamara on its journey to becoming a huge box-office smash hit.

    I Love You Sweetheart!!!

    Mani Paul a.k.a Bachu

    @ Suresh Mammen and Sandeep Chettan – My request is still pending and collecting dust!!!! hehehe

  15. Dear Mr Jose,
    I am writing this from Nairobi,Kenya.
    I was going thru the your blog and caught my attention in a section where you had mentioned casting of Asha Paul.
    I have got very fond memories of Asha and Paul during my stay at Coimbatore..
    Asha is one of the most positive persons that I have come across..

    Thank you for making her feel “cared for” and wanted.

    I was informed that she acted in a movie but didn’t know that you have appreciated her efforts thru your blog.

    Let me stop this by mentioning one of my favorite quotes…

    “Let the the dreams of the future be better than the history of the past!”

    Best Regards
    Kumar

  16. Dear Paul sir,……
    I think the God Almighty leading us to the joy moments in our life.It is really happy moment to me that your beloved wife “Asha Chechy”is doing a role in Lal Jose sir’s new film “Neelathamara”.I appreceate you in giving full support and confidence in her new endeavour……..my hearty prayers to you and your family……….

  17. Take a look on my site. Just a poster for you. Its says How I love the Film & how i love the song (title song + Anuraaga Vilo…) beautiful Songs special thanks to Shreya & Sreekumar.

  18. It was an interesting read and the statement from Asha, This accident is a gift. I wouldn’t have been enriched with the capacity of understanding people from the bottom of their reality, if I didn’t go through the trauma!” is truly inspiring. What a profound way to look at life and its setbacks!!

  19. Dear Asha chechi,
    Ayyoo eyaa! (that`s what we called her when she was young & when I was young also) It `s great to see you on neelathamara , wishing you & paulchayan all the best.
    Sunil & Reni

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s