Location Diaries: Jomol and the joy of winning awards
The actress talks about her experiences in the films, Mayilpeelikkavu and Punjabi House
The shoot for the song, Onnanam Kunninmel in the film, Mayilpeelikkavu (1998) was taking place inside a hall at Thiruvananthapuram. Jomol was clad in a black top, leggings and black shoes. She was acting opposite Kunchacko Boban, who was also dressed in black -- black jacket and black trousers.
The floor was made of a large white sheet with black etchings at different places. It was a dance sequence. But as she began moving on the floor, Jomol slipped and hit her head on the floor.
"I felt a severe pain in my head," she says. "Then I was rushed to the hospital and was given an injection to lessen the pain. The doctor told me to rest. So I returned to the hotel. After a while the pain became less. I wanted to resume shooting but Anil [Babu, director] said no. The shooting resumed the next day."
After this painful incident, Jomol experienced a moment of joy. She was aware she was on the short-list for the state award for best actress.
On one particular day, it was announced that the awards would be announced in the afternoon. But post-lunch, there was no announcement. Then Jomol was told that the jury was still going through the screenings. There was no announcement the entire day. "I was quite anxious," says Jomol.
The next day Jomol got a call at her hotel and told that she had won: for Ennu Swantham Janakikutty.
Expectedly, she got a lot of congratulatory calls from friends, colleagues and the media. But her happiest moment occurred when, on the set, her father [KA John] came and gave her a tap on the back. "My dad is a non-expressive type of person, so this pat showed how much he felt proud of me," says Jomol. "It was the most memorable moment for me."
Jomol had another memorable moment on the sets of Punjabi House. The climax was being shot in a house at Kochi in March, 1998. All the top stars were there. They included Dileep, Lal, Janardhanan, NF Varghese, Cochin Haneefa, Harisree Ashokan as well as the directors Rafi and MeCartin.
Then a call came on the landline. "In those times, when a call came on the landline, it was usually because of an emergency," says Jomol. Soon, somebody came to Jomol and told her the call was for her. "As I walked towards the phone, I felt nervous," says Jomol. "I was wondering what happened and why I had got the call, and that, too, on the landline of this house."
A smiling Dileep said, "Jomol, it may be a call from your college saying that you had missed too many classes."
When Jomol picked up the phone, it was Dinesh Panicker, the producer of Mayilpeelikkavu. He told Jomol she had won a national award. Jomol was shocked to hear the news. Later, she came to know that it was a Special Jury Mention award for her role in Ennu Swantham Janakikutty. When she returned to the set, everybody was curious to know who had called her.
Jomol said, "I have won a National Award."
Immediately, there was a collective, "What!!!?"
Jomol said, "Exactly!"
Soon, there was an eruption of joy on the set. People ordered ice cream and chocolates. It was distributed to everybody. There was loud clapping and cheers. "I was in a daze," says Jomol. "I was still not sure. But when it was announced on the TV, I finally realised it was true."