Abhirami Venkatachalam: A glance is enough sometimes to begin liking someone
The Nerkonda Paarvai actor dwells on her Bigg Boss stint that was punctuated with tears
There’s an English saying that goes: The candle burns brightest just before it goes out. This applies to Abhirami Venkatachalam's stint at Bigg Boss Tamil Season 3. For someone criticised for being moody, and shedding tears easily, she was quite different in the days leading to her eviction. "If I had shown this side earlier, I am sure I would have been saved from eviction," says Abhirami, who recently starred in the recent Ajith film, Nerkonda Paarvai. So consumed was she by her affection for fellow contestant Mugen that the host Kamal Haasan noted that it was not productive and was hindering the latter’s progress. "At that moment, the question was only directed to me. I didn't think it was fair. I was hurt," says Abhirami, who adds that despite the various oscillations in her relationship with Mugen, both have a solid understanding.
Abhirami’s transformation could also be attributed to the re-entry of Vanitha Vijayakuymar into the house, which aggravated quite a few conflicts. Abhirami doesn't agree. "Ever since Kamal sir spoke to me on Saturday, I made the decision to give Mugen space. I'd reached a saturation point, emotionally. The luxury budget task proved to be a thankful distraction. And then, Vanitha akka entered the house. We were shocked, yes, but were happy too. We did miss her," says Abhirami. She credits Vanitha for giving her the right answers, but doesn’t think it’s fair to say she’s the reason for all the wrongs in the house. "The way we handled the truths she told us wasn’t right. Mugen and I should both take responsibility for giving others the space to comment on our personal equation."
In a house, with 60 cameras and 15 strangers, how do you keep equations personal? Among the questions asked about romance inside the Bigg Boss house is whether it is possible in such quick time. "There are people on social media who passionately support Tharshan, Losliya, Mugen, and even me. How long have they known us? They see us for hardly an hour everyday. It is that impression we create in that one hour that has provided us with such passionate fans. There is no right time in which to like someone. A second… a glance is enough to like someone," says Abhirami.
The Bigg Boss Tamil contestant’s tenure is best known for her tendency to break down easily. "I'm an emotional person. When I cried, it wasn't just on a whim. There were reasons. It is not right to expect the people, who watch the show only for an hour, to understand them. I could have controlled my tears for four days at a stretch, and yet people would have seen a different side of me." While the audience may not have seen her during the remaining hours, it is to be noted that her housemates, who did, nominated her every single time for eviction. "I used to be upset about that. I never understood why I was constantly nominated. The same people who nominated me would share a lunch table with me. I ate with a heavy heart," says Abhirami, who also faced criticism for her constant use of English. "I did not do that to show off. I believe there is no better language than Tamil, but all my English speaking is on account of my upbringing and schooling. I admit that it is a shame I couldn't speak consistently in Tamil. The audience may have liked me better if I had."
The Bigg Boss audience has shown that it supports those who take a strong stand in matters. One of the major talking points of the show was the triangular trouble between Kavin, Sakshi, and Losliya. Despite being in good terms with all of them, Abhirami never tried to broker peace between them. "I felt bad about their vulnerability. In principle, I don't involve myself in other people’s personal problems unless they approach me with it. I didn’t want to cause more pain, and so, spoke about other things with Sakshi to distract her. I think of Losliya as my sister. All I told them was to not forget the reason they were here in the first place. It was solid advice that I should have followed too."
The Bigg Boss house is not starved of advice, especially after Vanitha's reentry. There was an accusation that the show had become about the quarrel between boys and girls. Abhirami vehemently disagrees with this. "Even the ones saying that don’t really mean it," says Abhirami, but is quick to add that she did tell the boys to be self-aware about the implications of some of the songs they sang.
During the release of Nerkonda Paarvai, Abhirami was inside the house. Does she regret being a part of this show? "I felt bad that I missed out on watching an Ajith sir film on the day of its release with my friends and teammates. However, I knew the audience would accept me for what I am in the Bigg Boss house. I think people see me as both Bigg Boss Abhirami and Nerkonda Paarvai's Famitha."