Seema remembers her husband, the late director IV Sasi
The actress recounts her relationship with the renowned director who passed away suddenly today
It was 1977 and Seema was waiting with a dancer Manisha for a film shoot at the Vijaya Gardens in Chennai. Suddenly, she heard somebody snapping his fingers. It was the film director IV Sasi. Manisha said, “Why is the director calling us by snapping his fingers? Why can't he use our names?”
Seema remained silent. Then Sasi said, “Hey, come here.”
She replied, “I am not a dog for you to call me by snapping your fingers.”
Sasi said there was a dance sequence in his film, Ee Manohara Theeram, and asked Seema whether she would do it. Seema declined. Sasi did not say anything. The next day, dance master Vaikom Murthy went to Seema’s house and requested her to accept.
Seema decided to ask for a huge sum of money. Surprisingly, Sasi agreed. She then asked for more. And again Sasi agreed. “I said, ‘Give me the money first’,” says Seema. “And, amazingly, he sent it.”
So Seema had no option but to dance in the film. And it was after the shoot was over that Sasi fell in love with her.
In the meantime, Sasi had begun work on Avalude Ravukal (Her Nights). Not surprisingly, all the established heroines refused to act in it because the role was that of a prostitute. Sasi did make-up tests and took photo stills of Seema. He liked what he saw, and selected her. It was a path-breaking movie and established Seema as a sexy siren in Malayalam films. By now, both of them were in a relationship.
But it was only on August 28, 1980, that they got married, at the Mangadu temple, near Chennai.
Over the years, Seema realised that cinema was Sasi’s first love, or, as she says, “It was his first wife. I had no problems with that. It was through films that we have earned our bread and butter.”
In fact, so intense was Sasi's commitment that when a film’s release day neared, he went through enormous stress. And, irrespective of whether it was a hit or a flop, the director suffered from an upset stomach for a week. “That showed his commitment,” says Seema.
But the two of them were like chalk and cheese. While Sasi never talked, Seema is loud and voluble. “In 33 years we must have spoken to each other for 15 days,” she says. The couple have two children, daughter Anu and son Ani.