Jeevan Stephen | Photo: Special Arrangements
Jeevan Mammen Stephen, known for his realistic performances in 'Karikku' opens up about his Christmas celebrations in an exclusive interview with mathrubhumidotcom.
Growing up, I used to celebrate Christmas mostly at my school. Singing carol songs, playing skits along with fellow kids and teachers, that was my way of celebration.
While living in Thiruvananthapuram, I and some friends used to pool money, buy decoratives and set up Christmas trees and cribs in the neighbourhood.
However, things changed by the time I joined college. The idea of going for trips with friends swept in and celebrations took a different mode altogether. One time, out of sheer love for snow, I had even gone out on a trip to Manali during the Christmas season, only to freeze in the chilling climate.
That's all past now. Ever since getting employed, December 25 has become more of a holiday to spend some quality time with family and loved ones.
First step in acting
Christmas has direct links with my acting career as my first ever acting effort was for a Christmas skit in which I played the role of a shepard. Later, when I was in class 6, I played the role of the ghost of the Christmas present in another play. That too, byhearting all my lines for the very first time.
Grandpa's X'mas stories
No matter how much you enjoy Christmas holidays with your friends, the best part is when you visit your grandparents' house. I have always cherished the time I spent with my grandpa and grandma, hearing Christmas stories and having yummy meals together.
The cultural diversity and elements of imagination rooted in Christmas celebrations across the world, particularly in countries like Russia and Norway, have always amazed me. I came to know about many such practices, like countries celebrating Christmas in January, through these granny tales.
Somehow, I have always found Christmas to be a festival that spreads virtue among children. If you stay a good child, then Santa Claus will bring you presents. That’s what we are taught to believe, right?
Christmas offers kids an opportunity to behave themselves and make the right choices. I think this might be the reason that there are numerous Christmas movies centered on children, like ‘The Gringe’, ‘The Christmas Carol’, ‘The Polar Express’, ‘Home Alone’ among others.
Favourite X'mas dish
During my childhood, ahead of Christmas, my mother (Sheela) used to buy cakes and gift it to my relatives. She didn't know how to bake cakes at the time.
But, later on, she bought an oven and decided to give baking a shot. I’ve always admired the deed and asked her to begin wine-making too.
Because of all these wonderful memories, 'cake' is the first thing that comes to my mind when it comes to Christmas tastes.
X'mas, then and now
To tell the truth, the past innocence is all gone now. With time, we all are pushed into reality from our fantasies.
The old me was always eager to do things and explore on my own. Now, happiness lies in spending time with family.
Whatever be the festivity, what’s important is unity. It’s all about finding happiness in whatever little we have and spending time with those we love.
Karikku fun mode
Not just Christmas, whatever be the celebration, our whole Karikku team will get together at least for a day and enjoy thoroughly. We'll talk, dance and have fun. I’ve had lots of amusing experiences with them.
For instance, the climax fight scene in ‘Scoot’ was shot during the Christmas season in 2020. After the shoot, we all got together, cut a cake and celebrated to our hearts’ delight. I still remember some natives screaming ‘Happy Christmas’ at us and passing on their ways.
Fame and acceptance
I am definitely happy for all the fame and acceptance that Karikku has given me. Beyond that, I’ve always felt that people have a special kind of closeness towards us. They don’t see us as stars. Rather consider us as their own family members.
If they are able to see a nobody like us as one among themselves, then what more can we ask for!
During the pandemic, several doctors and nurses used to ring us up and tell how Karikku brought smile to their faces even in the midst of stress and tensions. Hearing experiences like that is very much delightful.
What's in the pipeline?
Currently, the scripting of a new web series is underway. The post production work of another one is almost over. Updates about its release will be posted on Karikku soon.
This year, I am planning to spend Christmas with my family. The pandemic had been hard on all of us for the last two years. Hence, I am hoping to celebrate this year's Christmas happily with my family.