‘My anklet is made of my father’s sweat’: Manju Warrier
Actress Manju Warrier’s father Madhavan Warrier had been working as an accountant in a private company. He was an ordinary father who always offered his support to the dreams and desires of his daughter despite the financial difficulties. When Madhavan Warrier succumbed to cancer, Manju lost not only a father but also a close friend who stood firm like a pillar to lean on when crises struck her hard in life.
Manju Warrier had told in many interviews that her dance anklet was made of her father’s sweat. It was widely discussed when Manju became emotional while talking about her father for a promotional video of the film ‘Appa’ by Samuthirakani. When Manju gave an interview to Mathrubhumi.com on World Dance Day, she kept talking about her father.
Manju’s words on her father
“My father lent money and joined chit funds to get me schooled. He would start saving money a lot ahead of the beginning of next academic year. When their company provided train fare, he saved it and travelled by bus. My mother’s gold ornaments were mortgaged at that time. I happened to know all about this only very late. Father and mother had a ring to wear only recently. We had at least a rented house to stay then.
When father’s workplace shifted according to his transfer, my parents used to ensure if there were good dance teachers rather than inquiring about schools nearby. I was crowned twice as Kalathilakam in State School Youth Festival when we were residing in Kannur. Lohi Sir (Director Lohithadas) called to me to ‘Sallapam’ seeing my photos in newspaper. I used to attend dance programmes even after entering film industry.
After my marriage, a long gap occurred in dance practice too. Later, when Geetha Padmakumar teacher came to our home to teach dance to my daughter Meenakshi, I just tried to practice the steps for fun. I had already told her that it had been years since I practiced dance, so it might not come right. But on the second day, the teacher said that I had not forgotten anything, because the dance base was excellent. I felt very happy listening to her words. I called my mother at that night itself and told her what the teacher said.
In my childhood, when I returned from dance class, my mother used to make me practice the steps to ensure that I have learned them thoroughly. Then I was more interested in playing and sitting idle. But my mother did not let me skip practicing. In fact, she was instilling what my teachers taught me.
My mother’s passion and my father’s sacrifice made me a dancer. My father understood my mother’s wish and my talent. He offered complete support and encouragement even when he struggled hard and forgot his own needs. He bid chit funds, sold gold ornaments and borrowed money to help me participate in youth festivals. Ours was a middle class family. So I feel sometimes that my anklet is made of my father’s sweat.”