The enormous hall was not lit. Guests hadn’t started arriving. A reporter stifled a yawn and read the morning newspaper. Besides the huge screen on the stage, on which many pictures of Jyothika appeared in random order, there weren’t many signs of a grand event that was scheduled to unfold. However, I could hear Suriya’s voice in the auditorium. He had arrived early to ensure that everything would go as planned – at the audio launch of 36 Vayadhinile.
Produced by Suriya under his production banner 2D Entertainment (named after his children Diya and Dev), 36 Vayadhinile brings Jyothika back to cinema after eight years. The actress went on a hiatus after getting married to Suriya. Radha Mohan’s Mozhi was her last film. “Whenever I go out, fans scold me. ‘Eppo sir, Jo thiruppi varuvaanga?’ That is the question I have been facing in the last few years. Now, I finally have an answer for that,” began Suriya. Although the actor didn’t admit that he set up a production house only to make a film with his wife, many guests voiced the thought: that it was his effort to present Jyothika to the Tamil cinema audience again.
36 Vayadhinile, the remake of Malayalam film How Old Are You, is 2D Entertainment’s maiden venture. “Our production house would focus on making socially responsible movies. For instance, 36 Vayadhinile implies that there is no expiry date for women’s dreams. Their talent should not be contained,” he said.
Santhosh Narayanan has composed music and Vivek has written the lyrics. The writer said that he has included a secret tribute to Suriya and Jyothika, in the track Pogiren. He recited the song, and paused here:
Oru sooriya theeyil, jothi valarthida pogiraen…
When quite a few guests – including Bala, Sivakumar, Venkat Prabhu, Karthi, Radha Mohan, KS Ravikumar – had extolled Jyothika’s virtues, she was invited to address the audience. Unlike her onscreen persona, Jyothika was calm and reserved. “I am very nervous today,” she said. “I wasn’t quite sure about leaving the children back at home, and resuming work. I discussed with my friends, who thought I deserved a holiday. My friends motivated me do this film.”
When the long list of thanks ended, she went silent for a few seconds. Then, “Husband and wife thanks solla koodaadhu. But, I want to thank Suriya. He was the first person whom I met on coming to Chennai. I am so proud that I am married to him. Suriya en ulagam…”
Then, while Diya and Dev launched the audio, the other guests received it.
Listen to all songs from 36 Vayadhinile here.