A wedding took place in a hotel in Kochi on November 25th which shook the whole of Kerala and made the Malayalees (that includes me)! sit before the TV screens and the internet. It was between the famous on-screen pair, Dileep and Kavya Madhavan who 'officially' became the off-screen pair from Nov 25th, 2016. Dileep had earlier married the popular star Manju Warrier but got divorced sometime in 2015. They have a teenage daughter Meenakshi. It was second wedding for Kavya too, who had divorced a Dubai-based banker. Dileep is a popular Malayalam star, though not a super star like Mamooty, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, and hence is not known much outside Kerala. When he announced all of a sudden that he is going to tie the knot to Kavya on 25th morning, the whole of Kerala came to a virtual standstill that morning. All the Malayalam news channels were telecasting live their wedding. Everybody absorbed every moment of it like a sponge. The boons and banes of demonetization took a back seat that day. Dileep made an announcement that they are getting married and that they need everybody's blessings and appealed to stop putting negative comments about them. It might look unusual about that appeal to those who do not know the facts behind this wedding.
As everything is available on the google and many sites, I am making the long story short. Dileep married Manju Warrier in 1998 when Manju's career was at peak, and she being known as the lady superstar. She essayed strong characters on-screen with elan and the roles were tailor made for her. Most of the superstars acted as sidekicks in her films. Before the time of Manju Warrier, I do not know of any other heroine who has carried the whole film on her shoulders, except maybe Sarada in some films. Her abrupt end in films left a huge void which was not fully filled. The audiences felt the pain until her comeback in 2013 after her separation/divorce. Dileep was a struggling actor in 1998. It is believed that he did not allow her to act or give dance performances after their wedding. Then came in Kavya as heroine with Dileep in the film 'Chandran udikkunna dikkil' which became a runaway hit and henceforth they became favourite on-screen couple to act in over 20 films. Dileep's popularity soared and there was no turning back. The long standing affair between this couple gave rise to lot of rumours, gossips and to feed it, Kavya got divorced from a Dubai banker after the marriage of 6 months. This was like final straw.
I was not following the state of their 'affairs', except that I was happy to see Manju Warrier making a comeback. So when I saw last week about the news of their wedding in FB, my interest was piqued. Just like every other Malayalee, I watched their live wedding in the channels. Dileep wed Kavya in presence of his daughter Meenakshi and film stars like Mamooty, Jayaram, Menaka, Kaviyoor Ponnamma etc. It was interesting and amusing to see the endless trolls, jokes which was also merged with demonitization. Though Dileep was addressed as 'people's favorite star', the reactions that poured in suggested anything but 'favourite star'. Every other person became a moralist condemning Dileep and Kavya and the outpouring and endless words of support for Manju which was evident in their pages. While all of us were waiting for Manju's response, she was more conspicuous with her stoic silence and there was some eeriness about that. It was the first time that I was seeing this kind of emotions like anger, support, passion, displayed as if the event happened in their own backyards. Every short Youtube videos were had lakhs of viewership within 2 days. Every bit of gossip was absorbed. This is an example of truth being stranger than fiction and all the elements are there for a writer to write a script for a sensational movie. Manju Warrier's character can be essayed out as a good woman and a 'victim' of circumstances and Dileep and Kavya Madhavan on the bad side. I am sure a movie will soon follow on this.
It is not the first time that movie stars get divorced and most of them remarry. It will not be the last time also. Major superstars in the Malayalam industry have managed to stay in their marriage and of course, most of them married who are not actresses. It might be a precaution not to fall into the inherent traps and tarnish their images. Dileep does not have the height or looks of a super star and the controversies that surrounded him made him unpopular. If Manju Warrier had to quit acting and dancing after her wedding, it was something which hurt many malayalees. And the affair with Kavya Madhavan only made the matters worse. Manju Warrier was elevated on pedestal after Dileep's 2nd marriage. It has to be noticed that there are equal or less number of people who wished well for Dileep and Kavya. Though I followed all these with great curiosity and interest, I was not that crazy. Even the movie stars have life beyond the screen and if they do not affect our lives, it is better not to be over judgmental about them. After divorce, Manju is living life in her own terms and very much in the limelight. I am only happy for her. How Dileep and Kavya chart out their lives is their headache, at the end of the day.