Arya Samaj temple, Waltax Road, Chennai is the scene of a major activity today, Sunday, 7th August 2011. The Arya Purohits in new white dhoti and yellow uttariya are briskly giving finishing touches to preparations for a major Havan and reception of eminent personalities of the Tamilnadu filmdom. The Pradhan and Mantri of the Arya Samaj look calm and collected as they take even major activities in the normal stride of life. It is neither Diwali nor Holi but the place wears a festive look alright.
Who doesn’t know Nayanthara. She has made a name in the South Indian cine-world and given top performance in many a movie currently running in the cinema halls in Chennai and other big and small towns.
Ramayan is the recent film that she performed in and acted as SITA under the direction of reputed director, Bapu. She played her role with emotion and lived it from A to Z. On the last day of the shoot, she lay prostrate at the feet of director Bapu and other senior members of the team. She was blessed by one and all.
Born in a Kerala Christian household, the baby girl was named Diana Mariam Kurian and was baptised as such. She grew to be a pretty woman to whom every eye turned again and again to have a relook. Her facial expressions, the face in general and doe-eyes in particular made it clear that the film world in Chennai was her destination. And she made it.
Nayanthara is the name that she chose for herself and wished to be known as such. She made a name for herself as an actress and won the admiration of the lay man, an average cine-buff as well as film critics. Bouquets came to her from all directions and rarely did she encounter a brickbat. Nayanthara did not have to look back. Her people back home in Kerala admired her talent and were proud of her. A Malyalee girl doing excellent work on stage andscreen in Tamil cultural centre was an achievement in itself. Of course, she had the shining example of MGR or Ramachandran who too was a Malyalee but was the blue eyed actor of entire South India and became the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu. He was also a mentor of Jaylalitha,a top actor of yesteryears and present chief minister of Tamilnadu.
Prabhu Deva, a brilliant director and actor of Tamil cinema is a rising star known to who is who of the Tamil world. Nayanthara met Prabhu Deva on the ascending ladder of the Tamil cinema and the two liked each other in more ways than one. However, it was a Platonic friendship because Prabhu Deva, a Hindu and married to a Muslim girl could not take a second living wife. The Hindu Law did not permit it and he did not wish to be accused of bigamy in a court of law. Nevertheless, Nayanthara kept on admiring him and getting closer and closer professionally. She almost worshipped him as a god of the tinsel world.
IT HAD TO HAPPEN
One fine morning Prabhu Deva divorced his Muslim wife. Now he was open to go through the rites of a Vedic Vivah and do Saptpadi once again. But and there was a big but. The Hindu marriage is a sacrament and not a contract like it is among the Christians and Muslims. A Vedic Vivah can be solemnised between a man and a woman who are both Hindus in the eye of law.
Motivated more by love than by the mundane marriage, Nayanthara made the decision. She was now determined to be converted to the Hindu religion. The decision was made by her entirely. Having acted as Sita in the movie Ramayan she had felt emotionally close to the tenets of the Vedic Dharm and had found inner peace that had eluded her so far. There was only one way to achieve that blessed state forever. Taking help of the Arya Samaj, Chennai to become a Hindu in the eye of law and obtain a valid certificate to that effect.
The Arya Samaj, Chennai helped Nayanthara achieve her aim of getting inner peace. A Shuddhi Karm Havan was performed in which our top notch heroine was the centre of attraction. She offered the Ahuti in the Havan Kund with great devotion and chanted the Ved mantras with religious fervour. She did not falter even once and went through the entire Shuddhi Karm without faltering or fumbling. She preferred to retain her film name Nayanthara . She signed on the register of conversion to the Vedic Dharm and received a certificate accordingly.
Among the many questions hurled at her after the Yajna, one asked her whether she would be marrying Prabhu Deva now. She kept mum.
“The decision to become a Hindu was entirely mine, she said. To cofirm her new faith, she added “ I went through the entire Shuddhi ceremony with PASSION CONVICTION AND DEDICATION.
By Brigadier(Retd) Chitranjan Sawant,VSM