Last week actor Revathy and her six-year-old daughter Mahi, participated in the Kochi Muziris Paddle 2019, a 40 km, two-day trip that combined kayaking and heritage exploration. The Paddle, which had 60 participants, concluded on January 5. She speaks to MetroPlus about the challenges, and why she did it.
What made you sign up, and did you enjoy the experience?
I have been planning it for a while but things did not work out until this year. It was very tough to paddle 20 km a day and I did take help to be towed a couple of times a day to keep up with the group.
What stands out with the Jellyfish team is their enthusiasm, their support and the safety regime they follow. This was extremely important for me as I was with a six-year-old and I am a first time, long distance kayaker.
At the end of Day 1, as we were reaching Shravanam Greens, the wind was strong and I was battling with it to direct my kayak towards docking it. Sandy Robson, the event’s leader, came beside my kayak and shouted a few moves, which I followed. With her instructions it was easy to manoeuvre my kayak to the exact spot I wanted to despite the wind. It made me realise the need to be trained or maybe practice to actually enjoy the experience.
Tell us about your association with kayaking.
I tried kayaking for the first time at Jellyfish, Kozhikode, a couple of years ago. I heard about this event from a friend. I like adventure sports, it’s my time away from my usual profession. I spent a couple of hours at Jellyfish and after that kayaked a couple of times in Chennai. I am still a novice at kayaking, I would definitely like to continue and get better at it.
Was it a memorable mother-daughter trip?
Mahi loves water and so I have always tried to do things with her around water. She enjoys company and that is good when coming for such events. Rayn, Kaushiq Thodikodika’s (founder of Jellyfish) son and she hit it off well when they met the day before the event. Fifteen year-old Rayn was our team leader as we were split into groups making it easier to keep tabs on people and their safety.
Rayn played music on his kayak to keep our spirits high, including several of Mahi’s requests. Things like this made her part of the event.
As a mother-daughter team, I enjoyed it though it was tough at times to paddle a double sit-in kayak with her. She paddled every time she felt like it and that was enough in my opinion. I just wanted to expose her to such sports and would definitely like her to take up a sport as I feel the discipline and safety it teaches is invaluable.
Because I love water and so does Mahi. It’s safe and we can explore places going down waterways anywhere in the world.
Do the two of you do other sporting activities together?
Not yet as she is still young. We go swimming and body boarding once in a while in Chennai. Anything to do with water seems to be our favourite.
I was not a sports person, I was more into classical dance, which also requires a lot of discipline. Being an army officer’s daughter, I feel a certain amount of discipline is necessary to keep ourselves healthy and active. It also helps in the jobs we do, be it regular office work or the creative arts.
I was a little out of it for a while in my life and my daughter’s presence has got me back on track.
Was heritage exploration and sightseeing an important part of the journey for you, or was this just about kayaking?
This trip was only kayaking as I was getting the hang of it and the distance was exhausting. This time I decided to conserve my energy and did not do much sightseeing. Hope to do so next time.
I think waterways are a great way to sightsee. It is away from the everyday hustle bustle. Water somehow soothes us to a point where one feels relaxed. This will also help in slowly cleaning up the waterways that Kerala has been gifted.
What are your current film projects? And what else is keeping you busy?
I am acting in two projects in Telugu, Itlu Amma (means ‘yours amma’, as in signing off a letter), directed by Umamaheshwar Rao and Major directed by Sashi Kiran. I have been acting in a television serial, Azhagu, for the last two years. I am also working on a script to be made in Hindi. I hope to start it soon and get back into directing films.