Parvati Nair promotes the T10 League
South star Parvati Nair who will be seen in the Kapil Dev biopic 83, talks cricket, films and growing up in the UAE
Cricket is universal. You can have teams and leagues and legions of fans supporting a player or country, but at the end of the day, the sport is all about unity. The T10 Cricket League that will be held at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi mirrors this principle and will have fans of the sport flock the gates.
The first ever internationally approved 10-over cricket tournament is set to run from November 14 to 24 in the capital.
To promote the league we had fellow cricket lover and south Indian actress Parvati Nair in the Khaleej Times office recently.
Representing the Kerala team, she says she has a soft corner for her team, of course, and will be giving them undivided support and boosting their morale throughout the tournament.
Born and raised in Abu Dhabi, Parvati has worked in a number of films across the south Indian film industries. Marking her debut in the world of glitz and glamour through beauty pageants, she is most notably known for acting alongside Malayalam superstar Mohanlal in Neerali.
Seen in south Indian movies like Poppins, Story Kathe, Yennai Arindhaal among others, she will be making her Bollywood debut in 83, alongside Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, which is set to release early next year.
While reminiscing about her childhood, playing cricket with her family, the actress got nostalgic talking about her love for Abu Dhabi. We were admittedly charmed by her positive outlook towards life and how she always goes into projects with one question in mind, "What is the takeaway?"
You're the brand ambassador for the league this year. How did that come about?
I grew up playing cricket and it's something that always interested me. I was one of the girls who grew up watching all the matches with family or friends. So there's been a connect to cricket for a long time. This (becoming an ambassador) came up coincidently when I was doing a film which is connected with cricket and everything just made sense. I was very excited to be on board because T10 is a great tournament and it's very exciting to have brilliant players from different countries come together to play for different teams. Moreover, it's happening in Abu Dhabi, it's where I grew up, so having something in the emirate available to the whole of the UAE is amazing. All the cricket fans out here who are not able to go back to India for the matches can just come and watch it here.
Who is your favourite player?
I think there's constantly been great players. Like today, there's Virat Kohli and a few years back there was (M.S.) Dhoni and Sachin (Tendulkar). I can't say there's just one person throughout but maybe persona vice, someone who I always looked up to and liked was Rahul Dravid. But I like a lot of players for their technique or style or their dedication to the game. I appreciate different people at different points of time.
You started your career in the glamour industry by taking part in beauty pageants. What was that like?
I didn't take part in beauty pageants thinking I'm a beauty queen. I was very tomboyish, so for me it was just fun taking part in different competitions, and it was just about that. It helped me become a more 'girly' person from a complete tomboy. But it definitely gave me a platform because it led to many opportunities in advertisements and I endorsed a few brands because of winning these pageants. And that finally led to all this.
We hear you're part of the Kapil Dev biopic 83. Can you tell us about that?
83 is a movie about the 1983 cricket world cup. It's Kabir Khan's movie and is probably the biggest film of next year. I play Sunil Gavaskar's wife and for me it's a great learning experience. We were shooting in London and this is the first movie to be shot at the Lords cricket ground. It was a lot of fun.
How was it growing up in Abu Dhabi?
I studied there until my 9th grade and then moved back to India. There's something special about the UAE and the kids who grow up here. When I went back to India it was very difficult to cope. Here, I used to get along with everyone and be happy everyday, but in India, it's a very different kind of competitive spirit. I always treasure meeting people who grew up here. The Indian families here shower a lot of love and affection on each other and that's very unique. So, I'm very glad I grew up here because personally a lot of values that I have, I think are because of growing up in the UAE.
Any advice you'd like to give someone trying to make it in the film industry from UAE?
I think the UAE provides a lot of opportunities. There are a lot of competitions and platforms and now social media is giving opportunities for anyone to be noticed if they're good. So wherever you are, if you are good, the world will notice you. You just have to show the world how unique you are. Be it on social media or TV or competitions.
Even if you grow up here, if you're talented and passionate, you can compete with just anybody in any country. So all the talented kids from the UAE should definitely give their best and try to take part in everything - whether you win or not just keep taking part. Because it's going to help you. The more you don't win, the better you get! Because if you keep winning you'll think, 'oh I'm good' and then you stop there, but if you lose a few times you improve yourself and you get the best out of yourself.