Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil cinema's star-actor Prithviraj Sukuraman who has just made an impressive Bollywood debut as Rani Mukerji's aromatic amour in Aiyyaa will wrap up his assignments in the South by the end of the year and move home from the South to Mumbai in January 2013.
His wife Suparna who used to a BBC journalist has been busy hunting for a home for the couple in Mumbai while Prithvi has been immersed in completing his films on the floor.
Prithviraj who has already signed a second Hindi film, says he has left all the nitty-gritty regarding their new residence in Mumbai to his wife. "Though Suparna is a Malayali, she has spent a large part of her life in Mumbai. She's a Mumbai girl. In fact I saw the real Mumbai through Suparna's eyes. Of course I knew Mumbai before I got to know Suparna. But it was Suparna who showed me sides to Mumbai I had never seen."
The urge to see the real Mumbai got hold of Prithviraj after he read Gregory David Roberts' novel Shantaram. "Suddenly a new side to Mumbai opened up in my mind. I wanted to see all the places described in the novel like Haji Ali and the Leopold cafe. Suparna was a friend. I asked her to show me all these places. I invited myself over to Mumbai and Suparna took over my life for the next few weeks. This was when we fell in love and decided to get married. So the city holds great romance and relevance for me. I'd love to return to live in the city that gave the love of my life."
Prithvi's voice fills up with affectionate gratitude when he talks about his wife. "She gave up her job to join me in the South. I owe her a lot. I don't think I would be what I am today without her support."
Prithviraj who had been acting from age of 19 and has done films in three South Indian languages, doesn't see Aiyyaa as a debut in new language. "When the director came to me with the offer, I didn't focus on the language. In any case, my character doesn't speak much. I was just fascinated by the concept of the girl, Rani, falling in love with the scent of a man. I'd have accepted the offer in any language. At this stage of my career I'm looking for new challenges."
Prithviraj has signed a Yash Raj film Aurangzeb. He has an interesting story to tell on how he signed it. "I was shooting for the song 'Aga Bai' for Aiyyaa on one of the floors at Yash Raj when the casting director at Yash Raj asked me if I'd be interested in auditioning for a part. I agreed. When I heard the role I was hooked."
Prithviraj says he is very confident of his role in Aurangzeb although Arjun Kapoor has a double role in the film.
"I wouldn't have accepted the role if I wasn't satisfied with what was offered to me. I am in no rush to get anywhere. I am here to stay. Mumbai is my home from January."