She is a full-time teacher in a Dubai school, but that did not stop Indian expat Simimol Raijo from Kerala from pursuing her passion in acting. Now, if you think you have too much to do and very little time, read on to find out how this mum-of-two finally made it to the big screen.
Raijo is seen in one of the supporting roles in the latest Boban Samuel directed Malayalam movie Al Mallu. The film has been shot entirely in the United Arab Emirates, mainly in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. It is set to realease in the UAE and across the GCC on Wednesday, February 19.
After her journey through advertisement campaigns and ramp walks while not missing a single day at school, Raijo finally landed an acting gig when a cameraman shooting an advertisement called her with the offer. She said: “This movie offer was quite unexpected.”
Talking to Gulf News about how she found time to do this, she said: “My day usually starts at 5am every weekday. After packing lunch boxes for my husband and children, I head to school for work and return home by 3:30pm. The remaining day is spent with family, but on weekends, I devote my time to modelling, acting or anchoring assignments.”
The movie could not be shot on her schedule, so she either went to the location after school. “Thankfully, around the same time, we had a term break, so I could do my scenes in peace. Though it’s just a supporting role, I play the role of Shreya in the movie, who is quite prominent and is the person who reveals the twist in the story.”
She added: “The best part about my first real acting gig was that I thoroughly enjoyed what I did. Each scene retake, memorising the dialogues, everything was so exciting! I'm grateful for this opportunity. And, look forward to more.”
The movie is special to her, not just because it’s her first movie. Simimol told Gulf News: “Al Mallu is a women-centric film that deals with the challenges faced by girls working abroad. A topic that has not been addressed enough.”
Raijo, who was always passionate about art, dance and music since childhood, said: “I continue pursuing my childhood hobbies even now. I have a supportive partner who makes sure I get enough time to do things I enjoy.”
“People, especially in the UAE feel they are short of time and end up ignoring their hobbies. I believe 24 hours is more than enough. If you are passionate about doing something, you do it with pleasure. So, I don’t find it that difficult. I'm very interested in teaching so I keep all my other interests after that. I make sure working hours are not disturbed. Usually, whoever calls me knows that I'm a teacher. So, I pick only those assignments that allow me to utilize weekends and long school breaks,” she added.
“I get great support from my family. My husband Raijo James, daughter Ashika, 11, and son Aiden, 7 equally motivate me.”