Published: 27th November 2019
At 82, Susheela Nair's name can be found in the puzzle section of any Kerala newspaper
The 82-year-old who hasn't missed a single opportunity to participate in every contest, puzzle and quiz over the past twenty years speaks about finding joy in the little things
While all the other children would grab their pazhamporis, Susheela Nair would grab the oil-stained newspaper cuttings they came wrapped in. They used to joke about how she would not even miss out on the words scrawled on the corner of a stranger's notebook. And at 82, she owns it and says, "Yes, nothing missed my eye. I read every bit of information that crosses my path. It doesn't matter where it's written, it's all good knowledge to me."
For the past 20 years, Susheela has participated in every small contest, puzzle and quiz that the magazines and newspapers of Kerala have had to offer. She says, "Asianet used to broadcast a TV serial called Samayam. On the countdown to their hundredth episode, they used to ask the audience one question each day. The correct answer would win you a gold coin weighing 8 grams. This was the first time I had attempted something like this and I won on consecutive episodes."
Her best results have been with sports quizzes. She shows me prizes that she has won during the World Cups over the decades. She swears by her ability to predict the outcome of matches. She has even entered the audition stages of the Malayalam version of Kaun Banega Crorepati but was unable to participate as her husband was hospitalised. But that didn't water down her dream, she still wants to participate in it even now, "My only fear is the fastest finger first round. I just don't know if I will be able to act that quickly. But I participate by answering all the questions posted to the audience!"
And it doesn't end there. The Guruvayoor native's name can be found in every small magazine column. She contributes with her thoughts, one-liners and recipes. Her latest thought bubble can be found in an audience participation column in a Malayalam magazine. So often are her entries to these programmes, that she uses the names of her children and grandchildren to send them across. Susheela says, "I try and understand things. If I don't, I ask people until I am able to grasp what it means. If I get this feeling in my head that I can do something, I can't stop until I prove it, however small it may be."
For Susheela, it is the little things that can bring the most happiness. She has tried every little thing that she set her mind to and has a certificate to prove it too. The next thing on her list is to meet actor Mammootty in person. She says, "These are little things when you think about it. But they can bring so much happiness. I try to find them wherever I can and try to spread that joy a little bit."