Nirosha and Irosha
A flower. A beautiful scenery. A kind gesture. Humanity. They all make life seem so worthwhile and so complete. These are just a few things that can reach out to you, touch your heart and soothe your mind.
By Ramesh Uvais
That’s exactly what two simple girls with loads of talent did to us when we met them at their home sweet home at Depanama, Pannipitiya a few days ago.
Obviously, Nirosha Perera and her younger sister Irosha Perera need no flowery words to describe them.
So, welcome to the world of the two sisters who present the popular ‘Iroshai Niroshai’ segment on Sirasa TV every Sunday at 9 am.
Their sparkling eyes, impish smiles and full-throated laughs combined with their intellectual prowess, indeed add colour to the lives of people who tend to see things in black and white terms.
Nirosha and Irosha studied at Buddhist Ladies College, Colombo and the two were popular figures from schooldays onwards since they were everywhere where things were happening. Though Irosha joined Musaeus College half way through, Nirosha continued at BLC and holds the distinguished record of being the first in the class right through her school career. Irosha had come closer by being the first from grades one to eight.Whether it was drama, dancing, acting, singing, music, sports or literary activities, the two sisters were right in the thick of things and hence, popularity is not something new to the duo.
Nirosha is the second in the Perera family while Irosha is the youngest. Their eldest sister Nilushi Perera who also acted in tele dramas a few years ago is now married and settled down.
Nirosha is Irosha’s Podi Akka and is lovingly known as ‘Pods’. On the other hand Irosha is Nirosha’s Chooti Nangi and is fondly known as ‘Choots’.
Why was Choots only seen acting in Lochana?
“Well, I think that’s my first and last role as an actress. I hardly find time to act due to my studies and my current involvement in advertising. The response I got after Lochana was so good but honestly I don’t enjoy acting. Popularity was nothing alien to me. Even before I started acting, I was well-known as Nirosha Perera’s sister. I feel honoured to be identified that way,” says Irosha.
“Of course, my Choots doesn’t get carried away with glamour. People think she’s a proud thing because she doesn’t talk nineteen to the dozen like me. Her words are limited but she’s courteous (like me), respects others. And I can vouch for the fact that she’s not proud,” insists Nirosha.
Both Nirosha and Irosha were grateful to Sydney Chandrasekara for moulding them into what they are today as television presenters.
Nirosha Perera, are you enjoying life?
“You mean Daily Mirror Life or my life? Oh! I always enjoy both. Especially our Iroshai Niroshai programme has been a hit among the television audiences and we are thankful to Sirasa TV Channel head Susara Dinal for gieving us the green light to go ahead. He was excited when we narrated him the idea,” says Nirosha who adds that Irosha was of course more interested in business.
“That was my dream. I knew I was going get into business but wasn’t sure which particular field. For the time being I am very much happy with advertising. I am also seeing things differently as I am also learning photography. My Pods helps me lot in photography because she poses for me,” says Irosha as Nirosha erupts saying “I was always her first victim, camerawsie.”
“I think my interest in learning photography, led me into this field. I was meeting clients, getting their photographs and in fact without my knowledge I was there half way in the field of advertising,” she says.
“I think my sis enjoys work behind the camera,” says Nirosha.
“Yes very much.”
So, so far so good?
“So far, very good,” Irosha laughs.
“In my case, I got into presentation right after O levels. You know, my sister was acting and modeling then. There were directors who sued to see us and asked if we were interested. We were the least interested. Whenever directors came home to discuss things with my sister, we used to shut the doors and stay inside our rooms until they left. Then I was wooed to pose for a cover page after my O levels. Nilhan Seneviratne did my costumes and Pavara Sujith took the photographs. A Swarnavhini producer had seen the cover and inquired if I would be interested in presenting.
I was celebrating my birthday one fine day when the Swarnavahini guys came home to meet me. And that’s how I presented my maiden programme ‘Wega Gee’. From Wega Gee I presented Swarnodaya, and then live in concert. During this period I was preparing for my A levels. Then came the stage when I had to make the crucial choice.
Though my father was ok with my presenting job, my mother was not in favour.
She said your akka took the glamour route and at least you should not get into this. But I went. Then she told Irosha both your sisters went and at least you should not and finally she also joined the bandwagon. Though she didn’t encourage us initially , she has now realized probably how innocent we were in our fields,” Nirosha breaks into laughter.
“I don’t watch my programs over and over again, I don’t collect my pictures. For me all these things are temporary. These things will come and go but I will remain the same.
After I stopped presenting at Swarnavahini, I started working at Taj Samudra as a Public Relations Executive. Even then I was offered so many breaks but I simply declined. When I was approached for Fun Time TV on Rupavahini I consented largely because it happened on a Sunday. Then I started some programs on Sirasa like Rasata Rasak, Nethra and now Iroshai Niroshai with my Choots.
“I am not a person who does a lot of programs and come each and every day and every channel. I always believe in doing anything properly and don’t repeat the same thing. My programs have always been different. I believe in quality and not the quality. As a presenter I don’t just sit and read something written by someone. I add a lot of things
I always believe in being creative. I feel I am an entertainer and I want people to be happy,” she says.
“You will not believe when I say how lazy I am. I am the laziest person on earth. I am person who takes time to get started. I have to be pushed. I love to eat and sleep but whenever I am on the go I am unstoppable,” says Nirosha.
“I studied in the Commerce stream but whenever I was asked about my ambition I always said I wanted to become a doctor,” she laughs.
Are you religious?
“ I am a good Buddhist but at the same time I respect all religions. I have friends from all religions. Most of my friends in school were Muslims and I know their customs too. In my opinion being religious is not about praying, going to the temple frequently or talking about religion. It is a power that has to be within you. You should under stand what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s important to follow a religion because it instills discipline in you. Discipline is crucial in life whether you are at home, whether u are working, whether u are married or doing anything anywhere,” says Nirosha.
“Though people don’t like to part from whatever luxury they enjoy in life, I am a person who likes to leave everything and go even at this moment. But I am a familied person.
What prevents me from doing that is my family. That’s a bond and bonds are the root to sorrow. I always wanted to become a nun. I don’t believe in wearing a robe or anything like that. I want to get rid of all these worldly things From my childhood I love helping children and elders. I love cute, old grandmas because I feel when they grow old they too become children. I want to take care of them someday by having them under one roof. That’s my biggest dream,” she says.
You played the lead role in veteran actor Sanath Gunathilaka’s maiden directorial venture. Your comments please…
“I play the role of Therese in the film. Actually Sanath had written the script about two years ago and has had me in mind for the role. Initially I was a bit hesitant to do the role, but today I am so happy I did it. I appreciate the down to earth quality of the veteran actor who is sure to make a mark as a director too. He had so much confidence in me. He showed so much care to the artistes and the technical crew on the sets. He was in no hurry to extract the best from the artistes and he gave lots of respect to artistes.You feel so comfortable in such an atmosphere. It was a great experience,” she explains.
Alright, lastly how would you like to be identified?
“As a business woman, a very successful businesswoman,” says Irosha.
“Me? Just Nirosha Perera. You see when we talk of Sanath Jayasuriya, do we need to say he is a cricketer? In the same way I want people to remember me as just Nirosha Perera – the all rounder,” she laughs and her laughs could be heard miles away.
Once you start talking and listening to these two golden girls, you instantly realize the bubbly duo are no ordinary girls. There is always a spark of excitement whenever you are in the midst of Nirosha and Irosha. They are indeed a cut above the best. via Wijeya Newspapers (Pix by Kumara Dayawansa Nanneththi)
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