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The Dynamic Duo

Kunal with his wife Anuradha and daughters Maliha and Ahana.

By Anjali Nauriyal

Kunal Shamsher Malla and Anuradha Malla, the magnetic, high-powered, zestful couple, are two heads, one heart!

For them, together is a wonderful place to be. They are partners in crime and each other’s emergency contact. Apart from being educationists, they have carved a niche is diverse fields and contributed majorly to the quality of life in Doon.

Kunal S Malla is an accomplished singer as well as versatile actor. He has been performing on stage, acting and directing for over a decade now. A multifaceted personality, Anuradha is a well-known educationist, writer and producer. She has set realistic goals for herself and, together with her husband, achieved several milestones. Garhwal Post decodes the couple for you.

Jab They Met

Their magical love story started when they were in college. “We met in college, I was studying in DAV College, Dehradun, and we met in the second year and got along very well. After a long courtship, we decided to get married,” recalls Kunal. It’s been a beautiful journey since then with Anuradha. “She is more like a friend. We give each other a lot of space and help each other grow as individuals rather than as husband-wife. That’s the beauty of our relationship – we treat each other as individuals.”

Olympus High Educational Saga

Time came when the two decided to combine their energies to start a school. The school caters to a sizeable population of the city and is rated amongst the finest regarding quality of education, dedication of staff, teaching methodology and competent management. The two work round the clock to ensure the school has a positive learning environment and proper management of various aspects of its operations. “We started Olympus High in July, 1999. It has been quite a tough but beautiful journey from planting of the first tree to putting the first brick,” states Anuradha. “Till now we have just been doing things together and improvising every aspect of the school and ensuring the best of facilities, the best and environment friendly infrastructure. A good number of birds have also made their nests in our campus due to the abundance of trees and greenery around,” she adds.

“We feel very privileged that we are able to do things like this. It’s been a journey where we have seen countless children grow from school to college and even get married and have kids. It’s like raising a huge family of people with whom we are connected for life,” avers Kunal. “There have been many ups and downs, but all that is part of life. With the passage of time we feel proud that we have been able to do so many things that made a difference in other people’s lives.”

The Magical World of Acting Beckons

Soon Kunal got the opportunity to create special and impactful moments for a wide audience. Being a part of the creative world was most exciting and inspiring for him. Talking about his creative journey he shares, “I wanted to become a singer from childhood. Acting was there in the background but never showed up, maybe I was not confident enough. Initially, I struggled in the film industry to become a singer, travelled to Mumbai and met many music directors. Then Marukh Mirza asked me to come to Mumbai and act in his film. Though I had never faced a camera before, I think his invitation became a turning point in my life and I realised this was really what I wanted to do. Then I started acting and directing plays in school, which were appreciated by audiences. There were about 10 plays that I directed with around 600 children each time. It was a great experience directing those plays and audiences really enjoyed those productions. Then I started working on a story and decided to make a feature film, titled ‘5th September.’ It is the first film that I have directed. We worked on the story for almost 3 years. I have also acted in a lot of films, including for Yash Raj Films and even a Hollywood banner. I am really proud of my own home production, Shwet Rakht (White Blood). It has received 15 international nominations and 5 international awards. All these have been a part of my creative journey. As an actor I have learnt from people I have worked with. Today, I am in a happy space. I am passionate about making films, writing stories and directing. I have pinned a lot of hope on 5th September and hope it turns out a winner and clears the path for many more such productions.”

A Full-Fledged Production House becomes a Reality

The duo has two production houses – A&M Production and KSM Films Productions. “We created our first music video, ’Har Pal’, and our first  short film, ‘Shwet Rakht’, under the A&M banner, and then we decided to make a proper Bollywood film,” reveals Kunal. “Though it was a new and very difficult field for us, we thought we should give it a try.  We both were into education for a very long time, but we made an effort and, yes, it was our passion and hard work that eventually helped us succeed. We work together on stories and discuss and decide whether they are viable or not. Anuradha has majorly handled the production part in ‘5th September’. We are also encouraging theatre in Uttarakhand by holding periodic theatre fests and workshops under our production house.”

Gratification is in Doing, Not Just Results

Kunal sees their production house making exceptional movies, music and capturing the beautiful moments imbedded in their minds in the years to come – in short making meaningful cinema. Contributing to making Uttarakhand a film destination is their most ardent wish and desire. “It is very difficult to re-imagine my life story, but if given a chance I would rewrite may be the same life.  I have learnt so many things from my family, friends and colleagues who have loved me and hated me in equal measure. I feel the struggle is as important as glory. We have loved every bit of our journey together and never worried about results. The real gratification has been in doing,” asserts the multitalented man. Apart from his interest in films, he practices singing and martial arts every day. “These are the two things that I live and breathe each day of my life,” he declares.