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Kaniha - Profile

Divya Venkatasubramaniam (born July 3, 1982), better known by her stage names Kanika and Shravanthi (in Telugu and Kannada) is an Indian actress, occasional dubbing artist, playback singer and TV anchor. Making her debut in the 2002 Tamil film Five Star, she went on to work in other South Indian film industries, including Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, as well. She is perhaps best known for her performances as Eashwari in her debut film Five Star, Gayathri in Varalaru - History of Godfather and Thenmozhi in Autograph.

Divya was born in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India as the second daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Venkat Subramanian, both engineers. She grew up in a typical Tamil Brahmin household in the suburbs of Madurai. She studied at TVS Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Madurai and was reputedly a good student, who won many awards in school, including the Tamil Nadu State Award for Educational Excellence in 1999. She then got admitted on merit to BITS ("Birla Institute of Technology and Science"), in Pilani, Rajasthan, from where she graduated with a Mechanical Engineering degree.

Having developed her singing talents from her childhood, by participating in pop music and light shows, Divya is basically a vocalist and, as she comments, interested only in singing.

While she was still studying, she gave stage performances as a pop singer from time to time. When she was supposed to perform at the Miss Chennai event, a beauty pageant contest, in 2001, she was asked and finally persuaded to participate at the contest, after a model had backed out. Despite lack of experience, she emerged as the second runner-up at that contest,which would later pave her the way for a film career.

It was director Susi Ganesan, who, attracted of her, insisted on her performing the lead female role in his second feature film. Divya eventually entered the Film industry, accepting the offer, while her name was changed to Kanika. Her debut film was the Mani Ratnam-produced Five Star (2002) with Prasanna, who made his acting debut as well, in which Kanika portrayed a traditional village girl. She completed the entire film during her summer hoilday, since she was till going to college then.

On June 16, 2008, Kanika entered married life, by weddying Shyam Radhakrishnan, a US-based software engineer and brother of former actress Jaishree Chandrasekar. The wedding took place at a marriage hall in Mahalingapuram, India. She, at first, decided to leave the film industry, finishing her career as an actress, and to settle down in the US, stating that she, however, would complete her hitherto signed movies. In January 2009 then, Kanika, unexpectedly, announced her comeback with the Sathyan Anthikkad-directed Malayalam film Bhagyadevatha, stating that she would like and, thanks to her husband, is able to continue her acting career, but would rather take up "appealing roles" than "simple" ones.

After her marriage, when she was supposed to have bid adieu to the film industry, Kanika returned to the Malayalam cinema in 2009, with the films Bhagyadevatha, directed by veteran Sathyan Anthikkad and starring Jayaram and Narain as well, and Pazhassi Raja, directed by reputed director Hariharan and starring Mammootty, Sarath Kumar and Padmapriya among others. While the former one, in which she played the role of a homely Christian girl, was highly successful at the box office, the latter one, a biopic magnum opus historical film, in which Kanika will portray the role of a queen, is to be released later this year. Pazhassi Raja, however, was announced in 2007 and hence, much before Kanika's marriage, and got delayed for more than a year, due to several reasons.


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