[Voxspace Exclusive] Heroine : The Untold Story Of Tragedy, Triumph And A Woman Beyond Destiny

Editor’s Note:

As we approach a new chapter in bringing to you incredible and stirring true articles from all corners of the country, it is imperative that we be careful of what we are speaking about, or in this case, whom. In this regard, to persist on the path of courageous and uninhibited reporting, we have tweaked, modified, and changed; names, places and sometimes situations to truly provide anonymity to our interviewee. However, to properly propagate her story, her ideologies, and her journey till now, we have tried to maintain a safer framework of subtle nods and hints. We understand that most of us would know about our subject. But, as humanity dictates, we would like to urge you to keep your guesses and assumptions to your own interests, and not share them on online platforms. It takes immense courage for a successful actor to relive all the tragedy and share with us. So it is our responsibility to maintain their privacy by not unnecessarily playing the guessing game. Anyone would get them. But that’s not the issue. The article is about a woman, who had undergone so much suffering that her journey becomes a life lesson to every one of us. And let’s take that lesson in the best way possible, rather than judge or advertise her all over. I hope you see the common sense involved. Thank You.

The views and statements expressed in the article below, belong only to the individual subject. We at VoxSpace do not claim any responsibility for them, directly or indirectly.

We would like to thank Apuroopa Reddy, for the stunning cover art, and Shashikanth Dhontre for masterful painting inclusions. Also, we would like to thank Srinivas Prasad (TV5), Kalpana Komireddy (ETV), Ravikiran Modara (ABN Andhrajyothi), Jagadeesh Kineri (Film Critic and Journalist), in helping us bring out the story in the truest way possible.

Chapter One – Will You Listen To My Story? Can you?

On June 12, 2017, we at VoxSpace brought out an article which exposed the story of Debonair –The Biggest Porn Website in India. As soon as we brought it out, we were met with incredible acclaim from all across the country. Numerous messages and calls, requests and remarks, comments and shares, all made our efforts fruitful. Of all the messages we received on our Facebook page, there were two that really stood out. One was a production company wanting to make a movie out of our article (the discussions of which are still going on) and the other a strangely simple message which said “Will you listen to my story? Can You?”.

In order to take up her story, we left our number to her, but we were doubtful if she would ever call. Later, as we moved to our Cult duology, that’s when we received a call in the morning, from this popular actress. We talked at length with her, as to what she intended to bring out. By evening, through WhatsApp texts, we confirmed that we would be covering her story. By night we had decided a date. And today, we are proud and glad, that she picked us to share her story anonymously. The story came out to be both stirring and yet inspiring, tragic yet incredible, appalling yet relatable. It came out to be perhaps the boldest article we had ever taken up. And it challenged almost every perception we had of the regional film Industry and walked us into the darkest corners of the fraternity which prides itself to propagate Culture, Arts, and Social Wellness. Such A Joke.

Chapter Two – The Dinesh Babu Chai And Navya For The Ages

And so on June 19th, 2017, I arrived at Kundan Bagh Road no 3, behind the famous LifeStyle building in Begumpet. I was asked to come there, by Navya Gopalan’s Assistant Lakshman Thumpara. He sent me the coordinates of a grocery shop at the road no 3 & 4 intersections. I waited there for a while, and then at around 5 PM, a stout looking middle-aged man greeted me. We then proceeded in his car, to the interior parts of Kundanbagh, and he drove up to a building at a random corner. He then brought me to take the lift up, and arrive at Flat 402. The floors in this building housed only two apartments per floor. And so when the door opened, I knew why. The whole area of the hall was massive. It was a studio apartment, with only a single long expansive area with only mild partitions for a kitchen area at the far end. As I entered, the smiling face of Dinesh Babu greeted us. The superstar had a phobia of doors, I was told later.

The area had sparsely distributed furniture. A few bean bags here and there, a dining table at one corner, to the left as I entered, was a large 70 inches Television, a few selected flower vases, a minimalist wallpaper, and subtle designs all over. As we stood a few moments, Dinesh Babu hurriedly brought us two plastic chairs from somewhere inside (perhaps the bedroom which was not in our immediate view). Lakshman and I, sat and started talking initially. But our conversations were cut short as he received a call and walked out of the door to take it.

Thankfully my interviewee arrived as stunningly as the world remembers her to be on screen. One thing is for sure, there are only a few actresses alive today, who can carry Indian ethnic wear like how Navya Gopalan can. She greets me warmly and asks Dinesh to pull up the table from the corner to here, and pulls a chair on the other side of it. And here I was facing her. Such a stunning face, I thought to myself, and at 49 (46 for the movies) she is such a powerful person to look at. She congratulates us on the onset, and asks Chai or Coffee? I say, Chai. And she smiles and asks Dinesh Babu to make some tea for us. As she does that, I took out my notepad and recorder, and so the interview started.

Chapter Three – The Origins Of A Gruesome Dream (Age 9 to Age 16)

Navya Ma’am, first of all, I must thank you for having us here. But we are curious as to why you chose us? And why now? Why not before? If you wanted to, you know, go anonymous, I’m sure there must be many willing to take your story.

If many would, would you be here, (she smiles)? No, but seriously, I saw your articles and I decided, yes, these people are brave. You guys are brave and bold. Other media houses are either too afraid or too lazy. This is, your website, is just so, like there. At the top of the ladder. You understand right? I’m not too good with my words. And I might use cuss words, is that Ok?

Surely. We don’t mind. Please be as free as you want to be.

Good good. So no, I really liked your work. One of my boys shared it to me. Then I checked your website. No movies. No gossips. Nothing which was cheap. Everything was, you know, original. So it was good for me because I’m fed up with these fucker websites, who are all about who’s sleeping with a said actor. I hate that. At one point I was invited to an Interview by this media house, KyeSera, in Jubilee Hills. This happened recently. So they called me to promote the movie (a blockbuster). Now there was an anchor, like she was sitting here (she points to where I sit) and I’m sitting here, and she doesn’t even greet me. The bitch is just new to the industry and wouldn’t even have the respect to greet me. And five minutes before the show starts, she says, ‘Madam, I’m a huge fan of Suhas (the actor of the film), it must be exciting to work with him no? Can you get me in touch with him?’. That’s the respect you give to a senior actor. I wasn’t upset just disappointed with what we have become. So, I walked out. Like I hate being in a place where I am not respected. Fuck the shoot. Fuck them. And then I thought I should talk, about everything that is wrong with the industry. I seriously want to slap these dumb fuck anchors we have today. Hope your article will help me do it.

Thank you, Ma’am. I wrote down many questions to ask you while coming here. But I don’t want to ask them. Is it ok if you tell us your story from the start till now, in the way you want to, Anything and Everything?

I didn’t scare you no? See I am ok only, not that bad…hahaha. I know I look very serious but, I’m ok. No no please ask your questions. I’m sure they will be interesting only.

Ma’am I think it is better if I whenever I want you to expand on a thought, that ways we will have a better understanding of your story. Will that be ok?

Ermmm, Ok. So you want me to start at the beginning? Ok. So I come from a Tamil Brahmin family. Mother is a housewife, sorry sorry, home maker. Haha. No, but still. So Father was a teacher first, then he quit and turned his attention towards Carnatic music. You could say that we were a traditional Brahmin family. I was born in Nungambakkam and mostly spend my childhood there. My uncle, my father’s brother that is, was already into movies. He was a comedian in Tamil movies. You may know him also. So anyway, he suggested to my family that I should be trying to become an actress. He said I looked like Jayalalitha when I was a kid. Kid means I was around 7 or 8. So from there, once my family got that idea, they were very excited. And they got me under the wing of Late Sri Kandasaami Iyer, for classical Dance training. There was an art school in Mylapore, so,

(Dinesh Babu arrives with a tray of two tea cups and a packet of biscuits and places them on the table in the middle. My interviewee picks up a tea cup and offers me, and I take it)

I will have Dinesh Babu prepare some dinner for us. Do you eat non-veg?

Ma’am that’s not necessary. Please, no formalities.

Arey. What formalities. You are doing a good job. You deserve the chance to have dinner with Navya. Haha. That’s your reward. Ha. No, but please I insist.

Thank you, Ma’am. But I don’t eat in the night. So, I can’t.

Ok. That’s very odd. Anyway, Dinesh Babu’s tea is heavy also. Whoever comes, they just love Dinesh Babu’s chai. Have you been to Madras?

Yes. Once for a short span of three days. I liked the place.

It’s a good place. Where was I? Errmm, yeah so in Mylapore there is this school ok. They teach you everything related to art. You should go there once. Recently, some six years back I think, I went there for a performance. It was just the same. It reminded me of a period before my life got so fucked up. So I learnt Bharatanatyam till I was 11 years old. That is for 3 years I think.

In 1981, (going by the public age calculation here), my uncle took me to Cochin. So what happened is, he was given an offer in a Malayalam film under AVM banner. It was a big movie, with good star cast also. So, the Director needed a girl between 11 to 14 years old, to play Hero’s sister. My uncle suggested me and took me to the audition in Cochin. I was selected without much audition by the end of the day because of recommendation. The film starred two established actors of Malayalam. Although I didn’t understand the language, it was ok, because most of the crew was from Madras. So that was my first role.

After a year of shooting, the film never got released.

Why is that Ma’am? With so much riding?

I think it was for sentiment values. Or caste customs that they were showing in the film, that upset some people, rallying to ban the movie. So anyway, I stayed in Cochin only for a year. Before I came to Cochin, I had already left my school education. So the producer, Murali Mathan, asked My Uncle and Me, to stay in his guest house for the time being. He also bought me some books on Science and Culture and had one of the tutors who came to teach his kids, to teach me as well. This all went well till the shoot got complete. Now, once the film got into controversy, no one wanted to distribute it. And the producer had to sell off a large part of his assets to pay for everyone.

In that situation, one another tragedy was, my parents back in Madras passed away. Dengue affected them both. They did not believe in Medicines you see. They thought they can fight it out by their own methods. So in 1983, January, both of them passed away. Me and my Uncle couldn’t stay in the guest house and obviously couldn’t go back home. There was no one there.

So did you stay there? In Cochin itself? And what about your Uncle? Did he have any home back in Chennai?

No no no. He was like, what do you say, wandering person. Like, when he had shoot he would be at the location, he would rent some place and stay. Occasionally he would come to Madras, you know when he was out of money and things like that. He liked a lady, someone in Madras, so he used to go there also whenever he liked. But after my parents died, he didn’t have many places to go. So he took me to his friend, Kalaman, in Coimbatore. He was a Dance Master. So my uncle thought, if Kalaman could teach me western dance and Kuchipudi, by the time he returned in the next year, I could be prepared to try for chances in Hindi movies. My uncle had already accepted a role in some Tamil movie, so I was left at Kalaman’s place as he took off.

In 1984, Kalaman, who used to call me a sister, slept with me when he came back drunk. His house in Coimbatore was in a poor slum area, so obviously, everyone was drunk every day. But Kalaman never used to drink. Only once I think, he touched my breasts when I was sleeping. I felt it but I didn’t say anything. My Uncle said he would return in a month or two, so I thought I’ll just wait for him and go away. But one night, Kalaman drank. And then fucked me. I feel ashamed you know. I didn’t, you know, stop him. For some reason, I let him do it. I could have screamed or shouted or run away. But I didn’t.

Were you afraid of this Kalaman, Ma’am? Or did you perhaps feel powerless?

Maybe. I don’t know. That’s what I’m saying no? I could’ve…I don’t know. I had hit my puberty while I was in Cochin. So I was swayed maybe. Ifs and Buts. That’s why I can’t blame him entirely. Although, I can blame my Uncle. That fucker never returned. I knew he was in touch with Kalaman but never visited. So Kalaman started fucking me every now and then. It became a habit for both of us. Sometimes he wouldn’t say anything, and would just remove his shirt. And that was the signal. In a weird way, I assumed I was married to Kalaman. I trust people quickly, that’s my problem. But things changed slowly. I got pregnant. I was 16 then. By the time my Uncle came to visit me in early 1985, He was furious to know that I was 3 months pregnant.

I think he had some affection left in him. He got very upset, and on the same day of his arrival took me to a doctor. I had my first induced abortion there. Then we left Coimbatore.

Chapter Four: The Stars, The Broken Destinies, The Whims and The Fancies ( Age 16 to Age 33)

And so it happened that my first movie, the Malayalam movie, got released eventually, two years after making it. Thankfully, people liked what I did in the movie. Not a huge part, but whatever was there, people felt connected. Producers from Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, approached my uncle, with offers. A casting person, who worked with big producers, like Kamareddy and Nagendra, in Telugu and Tamil approached us. At this time, we were staying back in Madras. This casting person, Rajababu, met us in Egmore, where we were living in a small flat. He talked and convinced my Uncle for a two-film deal. One was in Tamil, so I didn’t have to worry about shifting anywhere else. And another was Telugu for which we had to go for Hyderabad. So I first completed a role in a 20-day shoot for Tamil movie, Atmavum itayamum, and then came to Hyderabad to take up another schedule for Snehithulu. The movies released six months apart.

In 1986, when I was 17, my first Telugu movie came out. It wasn’t a huge hit but did bring in good business. As I grew up in Madras, I knew bits and pieces of Telugu. But my Uncle made sure that we stayed in areas like Bolarum, Malkajgiri and such, where the communication was in Telugu. It helped because in desperation I learnt the language faster. People, especially actors, need to know at least 3 to 4 languages you know. It helps. Always.

So this movie, in Telugu brought the fame and how did you balance work in both the industries?

You see, I didn’t. I’m really bad in time management. And I am someone who is easily satisfied. When I was working in Telugu, I was happy here. I didn’t think much about Tamil. And somehow, I didn’t want to go back to Madras. It was a sad place for me to go back to.

Yes, so, the movie brought me offers. Rajababu, became a good friend of my Uncle and recommended my name to many producers. Thus, started my journey into Telugu movies. Those were days when both the financial and artistic values of films were equally balanced. One by one I started getting multiple roles. People started to recognise me, and sinfully I started to enjoy the attention. That perhaps was one of the biggest mistakes I ever did.

(I observe that we have reached a point that my interviewee is starting to choose her words carefully. Her flow of talk is becoming a bit restricted, and she is considerably put in a thought, before speaking. From this point onwards, it seems that her guilt, her suffering, her rise, and her fall, seized to be beyond her. She could choose. But will she be open about the choices she made? Would I have to bring in my questions, scandalous even if they are, to try and prod her to talk? I decide to give her the time. To ponder, to remember and to speak. After all, it is not the scandals, controversies or affirmed rumours that I am here for. I am here for her story in the way she likes to put it forward…)

I never understood success or fame. I just started enjoying it. So I started meeting Directors, names of whom I had only heard till then. Award winning storytellers and incredible men of the art. Shanti Studios had just been started then, by a famous Producer, and there was a party for it. Somehow, Uncle managed to get two passes, and we attended it. That is where I first met, actors like Govardhan Babu, Ganesh, Shiva Kumar, Rohan Babu and more. Since most of them knew Tamil, it was easy for me to talk. They started complimenting me about my beauty, my features and my height. They would complement me, and in the next hour, the PA’s would come and give me their visiting cards, and an “invitation” to come anytime. All of these m****rfuckers, came from rich backgrounds. To them, films were just a way to fuck a new woman every few days. Didn’t I know this? Of course, I did. I wasn’t from North India to not understand. Such perverts are these stars I tell you.

Once I was doing a movie with Govardhan Babu in the 90’s, and there was a scene where we had to roll down a small hill, and we land with his head on my breast. This fucker, he took 42 retakes for it. He asked the choreographer to change the movement, to where he could press my breasts at the end, and then supposedly kiss me. His dick was so wild, that every time we rolled down, we got up, and he pressed my breasts for real and forcefully. Then we were supposed to twirl around to show that we were kissing. He kissed me for real 2o times, for authenticity. He would wink and walk away as if nothing had happened. Once, a superstar’s son practically put his hand into my panties, when we were shooting for a romantic scene. Uncontrollable dicks lead to Uncontrollable minds. You must think I am weak right? To not fight back or slap these idiots?

No no…I am curious Ma’am. I want to know why. I’m sure there must be a reason.

Simple. Fame. See, as I said, even before stepping into the industry, I had a horrible time. Now, when I entered the industry, I thought I deserved happiness and Fame. I mean, that’s what they tell you right? Because you had tragedy and hardship before, you deserve success now. That’s a fucker’s imagination. When I look back, no, It was so stupid that I believed in it. You see, I thought since I went through so much, this fame was all mine, and by being restricted about it, I was not enjoying it properly, which I was supposed to. Do you understand?

To some degree yes. You felt entitled and didn’t want minor things to take that fame away. I think I get it.

Entitled, yes. Perfect. That is the word. I felt Entitled. And these all things, were small before what I wanted for myself. When I look back at those points, I feel ashamed of myself. I was a fame addict. When I see new heroines, going through the same cycle, it is then I realise how horrible I was. I could’ve fought back and perhaps made a few people aware. I can’t even tell the new generation not to do so, because I did it. So that’s that. Where were we? I’m sorry I diverted off..

Shanti Studios. Meeting new people, Celebrities, Star/Producer Sons

Yes yes. So Uncle and I were meeting new people. That is where I met, two of the most horrible people ever. One was a Director, who self-proclaimed as a Patron of Art, through his movies on Dance, Music, etc. He was called Surana Suryanath. He gave this such drama outside as a true Brahmin, with talks about Telugu Culture, Art Devotion, Artists, etc, but inside he was such a pervert. Most of his movies were novel manuscripts that he bought off from Publication houses in Vijayawada. I know that for a fact. Almost all his Nandi award winning movies on poetic dramas were all lifted from unpublished manuscripts. I was practically given one when I took up his movie. His movie was the next one I signed. Apparently, he saw a great cultural and traditional face in me, and he sent his PA to contact me at the party. We talked and confirmed the dates. He invited me to meet Suryanath the next day.

The other director that I just cannot remove from my story is, Karanam Rajasekhar. He converted me in the span of next four years, from Heroine to Whore-oine. At the end of the party, Rajasekhar himself came up to me. And said he liked me and wanted to help me out. And walked away. Then a lady, who was working as his assistant, Bhavani Kumar, came up and talked to me for an hour. The base line was, If I wanted to be a superstar, I should shift to his apartment in Krishna Nagar. I give him something and he will return something. He will make me a Superstar, but for that, I needed to decide tonight. She said that and left.

The next day, I moved into the apartment. I wished my Uncle had stopped me. But he didn’t. Maybe he was selfish for his own career. Maybe I could bring him more offers. I don’t know. I never talked to him again. Recently he passed away. I do miss him sometimes though. He wasn’t a bad person. He wasn’t a good one either.

I signed up the Suryanath’s movie. And completed it in the next two years. In between, there were a couple of movies, that no one saw, and no one cared about. This Suryanath’s movie, Abhiramulu, had a yesteryears superstar who now owned a film studio as well. The movie was big. Although it did not get much commercial success, the movie was good. As an audience I liked it.

On the other hand, Rajasekhar brought me gifts and amenities in the apartment.  Bhavani Kumar would inform me in the morning if he was coming in the night. I’d dress up for him. He would come in the night, and we used to fuck. He was 45 years old, and I was 18 years old. After the sex, he would promise me that he would get me a great offer soon, with a rising superstar. Six months into the arrangement, sex became regular, but I slowly understood that he was just using me. He had no intention of getting me any roles. Then I started to put pressure on him. And then he turned violent. At one point, I did not want it. But then, he used to rape me. Am I even allowed to use the word? To me in my mind, I felt violated, and to me, it was a Rape. Every two days, non-consensual physical acts happened.

He used to come to the apartment, with a bunch of Video Cassettes, of Porn, and play them. He then asked me to enact those things they were doing. Initially, I did do them, but I eventually hated it. He used to ask me to stand naked. And…well..I don’t think I can explain. You understand right?

Yes Ma’am. Please. I understand if you want me to come later..Maybe tomorrow or sometime this week?

No no, it’s ok.  I called you no? I want to speak. Soon our arrangement became an open secret. And once other directors get to know that I am a mistress of this particular Director, no one would give me work. Except of course Rajasekhar over our arrangement, which was almost an year then, he offered me a role in his romantic movies. Did you watch his movies? Anyone?

Not that I can remember. I think I watched this one movie he made. My grandmother forced me into watching it.

Haha. But no, nothing. Interesting. So he was one of the first directors to bring sleaze and double meaning stances into the movies. Once the movie released, Kodalugaru, his sexual drive towards me increased manifold. But I started to hate him more and more. My career took off. Suddenly I was a glamour doll, who was only in the movies because I could be uninhibited. I could fall madly in love with the hero, have him press my breasts or lick my navel, or pour orange juice all over me. Their machoism had to be satisfied by making a woman suffer. But then I was a whore. Could I complain? That’s something I want to discuss at length for the new generation later. So I made a career. Of acting movies and acting in more movies.

One day, I mustered up the courage to defy Rajasekhar, by saying that I could afford a new home. He had thrown a small party at the apartment, and he invited a selected few people from the industry there. In some conversation, it slipped out that I could afford a bungalow now. You see, all my earnings I used to save. A small part I used to keep aside to help struggling actors. But somewhere I couldn’t help many. So, this party was attended by Rajasekhar’s son from his first woman in life. Kranthi Kumar was 17 when he first met me.

Once the party was over, he slept with me again. But after a few hours called his son into our room. He only said, “satisfy him”, and stood in the corner. Kranthi Kumar, never had sex before, and I was the bitch he could try out his tricks with. Rajasekhar left, and eventually, we did it. Later I understood that Rajasekhar wanted to prove to the world, that I was only a slut, a whore, that he had. I was just that in his life, and I was reaching out for more. To cut my wings, he made me sleep with his son.

Blockbusters came. Things which you associate with Success. They did come. But I was always the Keep. I would see my fellow actresses, Lahari, Madhulika, Urvasi and more, follow their career path in an easier way. I was always the outsider. But that is ok. I was and still am a loner. I don’t like these parties and fake people. You give me time, and I’ll happily keep thinking, maybe even draw, and listen to music.

Madras came into my life once again, as I crossed 25 years of age. By this time, I was still in the apartment Rajasekhar had kept me 7 years earlier. His visits became less and less frequent, and I started liking the apartment. Rumour was that he had found another mistress. I was both sad and thankful. I heard she was a girl from Vizag, who was 18 years old. I was sad for her. I could see what she would be going through. I was thankful that I was left alone. It is in this time, my career spiked. I started doing films in different languages. I did around 5 to 6 movies in Tamil between 1993 and 97. But I achieved incredible success with a role with a Tamil superstar in 1999. It changed my life for good. And eventually, I shifted base to Madras. Ironically, Rajasekhar didn’t even bother to reach out to me. He just didn’t care. I started doing films with new directors of promise.

By Shashikanth Dhotre

That’s how I met Gopala Krishna. He was an assistant director when I met him, but later when he started his first movie, he wanted to cast me. But, I couldn’t allot the dates to him, so he had to make the movie with a different cast. I liked how sorted he was, and something made me feel comfortable with him. His passion towards movies, and the struggle he had gone through in life to be a director. Maybe I related to him. So we kept in touch. He offered me 7 movies, of which I could only be a part of 2. But I liked him. In 2003, we got married. He is one of the very few people I like in the industry and also in general. I am happy with him. We have a kid. He’s my everything today. I hope when he reads this article, he will understand why his mother is such a weird person, haha..!

So, that’s my story. I’ve told you everything. But you have been silent. I really want to see what questions you have for me. Please?

Oh, well if you insist Ma’am. I’ll see what I have in my notepad.

Chapter Five: The Abstract Questions and The Unsaid Answers

It is now, that I, took my notepad out and saw for the interesting questions to ask my interviewee. Some routine questions which had been answered already. Some things which I knew the answers for. And some which made no sense now. So, I started making new questions on the fly. Below are some of the random questions I asked my favourite heroine from that point, Navya Gopalan.

After your story, it seemed that you blamed yourself for everything Ma’am. But don’t you think you were wronged somewhere?

That’s what I was saying. It was a combination of both. Some decisions were mine, some were of different people in my life, and the others basing on the situations, the circumstances. I am not that good, let me tell you. As my career declined towards in 2002, I tried to ruin the chances of other actresses, by either spreading rumours about them or calling in favours. The directors knew me, and so they would cast a different girl. I made some friends in the industry, but even though they were trying to help me at times, I insulted them. See, my behaviour could’ve been better. I am a Frank and an honest person. But society requires a small amount of diplomacy also. Some situations were unavoidable. I don’t take the blame for it. I was a victim in those situations.

Fair enough. Now when you say you have done things, could you talk about any particular thing you did?

You are going to put me in Jail with this interview. I know. Hhahaha. Ermm, let me think. There are many actually. Ok so, back in 2003, I got pregnant again. This time I was ready to keep the baby. I and Gopala both wanted to keep the baby, even if it meant a few lack of opportunities. No one would cast a pregnant lady obviously. We didn’t mind that. But the thing was, I had a really great role the previous year, and I was even nominated to get a Nandi Award for it. But a friend of mine who works in the Film Chamber told me that Rajasekhar had pitched in the young Vizag Girl’s name, for a stupid role she had as well. So I approached Film Chamber, asking for an explanation. They plainly said “I was not desirable anymore. There wasn’t much that Directors would get if I won the award. And I had won already”. I remember a person from the Film Chamber saying that “You are pregnant. That is the end. You are gone and old now. Let someone else win and don’t make a scene”. Of course, that Vizag bitch could sleep around and her win would ensure that she continued to do so.

It is then I wanted to destroy her career. I know she was just a puppet, but still, she needed to wake up to the reality. I called in a few favours from News and Media and had her involved in a sex racket which was busted in Abids. In one week, her nomination was dropped. But I do regret doing that. It ruined her career totally. I tried reaching out to her later on, to confess and apologise, but she never talked to me again. Can I give her a message in this article?

Sure

“Sister, If you are reading this article, please do consider this my apology to you. I know I have wronged you in many ways by my stupid decision. I never thought of your family and friends. And more so about you. I acted on impulse, and I am very very sorry. Please accept my apology. You have my number. So please call me. We are rivals and not enemies. I have seen your programs in television. I am so glad to see that you are doing some wonderful work. May God be with you”

By Shashikanth Dhotre

I am sure she will respond. On new actresses and stars, what is your honest opinion about them Ma’am. And why do you think we haven’t had a superstar from our generation yet?

See, I have been blessed to find some incredible work, now in my 40’s. And to work with such incredible talents in this age, is making me happier than ever. I wish them all well. Our industry is finally getting out of the clutches of producers and certain families. I am glad that it is becoming more transparent. Coming to your question. Personally, I think, it is the connection. I see these heroes no? They are disconnected to the reality and they do not relate to the core audience. They are city bred, and have no idea as to how life is in the interiors. And frankly, what have they seen in life man? Like really. Love. Breakup, and that’s it? Love is such a cheap fiction we create for ourselves and for our movies. There is not one actor today that I can look and say, wow this is the guy who will be the next superstar. They just don’t have that. They are too safe. And versatility? Where’s that? I like a few actors here and there, but no one who can appeal to the whole two states. And actresses, I don’t even to talk about them. They are just hopeless symbols of weakness and stupidity. Some have the talent, I agree, but are they willing and brave enough. No. I don’t think so. Why would they care? They are being paid crores to dance. Are they in obligation like I was? I don’t hear any rumors like that. So what’s stopping them? Quick and easy money is all they care for.

On that note, Ma’am, YouTube is the new arena for Actors and Actresses, what is your take on them?

Mr Fox, I like you as a thinker and a writer, but don’t mind when I say this. This is by far the most stupid thing you’ve asked today. YouTube really? Please it is my humble request to you and everyone reading this article, YouTube performers are not Actors. They are just buffoons trying to jump around and make a quick name for themselves. It is just so easy for them no? Put a video out with zero content and acting abilities, but an interesting Love related title and you get famous. Please don’t demean or insult us by comparing them with us. To me Short films or YouTube series are just symbols of lack of passion. For all the directors and serious actors, as a senior actress let me tell you, No one fucking cares about your work. Your work on YouTube is of zero value here. Wake up. If you are serious, struggle, prepare scripts, get rejected a million times. Stick and find success on YouTube and you will never fucking go big. Even to the so called people acting in YouTube. Don’t get sold out so cheap. And don’t call yourself a director and an actor based on this. Any dick can make a movie on YouTube. So don’t make yourself look cheap. Shut the fuck up and go work hard. Enough of this little successes, aim for the biggest ones. Do little roles, extras roles, and slowly go into the movies. If you are working hard, opportunities will come. Don’t just be happy doing YouTube.

I think I have gotten all I needed from you, Ma’am. Lastly, for all the struggling actresses out there, who aspire to make it big in the industry. What is your advice to them?

Advice. How can I give any advice? I’ve shared my story. If you can see some sense in it, then it becomes my advice. Although, I wanted to say some things for the young generation of newcomers. These are just measures, but yeah I think they can be called Advice.

Firstly, for young girls coming into the industry, one thing is for sure, they must compulsorily have a backup plan. If not movies, if not acting what then? Only when they have an alternative, they should come in here. Most of the girls end up because of their passion for movies. But that alone is never going to help. My advice is complete your education, never let go of that. Apply for distance education courses. Do something to keep your education intact. You can only be free and strong in this industry, only when you have guts to leave it when you want. Be passionate, but not stupid.

One more thing, choose your company very carefully. I see that these newcomers, try to socialise quickly by visiting costly pubs and clubs which usually movie stars visit. Don’t do that. I know of no one who got a decent opportunity because they partied with stars. Also, as a newcomer, you need to be aware, of everything happening everywhere. Never shy away from work, but at the same time, don’t fall so low that you cannot get back up. Make contacts. Socialise but never sleep around. But then, who am I advising? The new generation is always smarter than what we were in that age. They know best. My only concern with them is that they take the opportunity for granted. To those who fail to make use of the opportunity, I would say, you have been chosen over a million girls who want to make it big. That opportunity is your responsibility. Don’t throw it away just for some quick money. Yes, so that is it.

By Shashikanth Dhotre

As the clock strikes, 11 in the night, I pack up my things and get ready to leave. She sits there quietly, watching me take a quick glance at my notepad. After our conversation, one thing becomes clear to me. She may be a tainted Heroine, but she’s a great woman, in all her flaws and all her goodness. Maybe, She is truly a symbol of tragedy in the veiled frame. She is perhaps more than everything she has talked to me about. She is Hope.

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