Actress Sumalatha gears up for an innings on the small screen

At a time when film stars (yesteryear's and current) are seeking refuge on the small screen to resurrect their careers, Telugu actress Sumalatha walks a different path. Television soaps do not interest her nor is she itching to be a judge on the song-n-dance reality shows.

“I do not watch TV serials. Even the reality shows appear to be quite fake,” she says candidly. However, the actress has found an interesting concept and is all set to turn a new leaf on TV. Batuku Jatka Bandi to be anchored by Sumalatha and telecast on Zee Telugu on May 6 at 9 p.m. is all about real people and their issues. “What I liked about the programme was that it was not a mindless entertainer. The show helps people to come on a platform and pour their hearts out. The episodes engage your brain and people do not put up an act to impress somebody,” she says.

Different perception

Batuku Jatka Bandi(a laa Tamil talk show hosted by actress Lakshmi) will have a team of members including a psychiatrist and legal counsellor to counsel on their problems and suggest only solutions. “Human relationships have always fascinated me and I have been reading a lot on the subject,” explains Sumalatha on her interest in the programme and adds, “I have always been intrigued to know why some people behaved in a different way. The interactions were an eye-opener. People have a different perception of celebrities. Everything looks happy and nice to them when we are smiling, signing autographs and posing for photographs. Even our understanding of people is different. Only when we mingle with them, we realise each one has a unique self to them.”

Her name evokes sweet memories and her characters were quite special too.

Not surprisingly, her favourite movie is Sruthilayaludirected by K. Viswanath. “Even now I get e-mails from Telugu people all over the world appreciating my performance. What more can an actress ask for,” she says. Does she miss being in films? “Not really,” she retorts and continues, “I was lucky to act in good movies and work with some great directors. Such makers do not exist any more. So there is no point of regretting.” She keeps herself busy by travelling, reading and taking care of her teenaged son.

Her husband Kannada actor Ambareesh is in politics so that takes a lot of her time too.

Future project

Buzz future projects and she smiles, “I do get motherly roles but I refuse them as I do not want to be just a regular mother,” she smiles. However, she might be doing a Malayalam film soon with Amitabh Bachchan.

Age has not taken away her considerable charm and a few lines here and there only add grace to her dazzling smile.

No wonder, her funda in life has been to: “Enjoy and take life as it comes. I do not set goals and rather wait for surprises,”