Meet the daughters-in-law of ‘Kalavari Kodallu’

We call her the nasty queen of small screen and Naveena Yata breaks into a laugh. She plays Rekha, the vivacious vamp of Kalavari Kodallu on Zee Telugu and is popular for making everyone’s life miserable with her selfish and cunning ways. The serial has completed more than 600 episodes and viewers have got a dose of her wicked and unpredictable nature. At a far-off house in Sai Nagar in Pragati Nagar, where the serial is being shot, it is a scene of a frenzied activity. “Doing Kalavari Kodallu has been fun. It has been a nice journey,” smiles Naveena during a lunch break.

What prompted her to take up this ‘bad’ role and she says, “I looked at it from the performance point of view. There is good scope for acting and actors who play bad characters are more popular and there is instant recognition,” she says. She is joined by Sirisha, who plays Lekha, the other ‘good kodalu’ of the serial. If onscreen Rekha goes to any length to create turbulence in Lekha’s life, off screen, they both present a pretty picture. “Rekha and Lekha are sisters in the serial. Rekha is awful in her deeds, has an acidic tongue and her goal is to usurp the property and there is a game of one-upmanship too with Jagadishwari, her mother-in-law,” says Naveena of her character.

Sirisha is much like her ‘reel’ character – has a smiling face and looks innocent. “She is the youngest among the group and we make a lot of fun of her,” laughs Naveena. Sireesha has acted in serials like Adagaka Ichchina Manasu on Gemini and Mogali Rekulu and has been the finalist of Rangam dance show. Now, she is seen on Puthadi Bomma on ETV and Agni Pulu on Gemini.

Naveena had a television debut in the year 2003 and began as anchor. A decade later, she now runs a production house Yatas Movie Festival along with her husband Yata Satyanarayana which produces two serials - Kalavari Kodallu and Pelli Nati Pramanalu.

Being a producer is tough admits Naveena. “It is a different experience but quite hectic. From taking dates from the artistes to thinking about TRPs it is chaotic. The USP of Kalavari Kodallu is also the costumes and jewellery we women sport in the serial. Haritha who plays Jagadeshwari is very popular for her saris,” she says.

Television has been under the radar for airing serials with dormant themes. “TRPs show what people like and dislike. If viewers do not like a show/serial, they are ruthless in their feedback. We are giving viewers what they want,” she says and adds, “Thursday is the D-day for us when we get our TRP score.” After a hectic day, she de-stresses by playing with her four-year-old son Shreyas.

Her future plans? “We want our production house to be on the lines of Varma’s Factory and give employment to new technicians and artistes.”