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adhubala akes a comeback

neeraja murthy
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interview Returning to the film industry after 15 years, actress Madhubala plays the role of a mother in ‘Anthaku Mundhu Aa Taruvatha’

second inningsMadhubala
second inningsMadhubala

When actress Madhubala (Madhoo to Hindi audience) crooned Chinni chinni aasha, chinnadani aasha, mudhu mudhu aasha, muthyamantha aasha … in Mani Ratnam’s movie Roja , the song was on every youngster’s lips. Now, the actress in her real life is singing a ‘I have a dream’ song. “We all have dreams,” says Madhubala excitedly and continues, “We all want more from life. I have more dreams than any one else. I never got a Filmfare award so I want one.”

Madhubala’s dreams got a boost when she heard a narration by director Mohan Krishna Indraganti for his new movie Anthaku Mundhu, Aa Taruvatha . “I wanted to do either a Hindi or a Tamil film and return to the film industry. I didn’t want to do a Telugu film because I don’t know the language well,” she remarks and adds, “The story drew me in. With Indraganti being a national-award winning director, I knew I was in good hands” Anthaku Mundhu … stars MS Raju’s son Sumanth Ashwin and Eesha. In the movie, Madhubala plays the role of Eesha’s mother. Explaining her role, she says, “It is an emotional story and I play the role of a mother who got married when she was young. She has unfulfilled dreams and starts working to fulfil them. It’s a progressive story and in a way shows the new India where women in their 40s are brimming with ideas and want to achieve something in life. To fulfil their dreams, they start boutiques, take up costume designing and hold exhibitions.”

Madhubala feels ‘blessed and fortunate’ to have worked with directors like Shankar in Gentleman and Mani Ratnam in Roja . “I worked with fantastic directors and after my marriage, I moved into a very good home and have two children. I look at everything with gratitude and fondness,” she says and rues, “But I do miss the buzz. I can’t lie about it. I love life and my family but I miss the excitement of being a performer and the challenges one gets to face as an artiste.”

Madhubala finds her aunt Hema Malini an inspiring personality. “Knowingly or unknowingly I wanted to be the way Hema has been. She had a wonderful career and I look at her with awe. But I have not been able to pursue dancing the way she has. I think I am too lazy as a person,” she says with a laugh. She loved watching Sridevi in her comeback movie English Vinglish . “That’s the kind of role I wanted to play. There was no running around trees and Sri played her age and was the main protagonist of the movie.”

How does she keep herself occupied? “I am if you wish to say the cliché, the ‘student of life.’ I take back something from every experience – deep or frivolous. As an artiste, I never had time to read. Now, I have become a voracious reader, I watch good kutcheris and movies. I enrich myself in every possible way.”

With her making a comeback (“Personally I don’t want the word ‘comeback’), will her future include more movies and may be a debut on television? “I left the industry after working for so many years. I want to work and finish projects. I am in a happy and contented state of life.”

neeraja murthy


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