On her own terms

interview Anchor Chitralekha is in a happy place

It is not easy being a stage anchor holding the attention of audience with spontaneity, wit and a clear diction. Anchor Chitalekha has managed to do all this and more and become a popular face at corporate events. In fact, her calendar is marked with more than 10 corporate shows every month. On the small screen, she is the host of Teluginti Ammayi , showcasing Telugu kattu, bottu and teepi maata . Telunginti Ammayi , a daily show on Doordarshan is not like your regular game show aired on satellite channels. It has masti with a difference and tries to connect the viewers to their roots. “What attracted me to the show was the way Telugu pride was showcased,” she says. The programme has five rounds with each round titled after interesting Telugu names, so it’s like taking a peek into history. Sample these: Mutyala logili, Pagadala vakili, Podupu kathalu (about the old and almost forgotten Telugu riddles), Erratanala mungili and Padyala Kadali and Andala Jabili . Watching the show is like sitting through a Telugu class with Chitralekha and other participants talking in fluent Telugu.

Interestingly her small screen stint began as a model where slowly and steadily she came under the spotlight. She has done shows like Nanna, Manasa Veena, Radha Madhu, Kanakamahalakshmi Cinema Club, Maa Oori Vanta, Just for Fun, Dammu the game show along with Pradeep on different channels and the dance shows Aata, Jalsa, Nacho Re and Nartanasala .

Chitralekha has done small roles in 20 plus movies like Parugu, Classmates, Betting Bangaraju and in the recently-released Dammu , where she played NTR’s sister. She has managed to scale the popularity scales but has also lost out on few movies due to one condition of hers — “No, exposing please,” she says with a laugh. “I will not do scenes which require me to wear indecent clothes and will also not do intimate scenes. I have nothing against actresses who do it. This is my choice. I want to do roles with an emphasis on acting than on one’s clothes.” She lost out on Satyam (which starred Genelia) and Oosaravelli because of this term of hers. Chitralekha says unlike her bubbly avatar onscreen, she is a reserved person once the camera rolls off.

At a time when youngsters are addicted to their mobile phones, Chitralekha doesn’t own one and doesn’t feel the need also. “My uncle deals with my dates and I don’t party,” she says. Chitralekha is in a happy place and is looking forward to Dalam.

neeraja murthy

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