FRIDAY REVIEW

Southern siren from Surat

Head turner Namita in her element and (below) with co-star Prabhas in the recent hit ‘Billa’.

Head turner Namita in her element and (below) with co-star Prabhas in the recent hit ‘Billa’.  

Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY

She is a temptress, a moll and a glam doll but Namita is playing the Telugu cinema game with her clout in Tamil film industry.

The word love still causes a flutter in my heart, nothing can stop love and time



Down South, Namita is a rage. Her name figures among the most searched ones on the Internet and a national channel telecast an interview with her for one-hour duration. She has 2,500 fans’ associations in Tamil Nadu alone. She was Ms. Dream Girl thrice in Chennai. Her fans have even zeroed in on a piece of land to construct a temple for her. Men consider her an element of fantasy and women find her interesting. The lady who played femme fatale innumerable times avoids direct contact with the media, while playfully skirting around the paparazzi and keeping us guessing.

The bitter past

Namita narrates her case study to Friday Review and guffaws, “I really don’t bother what is written about me. But I believe that when you guys stop writing about me, I’m no longer important.” She has tried to slough off her rackety past and confesses, “Yes, I have been in a long and a bad relationship but that doesn’t mean love doesn’t exist. The word love still causes a flutter in my heart, nothing can stop love and time.”

Namita left the Telugu film industry as a one-film starlet and has now returned with Billa as a moll and a temptress, a seductress in Jaganmohini, a cop in an untitled film and the list goes on endlessly.

As a child she always wanted to see herself on TV and begged her dad to put her into the idiot box. She recollects taking her pictures on the camera and admiring herself as time flew by. She was the first runner up in Miss India and a modelling stint helped her get into Sontham. “I was 17, so naïve without a godfather and found myself suddenly alone dealing with all kinds of strangers,” she quips. Bhairavi, rechristened Namita, is a Gujarati from Surat and belongs to a joint family of 14 members; she is from a regular middle class family and her father’s pet.

Doesn’t her father get embarrassed by her on-screen wardrobe and roles? Why did she choose to become a sexy siren? She explains that after her first film in Telugu didn’t work out, she had no idea what the audiences expected out of her and had no manager to help her with her career; she left to Chennai and began choosing movies that she felt was right and interesting at that time. One film titled Aie with Sharat Kumar had a song Arjuna Arjuna that required her to wear a revealing costume. She recalls that she almost screamed and stomped out but minutes later resolved to wear it and finish the shot. The film went on to become a massive hit and for Namita, there was no looking back. She was a hit in Tamil and Malayalam industry.

About her dad’s reaction to her work, she giggles, “He came with me to Malaysia for a shoot and I was dressed in an outfit with plunging neckline; when I saw him I covered myself with a scarf. He hung his head down and gestured to me saying that I can go to the location while he will stay back and wait for me. I think he understands my profession and is proud of where I stand.” Namita does get a fat pay packet and does not do item numbers. Point noted.

Namita is not ashamed of the way she dresses and says it’s all in the mind: “The confidence you exude even when you wear a sheet of paper on yourself lends dignity.” Her fans love to see her being on the heavier side and sometimes get bored with her roles. The actress says, “Recently they wanted me to lose weight and I did. For Billa, I lost seven kilos in a month. Anushka had taught me yoga and I do 60 suryanamaskars everyday, it has had a calming effect on me. I workout regularly. I used to be fair skinned but working outdoors has given me a nice tan and has helped me with my make up. ”

So who is the craziest fan she had bumped into of late? She smiles and replies, “One person held my hand, and after I withdrew, he kept kissing his own hand and was crying inconsolably. I felt good and at the same time far more responsible.”

Finally, will she wear a sari? What is her next aim? She says her fans might not like it but again retracts, “Even if I wear a sari they would want me to look sexy and voluptuous. I also want a temple in Andhra Pradesh.” Are her fans in AP listening?



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