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Charming as ever

The lissome dancing star Bhanupriya is back on screen after a brief hiatus



Bhanupriya in the Telugu serial `Sarvamangalam'.

BHANUPRIYA IS an absolutely no-airs actress who had carved a niche for herself in both Telugu and Tamil movies for nearly two decades. She made her mark right from day one when her first Telugu movie Sitara released way back in the Eighties and catapulted her to the top heroine status. " Before I made an entry into Telugu films, I had done a Tamil film - Mella Pesunghzal. Then came Prema Deepalu (Telugu) which got delayed while Sitara made it to the box office,'' says Bhanu as she is affectionately called on sets (presently Sravana Maasam-Pellilla Season).

Marriage and motherhood has not dented her looks one bit, notwithstanding the slight girth, post- maternity, which she is slowly shedding.

Behind the charming, chiselled features and limpid eyes lies a candid heart with clarity in vision. Recalling those initial years when she was hand-picked to be cast as a heroine by a Tamil director, Bhanupriya says, "Frankly, though I used to watch film shooting, I never dreamt I would ever become a star. To me, at that young age, a star meant glamour and I thought I wouldn't fit the bill. As a child I recollect wrapping my mother's sari clumsily around and prattling long dialogues in front of the mirror trying to act out my then favourite heroine's role myself. I started learning dance from the age of six and went on till I got busy with films. I nearly drew a blank on my first shooting. In time to come I learnt a lot on the sets.'' Even today with hundred hits to boot, Bhanupriya still thinks her memorable performances came her way as a "matter of luck,'' rather than admit her exceptional acting talent.



With husband Adarsh Kaushal.

If Swarna Kamalam (K. Vishwanath) put her on the pedestal as a dancer , films like Pavitra (not a runaway hit) Sravanameghalu, Azhagan, Aararo Aariraro (Tamil) established her as a versatile actress. Whatever the role she essayed, whether in Malayalam, Telugu or Tamil, Bhanupriya will attest the stamp of a powerful performance on it. At the height of her glory, she decided to `settle' down in life when she got married to Adarsh Kaushal (son of dancer Sumathi Kaushal) in the US . "I whittled down my film assignments completing those on hand then. Later, I did a couple of tele-serials like

Shakti and films with strong character roles, which I'm still doing of course. This suits me as I can look after my kid and also keep myself occupied,'' she says as a matter- of- fact.

Did she not miss out the milling fans, the star glamour she has been accustomed to all these long years?

"Not at all. I was happy then to become popular actress now I am content as a woman. In fact, it is now that I want to establish myself as a dancer with more workouts and brush-up my first love,'' she signs off.

RANEE KUMAR

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