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Down but not out

Kamna Jethmalani on what she’s invested in her film career and how much she’s gained

Photo: V. Raju

Best is yet to come Kamna Jethmalani

She grew up to be a fiercely independent teenager. “Self-reliance is what I always craved for. As a college student, I would feel guilty when my parents gave me pocket money. I felt extremely bad to spend their hard-earned money for my own small luxuries,” says actor Kamna Jethmalani.

That probably explains why she started working when she was all of 17. “I grabbed a few modelling assignments that came my way. I have walked the ramp for a measly Rs. 500 for sheer passion while there were occasions when I turned down a remuneration of Rs. 5 lakh for my convictions.” Barring Ranam in which she was paired with Gopichand she did a series of inconsequential films which sank without a trace. “In every part of life there are disappointments that can set you back. But setbacks actually force you to take risks, learn and grow,” she says confessing how, at times, she was bogged down by negative emotions. “But I don’t wallow in misery of the past. I am eager to rewrite my script and see things differently,,” she says emphatically. Back after a hiatus, the actress will be seen in Bendu Apparao – RMP, a comedy flick expected to hit theatres by Dasara. She is paired with Allari .”

“I went to Mumbai and completed my graduation. If I am happy about completing my degree, I am ecstatic about my belly dancing classes.”

The fact that models in Bollywood look down upon heroines down South irks Kamna. “They barely have any idea about the tough battle of survival here. They think bagging a role in a south Indian film is a cakewalk. For most of them, south films are all about buxom beauties. When I tell them about my film career they ask me: “How come? You are so thin…?” Despite being on the sidelines, Kamna retains the vigour and dedication of a newcomer. Today she may be down, but she is not out. The best of her is yet to come.

P. SUJATHA VARMA

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