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Actor with substance

Content today, Rohini is rebuilding her dreams



Lend me your voiceTelugu-Tamil actor Rohini wears many hats

“I'm going to be the best director,” says Rohini with quiet confidence. For the past 15 years she had been wanting to direct but then she got married, her husband, the late Raghuvaran didn't want her to work and when she eventually started working she didn't have the heart to leave her baby at home.

Now her son, Rishi Varan is 12 years old, she has finalised her script and everything seems to have fallen in place. Clad in jeans and a simple cotton T-shirt, Rohini looks every inch a peaceful, happy and a content woman, she flew to Hyderabad for a few hours to dub for a Telugu film Ala Modhalaindhi in which she plays mother of the hero.

A native of Anakapalli, Rohini spent her childhood in Chennai. With her family already in films, she had little or no choice except to work as an actor. Looking back the actress says she didn't mind being in movies and is thankful to her father for being a great influence on her.

Rohini worked with the best directors in Malayalam and Tamil cinema. She has been actively involved in Tamil theatre and a part of the neo Tamil literature movement.

“I feel sad that I am a zilch in Telugu cinema but I can't help it, I'm geographically exposed to Tamil Nadu,” says Rohini. Rohini is also a Tamil lyricist, writes episodes for Tamil TV serials and is a social activist

Dubbing act

Being such a creative person, doesn't she find dubbing a monotonous and a drab job? She says she loves giving different dimensions, matching the voice to the expressions of the characters. She's a favourite of Gautham Menon, Shankar and Maniratnam and had dubbed for Aishwarya Rai for Iruvar, Ravan (Telugu and Tamil) and Bombay. Recalling her association with Maniratnam, Rohini says he surprises by pushing her so much that she discovers another area of her personality that she had never explored. Matching Manisha Koirala's thin frame, translucent beauty, timid expressions were a challenge in Bombay and so was the falling scene of Aishwarya Rai and the scene in which Veera is dying. She says, “I almost damaged my vocal chords, for one take I screamed 25 times. My voice didn't have to sound good, it had to be real, strong and the pain audible without taking his name. Has Rohini always been like this — calm and composed? “No,” she grins, she had learnt recently that only when you talk less and you begin to start listening, the communication is effective.

Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY

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