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From the ramp to the screen

Dusky starlet Poornima Mohan divides her time between the small and big screen

"Mega events, award nights... I love them all."
"I enjoy every moment of my life."
"If I were not an actress, I'd have been a fashion-designer."
Poornima Mohan is in a mood to talk.

The dusky, eight-film-old starlet speaks about the journey from the ramp to the studio floor. The face that has plugged jewellery, saris, watches and electronic goods sports a `been-there-seen-it-all' look.

Malayalam tele-serials, films that have caught public attention, a slew of dance programmes in different parts of the country and abroad... her hands are full. Yet, Poornima has her feet on terra firma, facing each assignment with the enthusiasm and earnestness that can be associated with a mature mind. In a matter-of-fact manner, she speaks of her entry into the tinsel world. Cinema was not high in her list of priorities, but one thing led to another. "Basically, I'm a dancer. I was initially trained in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniyattom, but after I won a scholarship by the Ministry of Culture, I concentrated on Mohiniyattom."

How did she move to showbiz? "A modelling offer came from a family friend who was a model coordinator. I looked at it purely as a part-time commitment. Before long, I found myself compering `Pepsi Top Ten' on Asianet, and it kick-started a career on TV."

Spotted by actor Thilakan, Poornima was cast, as Yamini, in the popular tele-serial `Peythozhiyathe'.

A familiar face for the couch potatoes, she has to her credit popular serials such as `Olangal', `Vava' and `Nizhalukal'. Currently, she lights up the small screen, anchoring `Hi-power Gulf Telequiz' and `Your Choice'. Her role in Kamal's feature film, `Megh Malhar', is fresh in public memory.

No glamour part though, she plays a woman who juggles her roles as wife, mother and bank employee. She is down-to-earth, yet charmingly impish. She fails to see her husband's romantic ideals, yet is deeply in love with him. Her innings in Malayalam films began with the Sundar Das film, `Varnakazhchakal', for which she "got a lot of support from (actress) Mallika Sukumaran".

She rattles off the names of her other works - `Valyettan', `Randambhavam', `Naranath Thampuran', `Unnathangalil' and `Danny'. She has also acted in T. V. Chandran's tele-serial, `Sadasivante kumbasaaram', `Inni onnu vishramikatte' and `Kaneeru paadangal'. Having been in the industry for a while, she knows the recipe for success: a blend of talent and pragmatism.

B.C.

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