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Interview with Udaya Bhanu
Date: May 14, 2008, Hyderabad
Meher Ramesh

Bubbly and vivacious anchor Udaya Bhanu makes her presence felt on the small screen in any kind of programme, she hosts. Be it a dance show, viewer interaction programme, a game show or a show like Sahasam Cheyyara Dimbakha, the act of bravery, she has her own style and cool body language and impeccable style of dressing, makes her a favourite television personality among the youth. met with this hardworking anchor at Annapurna studios where she was anchoring Janavule Nerajanavule program. Here are the excerpts of an exclusive interview -


I was born in Karim Nagar. My father expired when I was just 5 years old. By then my parents were separated. My mother wanted me to become an actress. I learnt Kuchipudi and stood first in all competitions I participated at district level. My stint with dance started at the age of 5..

My father was a hero
My father SK Patel was a doctor and my mother is an Ayurvedic doctor. My father was also a poet who wrote influencing writings with the pen name 'Udaya Bhanu'. And our parents named me after his pen name. Even today, everybody speaks very high of him. There is a statue of my father in our village. My mother says that I am more like my father. I feel really proud when she says that.

Dreams unlimited
Like my father, I too wanted to become a doctor. And my aspirations and goals used to change with the movies I watch. When I watched Kartavyam I wanted to become a super cop. When I watched Swarna Kamalam, I wanted to become a dance exponent. I also dreamed of becoming an air hostess because I feel that I am exceptionally good-looking.

I helped a naxalite
Our area used to be influenced a lot by naxalites. I was studying 7th class at that time. One evening, a naxalite came to our house and asked us to hide him. Our neighbor's place was vacant and we had the keys. Myself and my brother hid him in that house. We took him water and food. I stole 10 rupees from my mother's purse and gave it to him. After that he disappeared. The next day, I saw in newspaper that he was encountered. I felt very sad.

Sweet revenge
I remember an incident where I went for a dance competition. They had no contestants in classical dance and they wanted me to take part in it. But I was prepared to do folk dance, hence I said no. Angered with this, they gave the first prize to somebody else though I deserved it. When I cried, my mother said that they will respect me once I become famous. After me becoming famous, the same organization called me and felicitated me.

I studied in Vikarabad till my 10th class. I used to be very active in my school days. Our gang was called as 'Shiva gang' as Shiva was released at that time. I used to be taller and if I wear a saree, everybody would mistake me for a teacher. I had my tonsils operated in 7th class and I became tall and fat immediately after the operation. I love dancing in rain. I completed my MA in literature.

First film
My first film was Erra Sainyam by R Narayana Murthy. It was a role of 10 class girl who is the sister of R Narayana Murthy. I was also studying 10th class at that time. My career in TV started with Hridayanjali program on ETV.

Favorite actors
I love dances. Hence my favorite actors are the ones who are terrific dancers. Chiranjeevi is my all time favorite since childhood. Among the heroines Bhanu Priya and Radha are my favorites as they can dance well. I love movies with comedy and sentiment. I disgust films with violence and horror.

Tryst with tinsel town
I did a few films in Telugu. I worked for a couple of films in Kannada as heroine. Those films were hits. But I could not afford to continue in those films as I need to given them bulk dates and the remuneration was too less. I also acted in an unreleased Tamil film directed by RV Udaya Kumar.

Quality dominates quantity
I had done few programs in Telugu. All those programs got tremendous appreciation. The best ones I did so far were

1. Hrudayanjali (E TV)
2. Once More (Gemini)
3. Gold Rush
4. Dance Baby Dance
5. Rela re Rela
6. Sahasam Cheyara Dimbhaka

I always want to do different programs. I came to such a stage where money is not important anymore. I want quality work. I should like the concept. I need job satisfaction.

Reason behind staying on top for a long time
Hard work never fails. I am talented and beautiful. And I am dignified. I am doing a program called 'Mulakhat' which involves going to jails and interacting with jail inmates. And lots of judges called me and commended me for my contribution towards a social cause. For a show like Gold Rush, I read Pedda Bala Siksha and remember a few short stories to narrate. This is the profession I love and I am happy to be on the top.

I script
Ninety per cent of my programs don't have script writers. I write scripts to my programs.

Only one sacrifice
Yes. I love food. But I had to compromise on it.

Pachadi to Pasta
I love cooking. The range of dishes vary from avakaya pachadi to Italian dish Pasta.

On comments about aggressive dressing
I look sensuous on the screen with my costumes. I look beautiful and I have a nice figure and nice cloths make me look more sensuous. My costumes were never vulgar. I know my limits. I wear long skirts. Whoever is commenting on my dress sense might be doing out of jealously.

One must check out the costumes I had for the item song in Aapada Mokkula Vadu (click here for gallery). I kept a condition to Posani Krishna Murali that I would wear completely covering dresses and I am not going to do any vulgar steps. He agreed.

I have come to a position where I can be firm about how I am going to be.

Love story
My love story was a pretty usual like any others. We are the best buddies. The biggest mistake I had done in my life was putting a press meet against my mother when she opposed our marriage. I am ashamed of washing the dirty linen in the public. These issues should be sorted out in the family instead of going to the public. Now everything is fine.

My advice to others is not to go to public when you have problems. Try to solve them internally. When we searched for a house after marriage, nobody came forward because we eloped. We had to stay in the house of actor Uttej for a few days. After that my mother came to me and invited me back to the house. I am happy that I am blessed with a sweet husband. He is like one more mother to me.

I was approached by a political party to contest in Karim Nagar. I said no. I am just 27 now. I will think about politics after I reach 55.

Revenge killers inspired by our films
Love means compromise and sacrifice. Love is not about killing. I think films are influencing the youth a lot. Not even a single hero character in the film has characteristics of a good human being. Even if good films like Parugu are made with good hero character, people start saying that the second half is not good. I think the Government and law should punish these killers in a strong way so that others will be discouraged to do such things.

I wanna have six kids
I will work for 3 more years and then start having kids till the number reaches six. I am very fond of kids.

India is known for apathy
I have two brothers. One own brother and one cousin brother. My cousin brother went to picnic along with the friends and he drowned in that lake. His friends did not tell us for the next 4 days. It is the heights of apathy and irresponsibility in our Indians. He died because he was born in India.

I got many moms
I get lot of fan mails. What impress me are the mothers who see their daughters in me.

Future plans
I want to continue anchoring and would become an entrepreneur soon. If I quit anchoring I would not be doing justice to over 1 lakh costumes I have in my wardrobe.


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