Hers has been an interesting journey. For someone who grew up in Sydney, she has had a fabulous decade long run. In fact, it will not be an understatement to say that Vimala Raman is living out a fairytale, writes Sashidhar Adivi.
“Oh My God! I can’t believe that I have completed 10 years working in India when I look back (smiles). I was born and brought up in Australia, so to be able to act as an Indian in itself has been an achievement. It’s not easy being for so long in an uncertain industry like films but I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to work in several languages and different filmmakers. Thanks to God! I love what I’ am doing and actually love the fact that I have been doing it for 10 years. I was lucky enough to be introduced by Balachander sir. Juggling multiple industries has been a great experience. But I guess acting is about being called a performer,” Vimala recalls.
The ‘Evaraina Epudaina’ star, who attributes her perseverance in the filmdom to Swamy Vivekananda’s aphorism, feels that she learnt the art of ‘thriving on excellence’ from the inspiring Indian Hindu monk. “I think it’s really about the drive and the belief in yourself to do it. When I took up my career, it wasn’t just about being an actress; it was like a big life change for me. I had to move out of my comfort zone and move to India, change my lifestyle, miss my family, and had to make a lot of sacrifices. As a kid I had a book of Swamy Vivekananda’s sayings on my table on how to keep going and not relinquish once the goals are achieved. I have always been a performing artiste (dancer) since childhood and had the drive. So I just kept on going and ventured into new terrains to do as much as I can. But I never thought of getting into films, it just happened,” she puts in.
Although films did not change her as a person, Vimala states that it did change her perspective towards life. “Life in cinema has taught her a lot. I have gained a lot of insight into life after meeting people from different cultures through work. I learnt a lot of people skills, became a more confident person, able to communicate effectively and it made me open up to a lot of things like picking up new languages, etc. I grew as a person too and having lived in India, now I can live anywhere in the world (laughs). But it’s all part of the learning curve. As a kid, when people asked me what I wanted to become, I said, I wanted to be part of history but I don’t know what history. Now I’m glad that I’m part of Indian film history (smiles). Films are sheer art, which I’m always passionate about. I’m also lucky that my profession is something I was always passionate about. Life is about the journey of ups and downs and to me, the real success lies in coming out of a failure and not letting it affect you.”
Having worked in romantic entertainers, ask her how romantic she is in real life and pat comes her reply, “I am romantic and love watching romantic films. Starting from crushes in colleges, the one thing that I have learnt is that love is more than what you think it is. I did fall in love like everyone (smiles). Sometimes you fall in love and things don’t work out and you move on. After a couple of years, when you look back, you feel like saying, ‘Oh my God, what was I thinking at that time’ (smiles). But everything is a learning step and experience in life makes you learn better about yourself more than anything. So like everyone, I have had my share of childhood crushes (in Australia). When I was 9, I had a crush on an Aussie guy who used to work in a coffee shop opposite our school,” reveals the actress, who plays Goddess Lakshmi in Nagarjuna-starrer ‘Om Namo Venkatesaya’, directed by K Raghavendra Rao (KRR).
“Working with Nagarjuna and KRR is a big honour for me. It’s not every day that you get to play a goddess. There are some intense scenes too. Historical and mythological films have always been my priority,” she replies.
Turn on – Chivalry and sense of humour. Someone who adores me; I want to be adored by my man
Turn off – Body odour and guys who pretend
Are you in a relationship? – No!
Arranged or love marriage? – Love marriage
Dream role – Love to do a film based on dance like ‘Sagar Sangamam’ and ‘Mayuri’