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Namrata Shirodkar On Being The Power Behind Mahesh Babu’s Throne

Subhash K . Jha

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Namrata Shirodkar and Mahesh Babu

Namrata Shirodkar Speaks  To Subhash  K Jha On Being The Power Behind Mahesh Babu’s Throne

 The very beautiful Namrata Shirodkar , better known in Hyderabad as superstar Mahesh Babu’s wife, is happier than she ever imagined she would be.

“It’s been 14 years of marriage and 4 years of courtship before that. We’ve been together in every sense,  through all these years and I feel we’ve been growing together.Now there are the two children Gautam and  Sitara whom we’re watching grow up.It’s the most blissful feeling in  the universe. I wouldn’t exchange this life of mine for anything in the world,” says Namrata who was never very career-oriented when she left Mumbai and Bollywood to become Mrs Mahesh Babu.

“I don’t have even a moment of regret for leaving my career behind. You know better than anyone else that I was never career-oriented, not in the way other heroines are. Of course, I took  my work seriously. But I never solicited work, never sought fame or money. I  got what came to me. I remember  getting a  call from Mrs Jaya Bachchan after my film Vaastav(with Sanjay Dutt, directed  by Mahesh Manjrekar) saying I  should  have got the National award  for  my performance. Those rare moments of acknowledgement were  enough reward  for  my career.”

 Once she  met Mahesh Babu it was  only  he  for Namrata. “I happily  moved  to Hyderabad . We had  to  wait for four years before we could marry. I used that time to wrap up my work and my family obligations in Mumbai and after marriage  it’s just been Mahesh and now the children for me.I hardly  socialize here in Hyderabad.Even if Mahesh has  to attend  a function  I’d rather be home with the children with my my hair oiled.”

Does she miss Mumbai? “My parents are no  more . So the incentive isn’t there. My sister(actress Shilpa Shirodkar) was  never  around .She got married and left for England.She’s always on  the move.So  moving to Hyderabad  to be with the  love of my life was just the life I dreamt  of. Funny, all my dreams have come true.”

At home the best time is when the family is  together. “Whenever Mahesh is  not working he  is at home with me  and the children. He loves to dance with our daughter Sitara. There  is the one dance step that the two of them  have been trying to master for weeks now. Neither father nor daughter is able to do it.As  for me, the less said about my dancing abilities the better. Our son Gautam  is  very shy just like his father. So Mahesh has to pull him into the father-daughter dance binges.”

How does Namrata  like being called the power behind the throne? “You know, people believe Mahesh does what I ask him to. That’s not true. He may look shy and gentle. But  he  knows his mind. All his career decisions are taken by  him. He decides which film to do. But he does  share the  plot and script idea with me though in  a casual way. As for the way he dresses up, well I do advise him on the clothes to wear. But again, the final decision is his. But yes, if he dresses differently  from the other actors in Andhra I could have influenced his sartorial choices. I don’t deny that.”

Right now Namrata is  celebrating the grand success of her husband’s  latest release Bharat Ane Nenu which has already crossed 160 crore rupees.

She beams, “It is  the biggest  success of his career.I can’t tell you what a  joy it is specially since Mahesh’s last two films were disasters. Mahesh hates to let down his fans.  He feels a sense of  responsibility towards them. When his last two films didn’t do well he was constantly questioning himself and his choices. Bharat Ane Nanuhas answered  the question on what his audience wants. I feel as though I’ve just won  a marathon race.”

 On top of  the success is the  news of Mahesh being waxed at Madame Tussaud’s.

“The  first actor from Andhra to be so honoured!We are  both humbled and overjoyed. If he is seen as  the face of Telugu cinema it’s not just my prayers. It’s also the prayers and love  of all his fans.”

Mahesh, Namrata and the two kids are now off for a month-long holiday.  “ I feel we’ve earned this break. I am exhausted. I just want  to meditate ,  do nothing  for a month. Then there is  the next film to  worry about.”

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