The night before Uthara got ready to travel to the location of her debut movie, her mother and noted actress Asha Sharath told her, “You should reach the sets on time. Cinema is the collective effort of lots of people. Do not make them wait for you. Moreover, you should see the director as your guru.”
‘Khedda’ starring Asha Sharath and her daughter in the lead roles is helmed by Manoj Kana. It was quite unexpectedly that Uthara who had done a degree mechanical engineering landed a meaty role in the movie.
“Uthara was with me when director Manoj came home to narrate the story to me. He asked her whether she was interested in playing a role in the film. She didn’t even know what her character was. Manoj is a filmmaker who expresses the medium of cinema in a unique way. When we hear the news of an accident, we do not think much about it. ‘Khedda’ is about such thoughts and emotions. It is a journey exploring human emotions,” said Asha sitting at her home in Ernakulam. The house is named ‘Balagokulam’ to honor the memories of her brother Balu who had bid adieu to this world at a young age. Since then, Asha’s DP on her WhattsApp is a picture of her with Balu.
The rhythm of dance
“I can live without doing movies, but I cannot survive without dancing. I have been listening to the rhythm of dance steps since the day I was born (her mother his noted danseuse Kalamandalam Sumathi). All I wish for is to be able to perform well and impart this knowledge to others. I and my mother are Uthara’s gurus in dance. She is a mechanical engineer. Her marriage was fixed after the filming ended. The groom is based in Mumbai. Uthara can look at me to understand that marriage is not an obstacle to anything. I didn’t give up dance or acting after getting married. We are extremely delighted that she would be married into a family that respects arts and accept it as a great profession. Her groom Aditya Menon is a chartered accountant,” noted the actress with a smile.
“In an interview, Bollywood actress Tabu had said that she was inspired by the character Geetha Prabhakar in ‘Drishyam’. I was incredibly happy listening to her words. The protagonist’s wife is the female lead only in the Malayalam version. In Hindi, Tabu’s face had appeared in the film’s posters alongside Ajay Devgn. I also acted in the Tamil and Kannada versions of the film. People still call me ‘Police Amma’ and shower me with love whenever I go to Tamil Nadu. It was Drishyam that gave me the opportunity to act in the Telugu movie ‘Bhagamati’ which had Anushka Shetty in the lead role. ‘Drishyam’ had in fact changed my life,” said Asha.
Asha is currently busy touring the world with her latest dance drama ‘Devabhoomika’. During the megafloods of 2018, a few Malayalis in Dubai were able to send fourteen containers full of essential items to Kerala within a short span of time. It indeed was a big achievement. ‘Devabhookima’ has been composed as a dance drama with the mind of an expatriate Malayali who perceives Kerala in a unique way. Interestingly, screen icon Mohanlal becomes the ‘voice’ of the Malayali. Asha has already presented it in a few stages and wishes to take ‘Devabhoomika’ to different parts of the world where Keralites are settled.
Asha started the Prana Asha Sharath cultural center to promote art among the common people. She wishes that art should be accessible to everyone. Time or money shouldn’t be a hindrance for anyone to learn an art form. Now, more than ten thousand art lovers have downloaded the mobile application to learn various art forms.
“I started dancing at the age of three. But, I get tensed every time I perform on stage as if it is my debut performance. I think cinema is easier than dancing as you get a chance to rectify your mistakes in cinema. In fact, I am relaxed when I am acting,” said Asha.