Sep 24 2010
Like any other ambitious youngster, Nandini flitted about her thoughts of pursuing a career from prawn culturing, advertising and civil services to medicine and engineering. After confusing everyone at home, she completed her masters in international politics before jumping as a clap assistant to Gunnam Gangaraju for Little Soldiers. She giggles, “It is like eating dal and chilli chicken together, but I guess I was destined to be here. My roommate recollects that I would wake up saying ‘lights, camera, action’!”
It wasn’t a dream start for the ebullient young lady who was looking to make a film. People didn’t take the English-speaking woman too kindly and had their own apprehensions that she might be a rich kid wanting to spend some time on the sets or aspiring to do some soft movie for a melodrama-loving audience.
Ramya Krishna recommended her to Krishna Vamsi and she worked for his films, from Chandralekha to Kadgam, and assimilated and absorbed every point of film like a sponge until he reminded her that she needs to move and make her own movie.
How did she feel, working with 115 men on the sets? Nandini says that she was never conscious about being a woman and that she was too absent-minded to worry about trivial stuff. There was a time when Krishna Vamsi pushed her too hard and she broke down; he even said that it wasn’t the place for a woman to be but all that was to drive her to bring out the best. From Gunnam Gangaraju’s perfection with a bound script to Krishna Vamsi’s spontaneity and brilliance, she had learnt it all.
When things weren’t moving here, she went to Mumbai and narrated her script My Best Friend’s Wedding and finalised the project with Karisma Kapoor and Sonali Bendre, when Manish Malhotra, who was working as a designer to Yash Chopra, informed Karisma that Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai had an identical plot. Nandini had to drop the project.
There were times when her morale was low and she joined World Space Radio as an RJ. Nandini avers, “When I wanted to make a film I was in a dilemma. I asked Krishna Vamsi what sort of story I need to write and he said write on something that you would ideally like to see on screen. That’s exactly what I did.”
Nandini is very optimistic. She has ventured into a domain that has been essentially male-dominated.
Jeevita and Vijaya Nirmala had the backing of the industry but this young lady from Errum Manzil Colony doesn’t have names to drop or boast about from anyone who’s remotely connected to Telugu cinema. She says, “I’ve created an entertaining film, my kind of movie and am raring to make my next once this releases.”