Mangalorean.com as the proud Official Media Partner of “Lions Club Mangalore (Kankanady-Padil) grand fundraiser event ‘New Year Gala Celebrations’ on December 31 at 7 pm at St Aloysius PU College Gonzaga Grounds, Mangaluru heartily welcomes Bollywood actress Kalpana Pandit, along with other cine stars. The highlight of the celebrations will be the grand premiere of Bollywood Director Sandeep Malani’s Kannada/Tulu short film ‘Sulige Sikkidaga’ -Actors Akash Hora and Vivek S Punjabi, along with other celebrities namely Arjun Kapikad, Umesh Mijar and Sonal Monteiro, Jnana Aithal (DID Lil’ Masters Fame) will also grace the event.
A musical titled ‘Yashraj Heroines De Jayenge’ by Malani Talkies will also have its screening during the New Year’s Eve bash. In order to appeal to the youth, children and families, a variety of entertainment has been included to make a fun filled evening. Sumptuous New Year Dinner Buffet has been arranged with over 80 delicacies and seafood. Other attractions are the magic show, spot drawing and caricature, palm reading, henna, mehendi, tattoo, etc. along with a spectacular cracker show. Special Zones have been created for Children’s Games and to ‘Meet the Stars’, where one can take selfies with the film stars. Be there to witness the biggest entertainment it will be a star studded extravaganza with lots of entertainment, music and dance.
Mangaluru: You can call her the “Jack of All Trades” or “Queen of All Trades”, because she is one of the greatest celebrities who is an actress, an independent Producer, an Entrepreneur, and a Board Certified Doctor-and she is none other than Kalpana Pandit, originally from Mysuru and now settled in Tucson-Arizona, USA, where she is practising as a Physician. Being the proud owner of the film production company “House of Pandit ( TM ), Kalpana is known for her works in Bollywood, and Kannada cinema. I had the proud privilege to meet Kalpana Pandit for an exclusive interview at Hotel Moti Mahal, after the press meet pertaining to Lions Club, Kankanady-Padil “New Year Gala Celebrations”.
With a goal to create classic films as an actor/producer that spreads awareness on social and media issues, Kalpana has produced quite a few short films, and has acted in nearly 17 films, including Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and English. In 2008, she hosted the technical awards ceremony of Zee Cine Awards in London. In 2012, Pandit served as one of the jury of the Mrs. America Pageant 2012, which took place on August 29, 2012, at Tucson, Arizona,USA. In November 2013, she served on the Celebrity Judging Panel of “Mrs World 2013” held in Guangzhou, China. She has also judged the Bollywood-based dance competition “Naach Revolution” in New Jersey-USA in 2013. The passionate diva has rocked every sphere that she has set her foot in.
Looking at her acting career, Kalpana has to her credit-In 2000-Gaja Gamini Abhisarika (Hindi); 2001-Moksha NeelimaHindi; 2002-Pitaah Hindi Special Appearance (Song ‘Meri Jawani’); 2003-Pran Jaye Par Shaan Na Jaye (Hindi); 2003-Om Hindi Special Appearance; 2003-Pyaar Kiya Nahin Jaatha Anju (Hindi); 2004- Ananda manandamaye Telugu Special Appearance; 2007-Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav Supermodel “Chidiya Chidiya”Hindi Special Appearance; 2007-Deha Super model (Hindi); 2009-Anubhav Laila (Hindi); 2010-Jo Jo Laali Kalpana (Kannada); 2011-Love Khichdi Nafisa Khan (Hindi); 2012-Panithuli Maya (Tamil); 2012-Janleva 555 Neelam / Rajani (Hindi); 2013-The Chinaman Caroline (English); 2014-Tum Ho Yaara Maya (Hindi). Some of the awards to her credit are :Best Actress Kannada – South Indian Mega Short Film Festival 2011 Bangalore – Jo Jo Laali (2010); Best Actress- Bangalore Shorts Film Festival 2013 – ” Jo Jo Laali”; Actress/ Independent New Producer Award 2013 – Shiv Rajmudra Chatrapati Shivaji Award Mumbai 2013 for ” Janleva 555″.
Kalpana Pandit is the grand-daughter of Ayurvedic physician Bhishagratna Ayurveda Vidwan Sri B. V. Pandit. After gaining M.B.B.S. degree, she obtained M.D. in internal medicine, from USA. She then worked as an emergency physician in U.S.A. Kalpana has modeled for television commercials products like Wheel detergent powder, Mysore Sandal Talc, Nyle, and Ranipal stain remover, Sirtex in India and many others. In 2000, she made her acting debut with the Bollywood film Gaja Gamini directed by M. F. Hussain.
Kalpana says that she is a simple person with lot of dreams in her eyes. Her main goal is to create classic films as an actor/ producer with timeless stories that multiple generations can watch, and also to spread awareness on Social and Medical issues with each film, so that everyone will be able to touch every corner of the globe with important messages, but garbed in an entertaining commercial story line. Apart from movies, her other great passion is expanding her network marketing business with a global firm.
Ever since she was a child, the larger than life, magical world of 70 mm movies drew her like a moth to a flame! (laughs) she reveled in getting completely absorbed into the mesmerizing world of fantasy created by the stories of Bollywood and they transported her to a world of mystery, music, dance, emotions, romance and action. After watching a movie, she would come home thoroughly energized. And as she grew…her education took precedence over everything and she became a doctor. But somewhere inside her laid the actor, waiting to express herself on the silver screen! Once she had completed her higher medical education, she decided to take up acting, and here she is with big achievements in life in the field of acting, and much more.
Following are the excerpts from the exclusive interview with the Mysore girl, Kalpana Pandit (precisely Nanjangud, Karnataka), who is practicing as a Physician in the US :
Q : What made you to step into acting in movies?
I have loved the magic of the silver screen ever since I was a little kid. I always got completely drawn into the larger than life canvas of celluloid and the tales of wonder and beauty and emotions it created. Even today, I feel movies can shape the minds of youngsters for generations to come. Great actors and performances stay in our hearts and minds long after we see their movies. We can sit and watch certain classics over and over and never get bored. Each time we watch them, we learn something new!
Only after I grew up and completed my Medical Education, I was ready to step into the world of cinema confidently. I did an acting course in Mumbai and was very fortunate to get a wonderful break in the movie ” Gajagamini ” which starred legends of Indian Cinema such as Madhuri Dixit, Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Shah Rukh Khan ( special appearance ). I was fascinated to observe them work on the sets in my very first film.
After acting in over a dozen of films, I realized that I truly love the magical world of Cinema and wished for more creative control so that I could work hard at creating great stories of human interest. At that point, I decided to put more time and consistent effort into this amazing profession of movies. That was when I established my own Production Banner House of Pandit as a tribute to my illustrious Grand Father Sri B. V. Pandit of Nanjangud who was someone I treasured and respected as an ideal person. The very successful, multiple award winning HIV/ AIDS awareness film Jo Jo Laali; a full-fledged Bollywood feature film, a timeless romantic thriller Janleva 555; two co-productions with Dreams on Frames:Panithuli (Tamil) and Tum Ho Yaara (Hindi). I am so proud that all of these films and others have been released and appreciated for their creative appeal.
Q: Was it your childhood dream to become an actress? Was it your own decision or some motivated/influenced you to get into movies?
It was absolutely my own decision to be a part of great timeless classics where amazing stories are told in the beautiful medium of cinema. When I saw the performances of legendary actors such as Amitabh Bachchan, Sridevi of Indian Cinema and George Clooney, Julia Roberts, etc of Hollywood, I knew these personalities can influence lives with their striking work on the silver screen and I was mesmerized by that possibility.
Even to this day, the stunning performances of my idol Srideviji take me to a dream world of enchantment . Movies like ” Mr India ” ” Chandni ” ” Chaalbaaz ” are evergreen.
Q: Who has been your biggest strength in your life? What is your limitation as an actress?
My biggest strength is the love I am receiving from my audience! Once my work gets appreciated , it becomes a huge high and I am grateful to all my fans for showing such immense faith in my movies so far.
My limitation I guess is something that my audience will have to let me know 🙂 As far as I am concerned, I try not to think of it in that way, because I do my very best each moment when I am in front of the camera and give it my 100%
Q: You being slim and tall, I have heard that South Film Directors want their actresses to be plump but Bollywood is all about being size zero, what’s your take on that?
All I believe in is being FIT and ENERGETIC! I truly believe that if an actress is healthy , strong and fit, then there is a natural grace and glow in her personality and that will reflect on screen. There are so many top actresses who are so different from each other and yet they are loved by the audiences for their talent and screen presence rather than focusing on size. I personally love to watch actresses with a zing in their personality, whose eyes twinkle with talent and brilliance and who can entertain the audience with great acting, dance and emotion. The rest doesn’t matter
Especially me coming from a medical background, I am very very clear about the fact that all people ( not just actors ) should focus on health and fitness first. That’s my take on it 🙂 And frankly, I think the Indian Film Industry gives opportunity to all actors if their work is good.
Q: What have you learned from entering into stardom?
First of all , I don’t think of myself as a Star 🙂 I am flattered that you say that, but to myself, I am an actor striving to create great films. As far as what I have learnt, the world of Movies is Magical and yet chaotic. Every moment, every day is a brand new experience and it is a joy to experience. The challenges are many, but once all that hard work gets translated into a beautiful movie on celluloid and the audiences give their approval, every bit of hard work is worth it!
I have also learnt to be patient, have faith in my own talent and work hard without giving up! Because even though there are many times when it all seems too difficult, when we stick through the tough times is when the greatest rewards come through.
It has also taught me about great teamwork. Nothing is possible unless we work in tandem with every single member of the cast and crew and make it a pleasant experience for everybody. During a film, we all end up working long harsh hours and it is very important to support and help each other do their very best work if a film has to be successful
Q: Which is your best role in movies, according to you?
I have honestly LOVED every single role I have performed in my movies so far, because I have 100% focus and dedication to each character I have played. It’s very hard to pick One role as my best one, again, I would love my audiences to tell me 🙂
However, I must say, That ever since I became a Producer with my banner ” House of Pandit ” in 2010, my movie roles have become even more special, because not only am I playing the role, but I am also part of the entire making of the film.
Hence, my role of ” Kalpana ” in the multiple award winning HIV/ AIDS awareness film ” Jo Jo Laali… a heart wrenching lullaby ” is very close to my heart as it was also my first home production. the film was a runaway success garnering 13 awards in Film Festivals.
Also, my roles of ” Rajani ” and ” Neelam ” in ” Janleva 555″ will always be super special to me because it gave me a chance to play a traditional and a modern role at the same time.
But, as far as I am concerned, I think my evolution as an actor is visible in my latest film Sulige Sikkidaaga ” Be fluid as water….” which is released on December 12th. I feel that because I believe so strongly in the cause of Womens Empowerment, that it has given me a special strength to play the role of “Pallavi “. So far we have had tremendous positive reviews from the media and love from the audience and I hope we continue to do so. Incidentally all the three films above are directed by eminent Director Sundeep Malani
Q :Who are your icons in the cinema industry?
I have several global icons in the world of movies… From our very own industry, there is Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, a complete legend; Ms. Sridevi, who is a complete actress and is one of the finest artists in the history of Indian cinema. I love the work of Mr. Shah Rukh Khan, Mr. Aamir Khan, Mr. Salman Khan, Mr. Saif Ali Khan as well as Ranbir Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif.
In Hollywood, I am a big fan of all-time greats like Sean Connery, Julia Roberts, Demi Moore, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and many others. It is an endless list because each of these actors have tremendous strengths and screen presence in their roles.
Q: What would you say are some milestones that you’re especially proud of?
Of course, every single film, commercial and music video I have done is something I am immensely proud of and cherish, because these projects have made me what I am today!
Q: What do you like in your personal life?
I love great interior decor! It relaxes me tremendously to laze around and browse thru beautiful architectural magazines and gape at the amazing photos of gorgeous homes and offices and beautifully designed gardens 🙂 I also love Zumba whenever I have free time. It de-stresses me. Also, Yoga is a great stress reliever whenever I have time, which is rare 🙂 Swimming is another form of exercise which I adore. I’m trying to get better about weight training as I know its very important especially for women so that we continue to retain strong bones and muscles, but again time is my greatest constraint!
Q: Do you like to act more in Bollywood or Sandalwood movies?
I would love to act in both! My debut was in Bollywood, so it will always be special.
But my debut as an actress/ producer was in Kannada with ” Jo Jo Laali” so I will be ever thankful to Kannada Cinema for the fresh new phase of success. I love speaking in Kannada because I grew up in the lovely City of Mysuru , so I am very interested in being a part of excellent Kannada movies. In fact, even to this day, I cherish watching classic Kannada Films.
Obviously, because I love Kannada Cinema, I have made even my latest film Sulige Sikkidaaga in Kannada. I hope the audience love it as much as we had a great time making it
Q :An actress, model and emergency physician, what is your favorite professional and why?
My favorite profession is “LIFE”! Is there anything more valuable, exciting and challenging as our day to day life no matter what profession we are in? I think everybody will agree with me on that one! For me each day I take with full gratitude to the Almighty and try to do the very best that I can do at that moment and I think that is all that we as humans have control over. Each day is a new adventure in whatever is given to me and I attempt to do a sincere job of it. In my work as an Emergency Physician, I pray that I have the fortitude and strength to save lives and help as many people as I can.
As a model, I strive towards creating ultimate glamor so that people can enjoy watching the beauty of the printed image. In my work as an actress, I work toward creating incredible interesting characters, which in some cases are inspired from real life and in some cases just fantasy. I believe that as you achieve a goal, set a new one, and work towards it and your life will be smarter, challenging and rewarding!
Q: What does stardom means to you?
To me, Stardom would mean the opportunity and freedom to be able to create the best kind of movies possible, to tell amazing entertaining stories to the world, to make a difference in peoples lives by impacting them with the right kind of messages for a kinder, gentler more peaceful world. My idea of Stardom also means to bring awareness to very important causes that the world needs to support and that is what I am trying to do in a small way thru my own movies
Q: Do you think the status of women in films is changing or is it the same?
Certainly it is changing and evolving. When we see the number of successful films in recent times where the woman is the strong protagonist and tells a story where her life and path is the central theme, and the audience are thronging theaters to see the film, that’s a great sign! Especially now that we are not only actresses, but stepping up into the producing and directorial arenas as well, that will definitely help tilt the balance towards making more sensitive women centric films.
Q: Do you think glamour plays an important role in success of films?
Depends on how you define Glamour. I define glamour as a quality of visual appeal , where the appearance of a person is striking because of their attire.
So, in answer to your question, if the appearance coordinates with the story itself, then it makes perfect sense. By itself, unconnected glamour , not in context with the character or story would not add to the success of a film, in my opinion.
I believe the success of a film is based on a story that touches peoples hearts, how well it is told and how long it continues to impact a person’s life. Also if there is repeat value, where you want to see the film again and again… Bingo… you’ve got a winner!
Q: What is your prediction on your new Kannada-Tulu film ” Sulige Sikkidaaga”?
My only prediction is that Because we, the entire team , have put our heart and soul into it, believing in the cause of ” Women’s Empowerment” and also believing in bringing the condition of “Grand Mal Epilepsy” to the audience woven in a very intriguing story, we HOPE the audience will love it!
Q: Tell us about your role in this movie, and briefly about the movie too?
“SULIGE SIKKIDAAGA ” Be fluid as water” is the story of ONE WOMAN who is born with the condition of Epilepsy, and comes to a crucial point in her life where her life can take one of two paths! What if, society does not stand by her, in her hour of need and breaks her self confidence….what can happen to her?
On the other hand, If society stands by her strongly and helps her regain her self confidence, what can happen to her? We have used an interesting technology to show this dichotomy of ONE WOMAN , TWO SITUATIONS on the same time line!
I play the protagonist ” Pallavi” accomplished in Classical dance and arts, but diagnosed with Epilepsy since birth.
Q: How are you planning to take your career ahead in stardom?
For me, I believe that if you have your goal in mind and work hard sincerely, the path ahead will unfold itself each day. I feel it is very difficult to chart an exact
path in this creative field, as every day is a new day with new opportunities and new challenges, so…. one moment, one step, one day at a time 🙂
Q: How fashion conscious are you?
I believe in always being dressed appropriate to the situation I am in. Therefore, my own sense of Fashion and style is dictated by me and not by trends. I am as comfortable in a simple salwar kameez during a long bus ride as I am in a glittering couture evening gown at a red carpet premiere 🙂 As long as I am attired comfortably so that I am able to adapt to the work I am doing at that particular occasion, I am perfectly at ease.
Q: What is your motto in life?
My Motto in life is constantly evolving and changing as I experience life and grow. The most important current motto for me is to have a Purpose in life which is bigger than me, in other words…. a strong driving force which will inspire me to work hard relentlessly towards it. As my passion is making great movies with entertaining stories but carrying awareness messages, that dream propels me forward.
Q: What do you have to say about Mangaluru fans and the locals patronizing your movies?
I am so thrilled that the lovely people of Mangalore have given me and my movies such a warm welcome and appreciation!! Just being here is a delight and I look forward to making more movies which Mangaloreans will love! Thank you so much!!
Q: Finally, what is your message to our website ‘Mangalorean.com’ readers and youngsters in particular?
A huge heartfelt Thank you to Manglorean.com for giving me the opportunity to voice my views and thoughts and wishing all the readers a Fabulous Healthy Happy 2016!! And hope every one of you watch SULIGE SIKKIDAAGA and spread the message to light the path of Women’s Empowerment across the planet so that Every woman can be safe, sound and lead a life of respect and dignity.
Team Mangalorean wishes Kalpana Pandit all success in her endeavours .
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