Friday, June 14, 2024

Self-esteem thy name is Jamuna

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B.Rajeswara Prasad

Veteran actress Jamuna, who passed away on Friday, as one of the pantheons of Telugu cinema, always prized self-esteem and was a picture of self-confidence throughout her career. Great and versatile actress, Jamuna relied solely on her individual accomplishments and never curried favour of industry legends to remain in circulation by following industry-induced compulsions. With the demise of Jamuna, the golden era of Telugu film industry has effectively ended.

The enduring greatness of Jamuna lies in the fact that she did not confine herself to filmdom as an actor and director, but took active part in social activities with a stint in politics as well when she was elected to the Lok Sabha.

Although the cine journey of Jamuna started with Puttillu, she got recognition with the multi-starrer Missamma.Thereafter, she never looked back and went on to give many hit movies. Against the backdrop of NTR and ANR refusing to act with her, Jamuna did not lose her courage and in fact that rejection gave her the requisite dose self-confidence that sustained her throughout her career. She did not hesitate to pair with newcomers of the period like Krishna and Krishnam Raju. It is a different matter that she gave a push to their career. She was also not reluctant to act with Chalam and Ramakrishna, who were virtually non-entities then.

She was among the actresses who considered acting to be divinely ordained and performed her role perfectly, irrespective of the popularity of the hero, whoever it may be. She was part of the industry’s evergreen classics like Missamma and Gundamma Katha in which she paired with ANR, while Savitri paired with NTR. The last star of the studded movies left us, leaving behind a great and stupendous three-decade-long career.

Generally a heroine’s career gets a boost when she acts with a big hero. But in her career, Jamuna gave life to many heros.  She proved to be a role model for many actresses by exhibiting her artistic skills in the portrayal of diverse roles that required heavy dose of emotional content. She got into the skin of characters like Satyabhama, Rani Malani Devi, and Janaki.

These three characters brought to light her innate acting skills. Then again we saw her mirroring naiveté as Gowri in Mooga Manasulu. After Savitri, it was Jamuna who was considered for many roles that required heavy emotion content. Few actresses can match her in versatility. Jamuna gave life to many roles that will always remain role models. Like Savitri, she has a permanent place in the annals of film history with her remarkable body of work.

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