Hooray for Bollywood

Categories: Film
Do you know this woman? If so, did you know she used to be very, very, very famous? No? Well, now you do.

Did you know one of the most famous actresses in the world lives in Dallas? Says so in the latest issue of India Today, which is more or less the Indian version of Time magazine. Now, she's famous only if you're into Bollywood movies--the Hindi-language song-and-dance epics that have barely made a dent in American cinema--but Meenakshi Seshadri was quite the celebrity in her home country back in the day. The former Miss India appeared in some 60-plus movies and had a hit single in her home country with a song that went, "Ding dong, oh, baby sing a song," which more or less makes her the Robbie Van Winkle of India. But she abandoned the film industry when she was at her most bankable; imagine Julia Roberts up and moving to, well, India, never to be heard from again. That's pretty much what Seshadri did when she moved to Dallas. Says India Today in its where-are-they-now? anniversary feature:


"Remember 'Ding dong O baby sing a song?' The year was 1983. Hero's heroine, fresh from a Miss India title in 1981, is now 42. Having bid Hindi films farewell with Ghatak (1996), today Seshadri leads a simple life in Dallas, US, with businessman husband Harish Mysore, eight-year-old daughter Kendra and three-year-old son Sanjosh. Her involvement with dance continues with Cherish--a school she has founded--where she teaches Bharatnatyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi. The one thing she didn't do right in her 15-year acting career? Choose the right films. 'By the time I started doing films that suited my personality, it was time to move on,' she says. 'I miss the cultural experience of being in India, but not acting in films per se.'"

About a year ago, a neighor of Seshadri's here was shooting a documentary about her work (including her recording a pop album) and decision to move to Dallas for her husband. No word on what ever happened to the actresses' last movie. --Robert Wilonsky


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