Mesmerizing The Masses: Abenao, The Rising Star
|Date of Birth:||28th Sept|
|Hair Color:||Dark Brown|
|Hobbies:||Reading and Singing|
|Address:||Top Khongnang Makhong, Porompat DC Road|
|Film Works:||Thoiba-Thoibi, Akhunba Mani, Red Rose, Chumthang Makhong, Naoshum, Liklai, Leikang Thambal, Manithoiba, Da Sadananda...|
|Photo Gallery||Click here|
MESMERIZING THE MASSES: ABENAO, THE RISING STAR
If there ever has been a Manipur film actress that embodies mesmerizing innocence, it is none other than Elangbam Abenao. People love her not only for her performance but also the 'down to earth' image of simplicity she possesses both on and off the screen. Her 'child-like' nature seems to conceal her ever improving 'maturity' as an actress. Ever since, her first screen introduction in Thoiba Thoibi, 2006, she has grown taller in experience and skill.
"My first film was actually not Thoiba Thobi but another film by one of my relatives. I was introduced to films for the first time in this flick. It was a small role and was not a very significant one. It was with Thoiba Thoibi that I was formally launched into the world of Manipuri digital films." She admits this with some amount of confidence without naming the film. Abenao, in fact started her acting career with stage performances. She was introduced to the art of acting by people behind People's Arts and Dramatics Association, Top Khongang Makhong, Imphal and is still associated with the group. "Besides acting on stage and for films, I also love singing and reading", says Abenao with an inimitable blink on her eyes and an infectious smile.
This young actress, who is pursuing a Master's degree course from the Manipur University (MU), says that whenever she gets time, it is studies that she thinks about followed by other mundane activities like watching TV and films. On growing up and making one-self successful despite many young people going astray in Manipur, she says, "Besides following parental guidance, one has to have enough self-confidence. It is the individual that matters. No forced and strict rules, beatings and scolding will set an individual right. He or she is responsible for their own acts." This is indeed a seemingly simple yet wise answer to for all the ills that prevail amongst the youth in Manipur.
With over nine films to her kitty, she recalls not too many hardships on her way to stardom. Among best of her performances were in films like Thoiba Thoibi, Naoshum, Akhunba Mani, Red Rose, Liklai, Leikang Thambal, Mani Thoiba, Chumthang Makhong, Da Sadananda etc. She has tried giving her best effort in all the films released so far. When asked to recall the most memorable events during her acting career so far, she pauses for a while and says with a smile, "During the shooting of Red Rose, I had to endure with one of the most grueling experiences. There was one particular scene shot during freezing winter, I was lying on the ground with my body limbs tied and mouth shut for hours till the final take was complete. I could feel the icy cold earth beneath my body, yet I did not complain. My conditions worsen when make-up artists present on the location spayed ice-cold water over my face and body to give the 'sweat' effect. And I was lying there actually trembling with cold. I will not easily forget that particular shoot".
Then, Abenao goes on to narrate another unforgettable experience. "It was during the shooting of the last scenes in Naoshum. In the film, I had already consumed poison/liquid insecticide with my on-screen mother. To give a realistic image to the after effect of consuming poisonous substance and the vomit, I was made to put in my mouth big chunks of white tooth-paste from the tube. I had this soft and big melting chunk of white tooth-paste in mouth for over three hours. After the sequence was shot and with the inflamed tissues all over my mouth and tongue, I could not properly consume food for many days together."
Being an actress is no pure fantasy for Abenao. She knows the hardships and struggles that many artistes like her face day in day out. She appreciates them not only for their screen images but also for the brave decisions that they take. While valuing the works of her co-actors, she says she has learned a lot from male actors and stars like Sadananda and Kaiku. "All my co-actors have been very supportive and they have always helped me improve my performance. Directors like brother Romie too have helped me in every step I take. I express my gratitude to them".
While narrating experiences from her acting career, she also gleefully reminisces one of her childhood experience. "You know, I had fractured my arm twice in my life. The first time was when my elder brother and I were playing as tiny tots. The second time was again with my brother. My brother liked me a lot. So, while I was recovering from the first fracture, he lifted me and tried holding me up on his arms like all loving elder brothers do. I slipped out of his arms and fell on the ground fracturing the arm again."
It is not only her brother who loves her. She has two more female siblings and supportive parents. Realizing the fact that it is not safe for the youth to venture out into the nooks and corner of the state, particularly during politically disturbed situations where outbreak of violence lurks large, Abenao says her mother accompanies her where ever she goes out for long for film shoots. Her mother has always encouraged her to live her dreams as a 'good woman'.
Abenao feels she has a long way to go as far as her career is concerned. She is an actress who follows what is happening to the ever changing film industry landscape in Manipur. When ask to comment on the Manipuri film industry scenario, Abenao says, "The future of Manipuri films is bright and it will survive long. Whether it is digital or celluloid films, people behind filmmaking and the film audience are now really conscious of quality work. Filmmakers are now resorting to strict quality control mechanism owing to viewers' maturity." She is confident that Manipuri films will reach new heights in future. There is however one thing which troubles her. "I am concerned about the increasing blatant digital film piracy happening in Manipur. Most film producers are affected by it. There are instances where many film producers have not even recovered initial investments made."
All said and done, Abenao is now hoping and aiming for a dazzling future. She might not have won awards and drawn as much accolades like her female contemporaries. Day by day, she hopes to touch the hearts and souls of Manipuri film audience by giving her best performance. And this is the confidence, expected of a young Manipuri artiste.