Actress - Manda Leima


Stealing Hearts and Crossing Walls: Manda

Manda Leima
Name: Manda Leima
Height: 5' 4
Date of Birth: 22nd March
Hair Color: Black
Hobbies: Gardening
Foods: Vegetarian
Address: Moirang
Film Works: Engengi Atiya, Angangba Kuraogi Mapal, Nanga Mama Oubiyu, Thengmangkhare Thabalse, Ayuki Likla, Enga Nonglakta, Lalibadi Eini (The Sky of Autum) Part 1 and 2. Kaboklei and Many More...
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There had been many actors and actresses who had abandoned a film project half way owing to numerous personal and unspecified reasons. Manda Leima is one such actress who left the Manipuri digital film revolution at the height of her acting career only to reappear again.

There were films that had to be shelved or continued and finished with her youngest sister, Bipani Chanu Saikhom, who closely resembles her (in the film Border Dispute) donning the role of the female protagonist she had already played. Not many know how and where she disappeared from the Manipuri film scene and re-emerged after a gap of two years. Even if there was no public hullabaloo over her disappearing act, the nooks and corner of the entire Imphal valley and beyond were abuzz with gossips, stories and talks about where she possibly could have been.

Manda was special and every Manipuri film lovers missed her and miserable feelings engulfed them. Though none knew Manda's whereabouts, everyone was sure of one cliched conjecture: She got married! Honestly, no one seemed to know the entire truth till now (neither do we, an honest confession) and all her fans and admirers and the media do not seem to be over burdened with her two-year 'disappearing act', perhaps, respecting her privacy.

It was indeed the stuff that fiction films are made of. And doesn't everyone respect their own privacy? We certainly do. And we do not know what she did during the two-year gap in her film career. All that her fans and admirers longed for was her final return to the world of Manipuri cinema. She returned to reignite passions on the screen and entertain all her fans, admirers and well wishers, and that was all they cared about.

How Manda has crossed the segregating wall in life was conceivably indicated by the title and the story of one of her films Lallasi Pal, 2005. Since then this Manipuri female actor has acted in over 50 films. Some of her memorable films include Engengi Atiya, Angangba Kuraogi Mapal, Nanga Mama Oubiyu, Thengmangkhare Thabalse, Ayuki Likla, Enga Nonglakta, Lalibadi Eini(The Sky of Autum) Part 1 and 2 . With so many films in a short first phase, she still has the potential to go a long way.

Recognition, awards and popularity, she has seen them all. Manda along with Olen (Ta Tomba) were awarded North East TV People's Choice Awards, 2004 for Best Actress and Best Actor in Manipuri Films held at Guwahati. She was also conferred the 1st Late P Kenedy Memory Film Fare Award, 2004 by the Educated Unemployed Self-Service Association, Moirang ahead of the Miss Moirang Thoibi-2005 contest. Experience has taught her to survive the odds too since she began her acting career while she was still pursuing her higher secondary school.

"Credit for my success in acting should be given to my father who is an artiste too. I began acting around the time I was in my 11th standard. I was interested in acting. Other than that there is not much to remember." She says this recalling her early days.

Her most unforgettable moments are from the times she began her career as an actress. "During the shooting of Engengi Atiya, I was delivering the last dialogue in one of the last scenes. I was supposed to cry while saying my lines. I got so much involved with the feelings of the character that I played that even after the shoot was over, I kept weeping and sobbing. And everyone on the sets wondered what was wrong with this woman. They could not even console me and drag me away from the situation", she says with a very serious face and also indicating the fact that every actor somehow establishes an unbreakable relationship with the characters they play and how they identify with each characters.

Another difficult role she had to portray was while shooting for the film Kaboklei, an immortal story by Khaidem Pramodini. She says, 'The role I played in the film was indeed a challenge. I had to be completely different from the usual characters that I have played and put my feet into a completely different kind of acting. It was difficult yet fulfilling".

Commenting on the state of film industry in Manipur, Manda says, "The kind of films made now in Manipur looks quite distinct from the times we started. Now filmmakers have ventured into varied themes and complex stories. They are no longer as simple as they used to be. And with new rules imposed upon filmmakers, presumably for the better, there is a dramatic change in the way we dress and also make the song-dance sequence."

Manda is planning to direct a film sometime in future but for the moment she is not venturing into film production. Besides acting, she says she has learnt embroidery and weaving too, with an uncanny smile and also indicating that she is capable of an independent survival.

On the other difficulties an actor or actress has to endure due to political instability or violence, she does not remember any untoward incidents while going out for film shoots. She says people in Manipur respect artistes a lot irrespective of on which political side one stands. Manda has truly crossed the walls of reel and real experiences and has already stolen the hearts of many.


Who is the Best Actress?

  • * Abenao
  • * Binata
  • * Devita
  • * Kamala
  • * Manda
  • * Sonia
  • * Sunila


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