Portrait Of A Beauty : The screen 'Maya' burns on
|Height:||5 feet 4 inch|
|Date of Birth:||3rd March|
|Address:||Place Compound Near Macha Leima|
|Film Works:||Basantagee Nongallamdai Part I, II, III, Shakhenba Bhoot etc...|
|Photo Gallery||Click here|
PORTRAIT OF A BEAUTY: THE SCREEN 'MAYA' BURNS ON
She was crowned Miss Manipur years back for her beauty and brain when Manipur digital film industry was just about to flap its wings and fly across the myriad terrains of screen dreams. Her childhood friends and colleagues knew that this 'girl' sure had a mind of her own for they knew that whenever she tried her hands on creative expressions; she did indeed make a mark. If critics had appreciated her for a sterling performance in Basantagee Nongallamdai, she was equally at ease accepting and choosing differing characters, exemplified by her role as Shalini Mam in the film by the same name. And this is Maya Choudhuri for you.
To dive home the point that acting for films is not just about flaunting one's beauty, she says, "Nobody in my family comes from performing arts background. Most of them were interested only in formal education but they did not discourage me either. In my case, it was different. As a child, I always wanted to perform on stage or hold the microphone in my hands and I had to work hard to be able to do that with few people actually guiding me or giving me performance tips."
Since her first public performance, Maya has come a long way enthralling the Manipuri film audience. She is also known for featuring in a celluloid project that released its audio tracks sometime in the 1980s but was made into a film about a decade later- Meichak. Many film fans in Manipur might have forgotten the sequence of images but not the ever haunting song – Laklo Lakle. Till today, the songs and music tracks of Meichak continue to capture the ears and hearts of most Manipuris. Maya has been lucky to be part of that history.
Another interesting aspect of her life is the fact she did not quit acting after marriage as some people would have expected. Even after experiencing matrimonial bliss and giving birth to a lovely child, Maya still thinks she has many more screen roles to perform. She says, "Besides my husband, the rest of my in-laws have always encouraged me in whatever I do. They told me that I should not be giving up doing what I do best, acting. It is one way of recognising my talent and I am happy about it."
And this happiness of course does not come without hard work both on and off the screen. "One of the most challenging roles I had performed so far was the one in Basantagee Nongallamdai. In fact the role in this film was entirely different from what I am used to or my natural way of acting, crying, walking etc." Maya states this with a very serious face. In the film Maya donned the role of an innocent woman who contracted HIV. She tries her best to maintain a good relation with all the Manipuri film fraternity members beginning with actors and directors. Maya says, "Some of the actors I have enjoyed paring with are Danny, Kaiku, Sadananda and Olen. They are very talented people. I also get to learn a lot from directors like Tejkishore and Bishwamitra."
Since her association with Manipuri digital films, Maya has seen lots of ups and down. And there are real episodes she will never forget. "While we were shooting for a film at the Singda dam and were standing over a bridge there. Down the river, I saw a young child playing with his makeshift raft and trying to sail against the strong current of waters. Suddenly a man was also seen playing with the child. The adult just pushed the child a little inside the strong current.
Just as he was doing it, a gush of water currents hit the child and he fell off the makeshift raft into the waters. All the film unit members were shocked to see all that happening right in front of us. He did not show up for a long time and all of us were quite sure he must have got drowned and hit the bottom. All that we could do was stop doing our work immediately, shout and yelled out for help from people present there. People began running in panic. Someone finally found a rope and dived inside the river bed to find the child and rescue him. He was alive! What an unbelievable experience I had that day."
Setting aside 'real' and 'reel' surprises of varying hues and commenting on the state of digital filmmaking in Manipur, Maya says, "There has been tremendous improvement in the last six to seven years. With good equipments and products, digital filmmaking in Manipur is maturing fast. Due to format issues, our films might not find their way to national or international film festivals but indeed there is big change in quality. The sad part is that marketing our product even in Manipur has become difficult owing to bad economy and perpetually tensed political situation. At the moment I am not thinking of going into film production but I will continue acting as long as I can."
With an unwavering spirit like the one Maya has, she is expecting even more rewarding success in her forthcoming film ventures. And all Manipuri film lovers wish her the best and wait for Maya to recreate the same magical charm she possessed in all her major hits.