In olden days, some Tamil Kings wanted to conquer the North, especially the Chola Kings. Gangai Konda Cholan even accomplished this daunting mission. It is not only the kings and queens who want to conquer the North. Even artists and film personalities do have such a desire. They consider it as the pinnacle of their career. This is very true when it comes to actressesSouth of the Vindhyas. For many of them, Bollywood is a must-conquer frontier. They are unable to resist the sheen of Bollywood. We have witnessed a brilliant array of heroines from the South conquering the North – Vyjayanthimala Bali, Hema Malini, Sridevi, Jaya Pradha and many more, who added so more glitz to Bollywood. And it is indeed a remarkable achievement which can be termed as the pinnacle of a South Indian actress’s career.
But Shobana, the queen of Bharatanatyam, is different. She has no such aspirations. Though she got every opportunity to do so, she did not take it up. She declined this chance of touching the summit even though its reward would have been unthinkable fame and money. For that matter, she does not even try to be ubiquitous in southern films. She says that she has reached a point where the artist in her is not satiated by a mundane role. For Shobana, Hindi is just another language; she is ready to act in any language if the story appeals to her and her role has scope to showcase her talent and allows experimentation.
After declining so many chances to act in Hindi films, the Hindi film count of Shobana stands at a meagre three. She had acted in Mitr, Apna asman, and now she is acting in Priyadarshan’s Mere Baap Pahle Aap, which also stars Genelia. She said that she liked the roles that were offered to her in Mitr and Apna asman. The reason for acting in Mere Baap Pahle Aap is — Priyadarshan’s request. She insists that this should not be construed as her departure Northwards. She is more busy these days with her dance performances in the US.
It does not mean that the actress has lost the longing for growth. She is a tremendous actress and has the hunger and fire that every artist possesses. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for her to grow as a classical dancer at the same time when she grew as an actress. But the limits that others set do not appeal to her; she sets her own limits. She took cinema in her stride. She is yet another actress who explored the unexplored avenues of cinema.