Veena Bhat is a multi-faceted personality who has been grooming individuals and the corporate circle for the past 15 years and among many others is an accomplished model herself, event manager and an actress with 23 movies under her belt. Her ardent students include the who’s who of Bangalore’s elite social circle, celebrities, theatre personalities, as well as young model aspirants.
As part of my continued collaboration with the newspaper, I caught up with her for a chit-chat and chai and it was a true pleasure to have an extended conversation, which lasted well over 2 hours, in spite of her busy schedule, a home renovation and a wedding in the family. I was privy to a lot more of thoughts and candid talk which I have had to take off record and I really would like to thank her for the opportunity.
Of what I can share, here’s a quick catch up, with the very down-to-earth spiritual and humble human being.
How did you get in to grooming?
After my graduation in 1981, I did short courses in Beauty from Shahnaz Husain, Fashion Designing & Aerobics. When my son was 2 years, I started aerobics with a lady in Otter’s club in Mumbai. By 1990 I moved to Bangalore and by word of mouth started taking aerobics and had about 5 batches, mostly comprising of housewives, from home. I converted a huge terrace into my studio and that was how it formally began.
How did Mrs. Vivacious 2001 happen?
I was egged on by my husband, and at age 39, applied to the pageant. At that time I didn’t even know what glamour was and how to pose. I still applied, after getting a portfolio shot. Then Gladrags, Mumbai sent me back a letter saying that I was selected for auditions. Out of the 35 that were screened, 15 of us were shortlisted. My competition included many 18-19yr olds, many who didn’t have kids or all the side effects that went with having them, but being the confident and positive person that I am, made it eventually to Mumbai where Maureen Wadia, noticed my extrovert personality and since interacting with people came naturally to me, I won the title.
What are the TVCs you have done?
I’ve done a lot of prestigious ads. Malabar Gold, Tanishq), GRT, RMKV. Over 120 ads from 2002 to present. In 2007, one of the ads I did for Malabar Gold was with Mohan Lal and Hema Malini, both being brand ambassadors for Malabar Gold.
And that’s when Bhul Bhulaiya happened?
Yes, Priyadarshan, who was the ad director for Malabar Gold liked my acting and asked me to prepare myself for a film with him. Although, I didn’t know what film or who the star-cast was, I took up the opportunity. I ended up bagging the role of the zamindar’s wife, which was a very prominent role. In all I did about 23 movies, including 1 in Hindi, 2 in Tamil and the rest in Kannada.
What does your training module comprise of?
We have a 30-hr module. We teach students about skin and hair care and even tell them how to make their own products depending on their specific requirements. The module also covers personal grooming and make-up for all occasions, conversational skills, how to walk on the ramp and a bit of acting for students who want to attend auditions and try their hand at movies. At the end of the module, we also arrange for getting their portfolio done so that it can be circulated among ad agencies for print ads and TVCs, if they are interested.
Another wild weed stands firm in spite of all the vagaries of life. A true inspiration to others and force to be reckoned with, here’s wishing her the very best in all of her future projects.
And oh, remember the post on getting inked, sometime back? Here’s the face behind the scenes (https://wildweedz.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/un-linked/)
and some of his other designs
My ramblings are about life, the roads less traveled, the hurdles crossed. Let’s discover our journeys together. Let’s spread some wild weeds.