( Writer: B.G.Mohandas)
I was told the previous day to telephone around noon about the possibility of an encounter with the new teenage sensation of Bollywood. I did so, hesitantly as I was late. However I was made to relax by the soothing and friendly voice of Usha Ullal when I called. I was summoned immediately to visit them at their residence. The urgency was due to the fact that Mrs Ullal was to fly to Muscat to meet her husband Nithin Ullal on the same night.
Accompanied by the long time residents of Mumbai and elders of our community; K K Mohandas and Mr. H Mohandas, I headed to Santacruz with all the excitement. A very warm welcome and refreshing warmth of Ullals awaited us. The presence of a well known lady of the house Sarojini Ullal, grandmother of Sneha provided us the comfort of being at a familiar place and that prompted my friends to start our conversation in Tulu and for me, it went on to become a memorable evening. What was assumed earlier by me as a courtesy visit ended up as a marathon three hours session of homely chit chat.
Before Sneha enters the scene, let me brief about her parents and family.
A filmy plot!. A handsome boy meets a beautiful girl at a Badminton court! Love blossoms amidst serves and volleys. Later, love matures in to a lasting marriage. Nithin and Usha thus became a couple 26 years ago at Mumbai. A fusion of Mangalorean and Sindhi culture and tradition.
Nithin is IITian of Delhi and Mumbai and Usha is a graduate in Economics and served Air India for a few years. After a job stint at Nigeria for a few years Nithin is serving as the general manager of W J Towells, Muscat, for the last seven years.
Over the years, Ullals of Devadiga community hailing from Ullal of Mangalore have evolved themselves as the self styled ‘elite’ group. Most of them are well educated and have flourished in various professions in India and abroad. Many are settled at Mumbai. Though generally perceived by others as aloof group, they are very passionate towards community welfare and developments. Nithin’s father Vittal Ullal has donned a top position professionally and has taken active interest in community activities. So are other Ullals namely Srinivas Ullal, Narayan Ullal and Dr.Ramachandra Ullal to name a few..
Enters, Sneha Ullal ,
Obeying the mom’s call that we are eager to meet her, Sneha rushed from her routine workout session. She had ‘cuddly’ and noisy welcome by “Gipsy! and ‘Missy!” While all these are happening I was sheepishly having a long ‘non blink’ overhaul stare at this stunning beauty in the cool teenage attire. No make ups, no high headedness, no nervousness either. Still staring at the ‘school girl’ with a slim yet a mix of hollywood and bollywood figure; mesmerizingly sleepy yet sparkling blue eyes with a lot of natural innocence on that cool exterior. ‘Yes!’ I said to myself-having found an instant answer to why Arpita and Salman and company have been ‘hypnotized’ by this teenage beauty and the result-Sneha Ullal, a new star born to conquer.
Sneha is a refreshing change at this juncture of Indian cinema scene where there is competition among the newer ‘stars’ to fully bare their assets to gain instant popularity.
It took a while to settle down for formal tete-a tete and the following para will give a glimpse about her and her views.
Sneha as a person: • Sneha wants to be 'Sneha’• Though the pretty gal does not have any filmi connections to boast of or any formal training to bank on, she is sure her talent and God’s blessings will see her to the top. • God fearing conservative family upbringing. • Sneha understands Tulu and utters few common words. • She is proud to be Ullal and Mangalorean. • Most of the schooling was at Mumbai though she had studied at Indian High School Muscat which she remembers well. • ‘Lucky’ break in studies and would like to continue her studies even by correspondence. • She resembles her dad Nithin and the colour gene is from her mother!
• Sneha feels she inherited the temper and possessiveness of her father and caring and tolerance from her mother. • Very straight forward, strong will power, no hesitation at all to answer any questions asked. • Not unduly worried or carried away by the sudden deluge of interviews. • Still a simple home loving girl. • Likes North Indian food. • She says ‘My bedroom as my favorite cozy place to relax’. • Her star sign is Sagittarius. And the birth date is 18th Dec. • She is refreshing and non-spoilt even after her sudden fame. • Her last visit to Mangalore was seven years ago
Sneha on ‘Lucky’ and the thereafter :..
• She was spotted to act at 17 in 2003 when she just completed her 12th Std.• The ‘story’ is correct about Arpita spotting her and thereafter…..
• First shot she gave without rehearsal. Not pampered by the film crew though she was a newcomer • ‘Salman is a Gentleman and helped me in so many ways’.
3 months of shooting at Russia was grueling but enjoyed every experience. She also witnessed amazing ‘white night ‘ for 3 days!
After viewing the movie she frankly feels ‘I could have done better’. Lot of offer. However she will take new assignment on the merit of script.
Next Movie-‘ARYAN’ with Sohail Khan. Shooting is over. She acts as sweet heart of a Boxer and eventually marries him. She has complete woman role in this movie.
She does not like Bollywood parties! Her favorite actor – Salman Khan and Actress: Rani Mukherjee and Madhubala. She conveys her love and thanks for the browsers of daijidubai.com and devadiga.com. She is ready to visit Dubai for a good cause. Already many Dubai magazines and FM channels are in contact. She is ready to act in Tulu and Kannada movies.
• As per her own words “The most important thing that I believe and I should say that we all should be believing in is "reading".
This is what I say as my hobby. And other thing that I must add is that I love music. Listening to music is my another hobby”.
She lives with her mother Usha Ullal and elder sister Soumya who is just married. Interestingly Soumya was awarded ‘
Miss DEVADIGA’ in 1995 at the function organized by Devadiga Sangha Mumbai. As mentioned earlier her father Nithin is the general manager of W J Towells in Muscat.
Sneha’s fitness regimen:
Her beauty has been compared to that of Aishwarya Rai. But you will be surprised to know that Sneha Ullal doesn’t follow any strict diet regimen to stay in shape.
Sneha describes her eating habits as “erratic”. She often skips breakfast, which, she is aware, is the most vital meal of the day. She doesn’t workout
at gym. But she does ride her bicycle for about an hour every evening.
“I cycle for about an hour and I also like to swim,” says Sneha. She also claims that she used to be an avid player of hockey and basketball in school.
A lover of her mother’s Paneer Bhurji, Sneha is planning to include more protein shakes in her diet.
Moreover, Salman Khan has planned a workout schedule for her. She will soon begin doing exercises suggested by the brawny Khan.
“He (Salman) is the best workout buddy one could have,” smiles Sneha......."
Time passed very swiftly like in a movie and that made me to forget a rare chance of taking a photograph with Sneha Ullal. However, I could snap her up and the family in my camera.
We parted by blessing Sneha for her great future and wishing the friendly hostess Usha a Bon Voyage.
Driving towards ‘Anmol Complex’ near International Airport, we recounted the moments (hours?) spent with the Ullal family and
appreciated the teenager’s frankness, righteousness, and the strong mind. However we together wished that as the time pass by, Sneha Ullal the actress will
shape up to be ‘diplomatic’ enough to cope with the stress and gossip of the Bollywood.
Good Bless Sneha. And sincere thanks to Dr.Harin Ullal, Scientist at USA for supporting me in this venture.