A 21-year old Kannada girl, Bhoomi Shetty, became a household name among Telugu-speaking audiences when she played the role of Mrudula in the Telugu TV show Ninne Pelladatha. For almost 8-9 months, she was the face of the popular Telugu serial, playing a selfless, coy person and an underdog — all of which didn’t reflect her real-life personality of a fierce and outspoken person. So it came as a shocker when she quit the Telugu show. On May 21, 2019, Bhoomi announced via an Instagram Live session that she will no longer be associated with Ninne Pelladatha.
But we were keen to know the story. So we made several attempts at contacting a usually reticent Bhoomi via comments and direct messages on her Instagram. To our surprise, she called us back. And we managed to chat with her post her big revelation about quitting her debut Telugu serial. Here are edited excerpts of our exclusive interview.
Q. Bhoomi, why did you suddenly decide to quit the show when the plot was at such a crucial stage?
A. It was not a sudden decision… There are a few reasons that I cannot share. But managing dates for Ninne Pelladatha and my Kannada show Kinnari was getting complicated. It had become extremely messed up.
Q. How bad were the schedules for both the shows?
A. Like, I would shoot in Bengaluru for my Kannada show until night. Then I’d take a flight to Hyderabad and shoot for Ninne Pelladatha. Sometimes this was a routine for almost 30 days at a stretch. Coping with this became impossible. It affected my health in bad ways. And there was mental pressure with all the travelling and managing two shows.
Q. Was this the only reason or did something else add to your final decision?
A. I have my exams coming up soon. I missed my lectures too many times. I’m not sure what will happen with the exams either. A few days back, my brother met with an accident and so, my family expected me to be there with them and for them. There was pressure from their side too. I had to pick between them or the shows. So I chose to be with my family. That’s when I took a break from both the shows and social media.
Q. So is this a final goodbye?
A. It was too early to say goodbye to Ninne Pelladatha. I badly wanted to continue doing the show. But the situations were such that I couldn’t keep going on. When I spoke to the makers of the show, they told me that we’ll find a solution and everything will be alright. But I couldn’t continue.
Q. Hypothetically speaking, would you come back to the show if you are given a chance?
A. Now they have a new face for Mrudula. But… yes. I would love to come back. Maybe with short hair and a not-so-quiet and traditional girl. Maybe as a villain. I would love to work with ZEE Telugu again.
Q. All the fans of the show are extremely upset. What do you have to say about it?
A. All my Instagram DMs, comments and even e-mails are filled with fans telling me not to go and asking me for reasons why I decided to leave. They are telling me not to go, to come back, (they are saying) it is difficult to see someone else as Mrudula. That’s the place I earned for myself in their hearts. That’s why I decided to do the (Instagram) Live that day. I wanted to clear all doubts.
Q. How would you sum up your journey as Mrudula in Ninne Pelladatha?
A. Ninne Pelladatha was a very different experience. It was a wonderful journey. You know, it is little things that matter at the end. Like chit-chatting on the sets, walking into Annapurna Studios. I saw that being there meant something different, like very prestigious to Telugu actors. Even Hyderabad, it is a wonderful place. I have not seen too many places there. But the vibe is very nice. This one time we had a free day, so I went out with Pavani (Ash) and Sarayu (Roy), they are my best buddies. And of course, mummy too! Brahmini garu… Now it is all just a beautiful memory.
Q. Would you like to add anything as a parting note?
A. Yes! I would like to say sorry. Sorry Zee Telugu and Annapurna Studios. This was not intentional. But the situations were such. I know it doesn’t matter now. But all I can do is say sorry.