The evergreen Malayalam actress Nadiya Moidu poached the hearts of Malayalis, after she played her debut role in the film ‘Nokketha Doorath Kannum Natt’ as Girly Mathew. Let’s have a glance at her life now…

About Mumbai city?

I was born and brought up in Mumbai. Though I have Malayali connections, Mumbai is my place. No matter how much I roam around the world, the comfort level of this city is unique for me. I used to visit Kerala during vacations. We have many relatives there. As I studied in a Parsi school, I had only very few Malayali friends in Mumbai. There were only a few Malayalis among my college mates as well. But my parents’ friends in Mumbai were mostly Malayalis. A kind of friendship that is formed when we arrive at a new place. They used to go to theatres together, when Malayalam movies were released.

New Malayalam movies release in Mumbai now. Don’t you watch them?

I rarely watch South Indian movies. No Malayalam movies are released near where I live. If someone recommends me good movies, I arrange to get their DVDs. Mostly, I prefer Hindi films.

Malayalam

We were brought up as Malayalis at home. Moral values, food and everything were in the Kerala style. Only that we live in Mumbai. I spent my childhood in Sion Chunabhatti, and moved to Chembur later. Presently, I live in Pali Hill in Bandra with my family. Pappa and Mommy are still in Chembur. It’s been quite a while since they migrated from there. They have no connections in Kerala. They started their real life in Mumbai. Occasionally, we get together in Chembur.

Favourite place in Mumbai

I love Bandra Pali, because I live here. I spend most of my time in this place, and go out to buy vegetables and all. The best feature is that I can walk freely here.

About the local train journey in Mumbai…

I used to go to college in local train. Mommy’s office and my college were at Victoria Terminus. We used to travel together. While returning, I would come back with my friends. I have also taken my children in the local train.

Zareena Moidu became Nadhiya Moidu in film industry. Who suggested this name?

I got the name Nadiya, when I acted in the film ‘Nokketha Doorath Kannum Natt’. I have heard that it was Fazil uncle’s (director) sister-in-law who suggested this name. At that times, Zarina Wahab was in the industry, so they decided to change my name to avoid confusion. Even now, those outside the film industry identify me as Zareena.

nadiya moidu
Photo: Mathrubhumi Archives

You got a chance to play the female lead in Salman starrer ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’?

They offered me the role of heroine in ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’, after I got engaged. So I turned down the offer. I had already got offers from a few Hindi movies but I couldn’t accept them as I was busy in South Indian film industry. Also the South Indians used to accept my terms and conditions. Naturally, I did not take much interest to act in Hindi films.

Did you feel regret for not accepting the offer, when ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ became a super hit?

I don’t regret my decision at all. Then I felt that marriage is more important. Everything has a time to do. We have to do it at the right moment because time never comes back. We will not get everything in our lives. But we should be happy with what we get.

And you did not act in any Hindi film later?

I haven’t acted in any Hindi movie. I have no PRO, no manager, no self-promotion and no marketing. To make them feel that I am inevitable, I am not very famous in Bollywood.

Husband’s support in career

It is simple as long as we can balance both family life and career. I try my best to balance both. Shirish (husband) knows that I got married during the prime time of my career. He came to know that I was a much admired actress in the industry. When I got the offer from the Tamil movie ‘M. Kumaran, S/O Mahalakshmi’, Shirish told me not to let it go. The movie was a superhit.

Ambition

To act in a Marathi movie is a great ambition of mine. As I was born and brought up in Mumbai, so I wish to give them a Marathi movie in return. I’m waiting for an opportunity. Marathi film industry is witnessing an unbelievable growth recently.

New projects

I’m going to work with a Tamil movie of Thiagarajan Kumararaja now, and later will do a Telugu movie with Allu Arjun.

Next Malayalam movie

I had a discussion on a Malayalam project but haven’t taken a final decision. Most of the scripts they bring give me actually nothing to play. Also it is difficult to get roles that suits my age.

Deepavali

As Deepavali is an important festival in Mumbai, we also celebrate it grandly. The main attraction of the festival is rangoli making. I was very interested in it, as I studied in Arts College. I used to make Rangolis like we make ‘pookkalam’ during Onam.