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Yamuna Uprety:Lucky

Arati Gurung

There is something about Yamuna Upreti. In a span of less than a year, she’s made it from bagging the coolest brand advertisements, modeling in video’s of some of the best songs to starring in lead roles in cinemascope movies. No, she’s not a beauty pageant winner, nor is she is the directors’ relative She’s just an ambitious young girl who’s come to Kathmandu to try her luck, and it seems lady luck can’t get enough of Yamuna Upreti.

Neither can the boys. Yamuna tops the list as one of the most beautiful new faces on the popular Cyber Sansar model gallery. Her features attract compliments that have her compared to International beauties. With a body to match her stunning looks, it’s clear that Yamuna has raised the bar for those in the Nepali-modeling scene. As for movies, the shooting of her first film is almost complete and the next one is in the making.

Having scored so much so early makes one wonder what this young woman is all about. Is she for real? I had to find out.

She receives my call with unexpected calm and maturity. After the formalities, I shoot my first question, how did you get here?

Yamuna:  Acting is a childhood dream, my passion; I always wanted to be an actor but wasn’t sure how to start or whether it would actually happen. Modeling on the other hand was never on my mind, but it came and I accepted and it is what has opened the film industry’s gates for me. I’m lucky everything has worked out this well. I came here for my studies and now am doing both of what I love most – studying and acting! Everyone back home at Jhapa is very proud of me and I’m working hard on keeping it that way.

Yamuna is currently in her third year of Management studies at Shankar Dev Campus. She admits studying is difficult mainly because of the campus’ inattention to providing better facilities to the students. She tells me how she was an active student in her school days, always running around,  participating in various games. Amazed I ask, but you don’t look the type?

Yamuna: That’s why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover! I love sports! I am an outdoor adventure lover. I played a lot of games, football being my favorite. If I get the time I’d love to have a hit at the ball even today!

That’s not all, I asked her what she’s crazy about besides acting and she replies - books.

Yamuna: For me there’s nothing like reading a good book, and so I have my own little collection of books and magazines. My most loved books are novels written on Nepal.  To name one of my favorites, it’s got to be  ‘Siudo ko Simana’.

And there I was expecting her to elaborate her fetish for shoes or bags or nail polish! So far, the lady proves she’s got more to her than just the looks. Impressed, I move on to my next question to which Yamuna’s voice lightens up - how is the movie experience so far?

Yamuna: I’m loving it! Acting has been everything I’ve imagined it to be. The cast and crew of ‘Parkhi Base’ are like family. At the beginning, I was a little nervous, for even if I was familiar with the camera, acting in a movie now required me to express dialogues and that took a couple of weeks to get used to. I love going to work everyday, for this is what I’ve always wanted to do!

I didn’t want to burst her bubble but I had to ask her, have you ever taken any acting courses?

Yamuna: When I was about to sign up for acting classes, I was offered my first role, so I had to give up on that. But I believe I’ve always been an actor and this talent of mine also has a huge role in succeeding, so I hope my will to work and my natural flair for the job will be enough for the moment.

Now that you’re in the line of Nepali actresses, what do you think will set you apart from the rest of them?

Yamuna: More than anything else, I think my acting will make my mark.

Confidence – another point to note about Ms. Upreti, she not only looks good but she sounds good too. My next question makes her laugh. When did you realize you’re beautiful?

Yamuna: That’s a funny question! I guess my looks came to my notice when I began to understand things about life. I know I’m blessed with good looks but I value my inner beauty more. I know I’m much more beautiful in the inside, or atleast that’s what I like to believe.

Alright, atleast she admits she knows she’s beautiful. Honesty, another good point. Lets see if she can be as honest with this one, do you exercise?

Yamuna: Yes, I do, in the form of yoga. I have been practicing yoga since the last three years. And now that I’m in the entertainment business I have to keep it up.

So is having a perfect figure the only way for a woman to be considered beautiful?

Yamuna: No but a good figure definitely helps in looking attractive. A perfect figure is certainly a plus point.

Ms. Upreti has my vote, speaking of which, I asked her what she thought about beauty pageants.

Yamuna: Beauty pageants are good, I think it’s all about creativity and inspiration. If the pageants can arise that in you, then it’s a good thing.

Since we were talking about beauty pageants I wanted to know what she thought was a woman’s strongest point and she confidently replies – endurance.

Now for the golden question, the one all the guys want me to ask her, the one Yamuna answers with lots of laughs and lots of thinking; do you have a boyfriend?

Yamuna: I have plenty of boyfriends, but I am not yet in love. (laughs again) I would like to be in it though someday!

What kind of a guy are you looking for?

Yamuna: I like guys with character and personality, and it’s not that the men I’ve seen don’t have them, they do. It’s just that I haven’t met the one who can steal me away from myself!

Being a Nepali woman, I wondered how Yamuna was handling all the marriage talk that time keeps bringing on to our doors. Do marriage proposals create problems in the career line?

Yamuna: There have been a couple of proposals but my parents have been very supportive, as have my older sisters and my elder brother. Everyone understands the importance of my studies and of course I have to make something out of myself before committing to marriage. So thankfully my family takes care of that for me!

What kind of men turn you off?

Yamuna: I cannot stand men who give big talk and act like their big shots and just go on and on about themselves. Also men, who talk about women empowerment but don’t practice it themselves, are men I can’t tolerate at all.

Any other disappointments?

Yamuna: The fact that there is no proper dumping site in the capital and the political problems today created by man made lines of caste and creed are sad disappointments.

I can tell she’s really distressed with the situation, so to change the mood, I ask her the 3 things that make her happy.

Yamuna: Animals, children and nature never fail to make my day!

And on that happy note, my twenty minutes of conversation ends. It concludes Yamuna Upreti to be more than what her pictures suggest. With lady luck by her side, she’s a promising young soul with determination, skill and just the right amount of pride.

Although we began the interview as strangers, by the end of it, we were laughing like two good friends, and between two women, that goes to show that there’s genuine niceness in the air. I asked her if there’s anything she’d like to say to her well-wishers and here’s what she says, ‘ You see me the way you do because you have beautiful eyes, thank you for your love!’

Way to go Ms. Upreti!

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