Acting is a talent, and among the Mangaloreans there are number of artistes who shine from stageplay to Bollywood. But it is very rare to see talents of Konkani origin shining in higher level. In theatre, we have outstanding artistes, many of them having won awards either at state level or at national level. But a Konkani girl is in the Sandalwood news for quite a few time. Born in Taccode near Moodibidri, Maria Ashitha Crasta is now heroine in Kannada movies.
"There is almost no encouragement or very less encouragement for a girl in our community to exhibit her talents in movies. That is the basic reason why Konkani girls are not among the Bollywood stars. But my parents have given me full support. At the age of 11 they identified my talent in dancing and that has helped to develop my talent," says Commerce graduate now pursuing private MBA Ashitha Crasta. She lives with her parents in Bangalore, which she says ideal place to develop her talents in Kannda movies.
Right from the age of 15, she started participating in dance and modelling shows at the regional level and has won several laurels for her talents. When she was 16, she won her first beauty contest and that gave her a real break. Immediately she was selected for modelling for the promotion of a detergent soap in Chennai. Thereafter she never looked back, almost bagging every available opportunity.
'Miss Blossom 1998' and 'Miss Exotica 1999' were two major events that gave her real confidence in competing in state level contests. But 'Miss Millennium - 2000' title was the event which took her to Kannada filmdom.
Well-known cameraman and TV serial director Venugopal identified her potential and gave his full commendation to be an actress in Kannada. She got the first break in a movie based on South Kanara's known personality Sadhu Shetty. She has been offered an important role in the Kannada movie 'Hats off India' which has seen good success.
Her next movie 'Heartbeat' was which gave her own identity in Sandalwood. She was chosen as heroine to pair with Vijayaraghavendra. 'This movie gave me good boost and helped me to get my own identity, ' she says. 'Leading lady's roles are not my priority. I am longing for such roles as would remain in the minds of the audience for a long time,' says Ashitha confidently.
She is being seen in a key role as heroine in the just-released 'Green Signal' with Vishal Hegde of Udupi. The movie has already been released in North Kanara and Bangalore. The movie is expected to be released in Mangalore in the first week of October.
This initial success has brought her two more new movies 'Road Romeo' being directed by famous director Sai Prakash and yet to be named movie with Shivarajkumar, son of Kannada legend Dr Rajkumar.
'Acting is not only a talent, it is a full -pledged profession. No one should feel ashamed to join the movie industry if they really have the talents. Of course there is discouragement to become an actress in our community, but as long as you keep a clean image, you need not worry about anything. I feel proud to be a Konkani girl and proud to be Mnagalorean,' a fluent Konkani-speaker Ashitha says.
Ashitha is daughter of Louis and Jennifer Crasta of Taccode. Their elder daughter Anitha is working for BESCOM, son Ashish has finished his degree and working for an MNC, and the youngest is the girl who is going to bring fame to the family and community - Ashitha.