When Preetha first appeared in Aalayam, a mega-serial on Sun TV, little did she know that she would become a household name in Tamil Nadu. But there is more to Preetha than just her acting career. This 30-something actor cum emcee cum Bharathnatyam dancer holds two master’s degrees.
She completed schooling in Muscat and the absence of colleges for expats there brought her to India. Hailing from a family of engineers, she chose travel management as her course in Ethiraj College, Chennai.
“This was the turning point,” says this 30-year old mother of one. “Many girls from my college were already into films or modelling. This gave me the idea to join the media industry,” says Preetha, who adds that she spent most of the time attending cultural activities. “I loved the naans and romali rotis from the canteen. Campus life was full of fun,” she says. “For the first time in my life, I bunked two back-to-back classes with my friends. Around 15-20 of us walked all the way to Sathyam theatre and watched a Hindi movie.” In her second year, she chanced upon the offer to act in her first commercial. “My additional knowledge of
Mohiniattam won me a chance to choreograph a few dance steps in the ad too,” she says. After doing ads for about a year, she bagged the lead role in the mega-serial, Aalayam. Being a successful TV star did not deter her from doing a Master’s in social work at DG Vaishnav college, Chennai. Within a few months, she did her first movie, Dum Dum Dum with Madhavan and Jyothika. “But in my second year, I needed to be more focused on academics. So I did anchoring and acting part-time,” says Preetha. Her single-minded focus and efforts paid off when she graduated with a gold medal. She anchored shows like Cinema Karam Coffee and also landed substantial roles in mega-serials like Chithi (with Radhika on Sun TV) and Marumagal (with Khushboo on Vijay TV). While doing her Master’s programme, she married Raghav (another media personality). After marriage, she left for America to do yet another Master’s on full scholarship at the University
of Ohio. In Ohio, she kept herself busy by teaching Bharatnatyam and ‘Public Speaking’ to undergraduate students. “There were a lot of attempts to put Indians down in subtle ways. The only way to tackle them was to remain
assertive, yet friendly,” she points out. She returned to Chennai and dazzled TV audiences with a spectacular re-entry through a dance reality show, Jodi No 1 , on Star Vijay. She now spends her time as a soft-skills trainer in a reputed