Deepavali is family time for Udaya
“We have a very awkward silence whenever my programmes are shown on TV,” she said.
That’s because back in 2007, she joined the Vasantham Star talent competition without her parents’ permission. “My dad wanted me to be an accountant or a banker,” she explained. “I had to rebel and go against my parents’ wishes and be a wart for the family. Now my parents have come to accept it, lah. But still, when they watch my programmes, they go unusually quiet. So I’m like, ‘Okay, awkward. Can we change the channel?’”
But in true Asian-parent fashion, they have grown quietly supportive of their daughter’s chosen career path, she said, and they record her programmes and watch them when she’s not around.
“(It’s) quite cute, actually. My dad has this tendency to watch my programmes late at night, when I’m asleep and nobody’s around at night. And then he’ll tell my mother, ‘This one — she did a good job’. But he won’t tell me. My mum then tells me, ‘Dad said that’. Why can’t he tell me that himself?”
“After that, I realised that if I can get my parents to agree to what I do, I don’t think anybody else should be telling me what to do. So, I think when it comes to rules, if they go against what you want, break them — but have your moral compass in place.”
And yet, despite having risen to become one of Vasantham’s most popular faces, when asked how she envisioned her future, the Veethi Varai actress said: “I think I’m just going to end up being a banker! Just to make my father happy. ‘Now that I’ve gotten what I wanted, now that I’m doing it peacefully — I think I’ll do what you wanted. You wanted me to study banking and finance, right? I think I will’.”
(Udaya has taken up a part-time course with the University of London programme at the Singapore Institute of Management.)
STICKS AND STONES