It's Goodbye to Chennai for Prabhu Dheva. Plate so full with direction, choreography and yes, acting – he is next going to star in a musical with Madhuri Dixit – in Bollywood that the self-confessed workaholic has decided to make Mumbai his permanent residence.
A huge leap in priorities for Prabhu, since until recently, he ruled the Tamil and Telugu film industry with little time for Bollywood. "In fact, I used to come here only for Boney Kapoor to do a song or two in his films. Now I am here in Mumbai and very aptly, I stay in a residence owned by him. So life has come a full circle. Yes, I am in Mumbai permanently now," reveals Prabhu.
But Prabhu is clear about his priorities. "I've spent so many years working in Chennai. Now let me concentrate on Hindi cinema for a while. It's not as if I've cut ties with Chennai. My children still study there and I am constantly flying between the two cities – Mumbai and Chennai. But yes, as far as work is concerned, it's fully Mumbai for me."
Prabhu is currently directing Tips' owner Kumar Taurani's son Girish launch vehicle Ramaiyya Vastavaiya. Says Prabhu, "I wrap up Ramaiyya Vastavaiya and go straight into Namak with Shahid Kapoor. Then, there is a film with Salmanbhai."
With so much work happening, Prabhu has no time for a personal life. "Where is the space for a relationship? I hardly get time to visit my own children. If I had my way, I'd relocate them in Mumbai. But I don't want to uproot them from their friends. I don't have any time for a girlfriend. Work is all I think about. Last week, I got four days free. I rushed to see a friend in London who needed to see me."
Dismissing all speculation on keeping tabs on his former girlfriend Nayanthara, Prabhu says, "She is busy with her assignments in the South. I am busy in Mumbai. We now lead completely separate lives."
In fact, Prabhu is so busy that he's drastically cutting down on choreography, even in self-directed films. "I can't do both direction and choreography. I will choreograph only when it's unavoidable. If Boney Kapoor asks me, I can't say no."