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On terra firma

After a series of inconsequential films post `Nuvve Kaavaali', Saikiran is back in action


AT THE first glance, his streaked hair is disconcerting. His skin is tanned. He might not be a hot property but he is definitely needed by the industry. Post Nuvve Kaavaali, Saikiran admits that he didn't know how to handle the euphoria and his confused state of mind didn't really tickle the box-office.

Now the actor is back in action, aware of the stakes. He can hear the pressure ratchet up a notch. His film on terrorism, Lemon, and a Telugu flick Jagapthi are on the anvil and there is so much else happening on the personal front too. Sipping cold coffee at Barista, the actor is in an expansive mood as he looks back in contentment. "Sometimes, you tend to lose your perspective while trying to do much but now, my last attempt to come out of this mess, without taking support from anyone is paying off," he says.

He says his parents' experience in this industry has taught him to evaluate the summer and the winter of the glam world because of which he is able to keep his feet firmly on terra firma. "Preminchu set me into a tizzy and it was followed by many more inconsequential films."

Snake charmer

Ask him about his pet peeve and he owns up, "My love for snakes is not legendary. I used to be scared of them before. I guess it has got something to do with my favourite god Shiva and I feel I should preserve these creatures before they go extinct. So I do my bit. Sparrows are gone, bats are not to be found, tomorrow we shouldn't face a similar situation with snakes too."

He adds, "I have about 15 to 20 snakes at home right now. I belong to this organisation called Friends of Snakes. The president of the organisation, Rajkumar, has had 19 venomous snakebites and is still surviving. We keep going to schools, and hold demonstrations , etc. All of them are stationed at Sainikpuri. Once in a while, we put them at our place for a day or two and then send them back. A dog bite is more dangerous than a non-venomous snake. My parents were initially shocked but now they are used to it."

When asked about which actor inspired or influenced him the most, Saikiran says, "I think Amitabh Bachchan has really influenced me a lot. I am a big fan of his. His life as an actor has had a great impact on me ."

Love of life

Talk about marriage and about the whole page devoted on his website inviting alliances, Saikiran smirks. "I'm not going to get married so soon. I want to concentrate on my career. We'll cross the bridge when we come to it. It was my parents and sister's work. I want to settle down first. I'm actually going steady with someone. She is my emotional anchor and the most important person in my life. She has given me a lot of confidence and constantly helps me discover myself. I think my people already have a whiff about it. Apparently, she hates snakes!" While Saikiran certainly hopes his next few films work at the box-office, he plans to widen his horizons and sounds optimistic as he says, "If this works, then probably a new phase of my career would start."

Y. SUNITA CHOWDHARY

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