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Sunday, April 21, 2024

I am no longer attached to the outcome of my films

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Our favorite star Chiranjeevi, free-wheels about fun, fans and family when WOW! meets to congratulate him on receiving the Padma Vibhushan award “I am no longer attached to the outcome of my films

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Perhaps, it was the sign of things to come. Superstar Chiranjeevi Konidela, Megastar to his fans, said in one of his blockbuster movies: “Just time gap anthe, timing lo gap vundadu”. He means that the timing of things is always right for him. The allusion seems perfect for the Padma Vibushan honor the actor was awarded in January. South cinema industry showered praise on him for the big award, but the 68-year-old thespian with 155 movies to his credit was humility personified when WOW! met him at his residence a few days after he received it. Not just his humility, but his sense of humor was spot on too. Despite the hundreds of visitors to his opulent Jubilee Hills residence that week, he obliged everyone with a handshake, a good word, a selfie and a little inside joke. We noticed that he gets in his element on two occasions – in the presence of his fans and when his wife Surekha is next to him. In a short, free- wheeling chat in his drawing room alongside his wife we asked him a few offbeat questions.

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS FROM MOVIES
I spent almost 40 years of my career being attached to the outcome of a movie. Surprisingly, enlightenment came to me much later. Until just four years ago, I would face outcomes with a stoic attitude. Now I work, and let go.

CHANNELIZING FAN LOVE
Early in my career, I realized the power of my fans’ love. It was perennial, intense and strong. I wanted their love for me and my career to be channelized into something sustainable for society and decided that the world could do with more blood and eye donations. These donations, which almost everyone can do, can save someone’s life or give them a new lease of life. That’s how the idea of opening the Chiranjeevi Eye and Blood Bank struck me, and I set up the Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust in Hyderabad in 1998. Working for the Trust gives me more joy than delivering a blockbuster. In peak Covid, May 2021, we also launched the Oxygen Bank for the needy.

HIS BETTER HALF
My wife Surekha is undoubtedly the woman behind my success in personal and professional life. I think her greatest qualities are her unconditional trust, and unwavering belief about her place in my life.

OFF-SCREEN ROMANCE
You should ask Surekha. She thinks that I am loving – all-giving and all-encompassing – rather than romantic.

FAMILY BOND
I cannot take much credit for the Konidela clan coming together and celebrating, like the recent Sankranthi celebrations in our Bengaluru farmhouse. Surekha is the fulcrum around which our family runs. She began planning this mega get-together almost six months ago and coordinated with everyone. She also made everyone work on war footing to get the house renovated in time for the big day.

MEGA FRAME
Yes, it would be a dream come true for me to act in a movie with my son, brothers, nephews and nieces, the entire family! But we want the effort to be worth it and are waiting for the right script to come by. Hopefully in the next two years.

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