Uday Kiran is set to make a mark in a new market with K. Balachander's `Poi' (Abadham).

The priority of every actor during the course of his or her career is to keep sifting through and searching for new avenues for a long tenure in the tinsel world. Uday Kiran has just done this. Going through a lean patch at home, he is now trying to make a mark in a new market and with a Tamil film, Poi. He is also hoping to regain his lost hold in Telugu films through its dubbed version, Abaddham. The film is directed by none other than the legend K. Balachander, the director's 101st work. "Right from the beginning of my career, I have shown amazing degree of patience. My access to people in this industry is very limited. Highs and lows are common in any field and every one faces them at one time or other in their career. So there is nothing to crib about. It is this immense patience that helped me throughout. So after my last Telugu film, I was waiting for some good offer to come my way. But I never expected that I would be part of the Tamil film industry in such a big way," says Uday. He did meet K. Balachander before the project happened to him. "I met him but I never dared to ask him to take me as a hero in his film" The reverence towards his mentor in Tamil films is quite evident. "I always nurtured an ambition to do a Tamil film. I have seen most of KB sir's films. I met him in his office. It is like a commoner meeting a legend. He has introduced such greats as Kamal Hassan and Rajnikant. I expressed a desire to be seen at least in a passing shot in his film." But "god has given" him "a greater boon and something magical happened just two days after meeting him." KB was to direct a film produced by his find Prakash Raj. The discussions were on. Balachander found his hero in Uday Kiran and he sent word for him.

Fitting in

"I do not know what he has seen in me. And the role he had in mind required some one like me. It is destiny. When the news spread that I was selected for the hero's role, many well-wishers congratulated me, which was something very similar to when one's film celebrates a 100-day run or a jubilee. It was very new to me." Most of the film's shoot took place in Sri Lanka. The movie revolves around four characters - Uday Kiran, new find Vimala Raman from Australia, Sridhar, a choreographer making his debut as an actor and Geethu Mohan Das. Balachander is also playing a pivotal role. Interestingly Prakash Raj is not acting in the film. "We had so much fun in Colombo and surrounding places where the shoot took place. I am not supposed to reveal the content. The only truth about Poi (Abhaddham) is that it happened to me," smiles Uday. In spite of having treaded the path (of acting) before, under the tutelage of KB it was like a fresh and brand new revelation for the young actor. "I was very nervous facing the camera on the first day. I was so scared in front of such senior director. Actually, I wanted to runaway from there. Then I decided to stop thinking and concentrate and listen to what he says. Life became easy after that. People say that if KB sir scolds you on the sets, then fortune favours you in your career. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I had to face only very few such occasions," (smiles).

Getting choosy

A young Tamil director waits for him at the lobby of the hotel. "I know your next question. I am getting some offers in Tamil. But I am not in a hurry to sign. I can wait to climb the next step picking up a good script. I am learning the language too." Over the years Uday Kiran has not changed. He still retains that innocent charm . "I take pride in being what I am. I think it is this attitude towards life that is taking me places. I would not say talent comes last, but it is secondary. Your behaviour is what counts in films and elsewhere too." And the inevitable question."My Valentine? I don't think it will happen in the near future. Right now I am passionately in love with cinema and with my work," he laughs. Sounds clichéd, but you have to believe the Chitram guy who once again is trying to reach the pinnacle of glory this time through Poi.