METRO PLUS

Prince Charming in town

STAR POWER Actor Vivek Oberoi   | Photo Credit: Photo:S.Siva Saravanan

PHEROZE L. VINCENT

Cine actor Vivek Oberoi was at his affable best at the GRD School of Commerce and International Business. Pheroze L. Vincent took some notes

I f not for the precious-metal polka dots of his public relations officer, Vivek would've been the centre of attraction. Vivek got a hero's welcome at GRD SCIB, where he came to promote his upcoming film Prince.

Frenzied female fans shrieked themselves sore as the Shootout at Lokhandwala star walked down the red carpet into the Rukmini Damodaran Auditorium of the college. “You and I will make our own India,” he said to students. Best known in the south for his Project Hope to help victims of the Tsunami, Vivek was badgered with questions on activism and spirituality.

Vivek wears his stubbornness on his sleeve. He talked of the negative publicity during Project Hope. “I said to hell with the press and continued my work for the people of Devanampattinam (a fishing hamlet in Cuddalore),” he added.

Sharing love

He admits that students were his biggest help and together they did vaccinations, child care and psychological rehabilitation. “We need to give just a little love,” he said.

“Religious centres charge the soul,” said Vivek, who is an annual pilgrim to Sabarimala. “There are those who eat well and those who sleep well. It's better to eat a little less for a good sleep,” he added.

Vivek expressed his sadness over the riots he witnessed in Hyderabad the previous day. “I was there in Laad Bazaar to get some bangles for my mom and sister when people started stoning each other, ” he said. He says he'd like to do more bilinguals and he's currently learning Telugu for his role in Rakta Charitra, a political thriller with a lot of blood show.

Tamil bonding

The actor, whose mother Yashodhara is from Chennai, used almost every Tamil word he knew to woo the crowd. They were smitten by his charm and his attempts to sing in Tamil.

His film Prince is releasing in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Vivek says he dubbed the Tamil promos himself but they had to get a professional artiste for the rest. “I'm a perfectionist and I can't do any mish- mash,” he explained.

He trained for five months to perform the death defying stunts in the films himself. This includes jumping with a bike across sixty feet from on terrace to another, descending four stories, with British actor Aruna Shields riding pillion.

The lip-lock scene between them has already making headlines. “Yes, I kiss her in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu,” he joked. “No stuntmen. Its all action- original hero. Full seeti maar paisa vasool picture. (value-for-money film the dress circle can whistle at),” he added.

The film is about a master thief “who can even steal your heart,” said Vivek. His memory is stolen and he has only six days to live and figure out who's his real love from three girls, all who claim to be his lover Maya. Vivek vows that it's not inspired by The Bourne Identity.

Vivek played to the gallery and talked about more of his non-film work.

“In the land of Krishna there are so many little Gopikas with tears in their eyes,” he said. He now started Project DEVI (Development and Empowerment of Vrindavan girls' Initiative) in Uttar Pradesh, to help them out.

“Unlike the south, many girls and women are abandoned by their families due to stigma. DEVI is rehabilitating these girls, educating them. One thousand two hundred needy girls who now go to school, learn dance and martial arts. They're now happy,” he said. Those who want to get involved can email management@

vivek-oberoi.com

Vivek presented saplings to students, as part of GRD's initiative to mitigate global warming. “I wish I could plant some of them,” he said on his way out. His fan cult at the college promised him they would.