A star-studded extravaganza

Last Updated 19 September 2013, 14:46 IST

Age is nothing but a number and ‘Real Star’ Upendra proved that at his 45th birthday celebrations at Gayathri Vihar, Palace Grounds, on Wednesday. Be it showcasing snippets from his life or well-wishers, co-stars and family members dancing to his favourite tunes, the star’s birthday celebrations was nothing less than entertaining.

After all, it’s not everyday that a movie star gets to celebrate his birthday with his family, friends and fans.

The stage was set and the venue was decorated with life-size posters welcoming all. The celebrations itself was called ‘Uppi Unknownu –– Come Let Us Celebrate Together’. The actor’s family was present on the occasion and Upendra was seen walking around ensuring everything’s perfect and everybody’s taken care of.

Food and frolic

A huge spread of items, ranging from chaats,pakodas, sandwiches and a lavish dinner were available for the VIP guests. But the real highlight of the evening were the dances. After a brief presentation about Upendra and his life, the function began by paying tribute to the legends of the Kannada film industry. Upendra, who shares his birthday with late actor Vishnuvardhan, ensured that there was a special tribute for the late actor. And not being the one to forget those who had helped him during his struggling days, Upendra also felicitated film-maker Kashinath, who had given him his big break.

“I have known Upendra for so many years. He has always been brimming with ideas and ready to experiment and that’s what people love about him. It’s great to see where his talent has taken him,” said Kashinath.

Larger-than-life presence

The entry of an actor is always highly awaited. And in true Uppi style, there was a build-up before he made his entry on stage. First, an Uppi look-alike came on stage with the actor’s song Naanu playing in the background. Soon, some others armed with ‘guns’ came in and pretended to shoot the look-alike. The real Uppi then made his entry with a song from his latest directorial venture, Uppi 2, playing.

This was then followed by dance performances by actress Harshika Poonacha, Bhavana Rao,
Gurukiran, Ragini Dwivedi and Sanjjanaa.

Actor Shivarajkumar too shook a leg to songs from Upendra’s directorial venture Om and other numbers. He even pulled Upendra and made him share the stage with him. Actor Jaggesh entertained the crowd with his lines from the movie Tarle Nan Maga.

But it was Priyanka Upendra’s performance that everyone eagerly waited for. The actress-cum-wife of danced to Sum Sumne Nagthaale Dil Mera Dhak Dhak and Uppinakayi Kayi.
“This is the first time we have got to celebrate Uppi’s birthday on such a grand level. And that too on the day he launched his next directorial attempt from our home production. It has been a special day for each and everyone of us in the family,” said Priyanka.

His co-star from Arakshaka actress Ragini chipped in, Uppi has always been such a wonderful person to work with. I have learnt so much from him about movies and even Priyanka is a good friend of mine. I feel they make a wonderful couple and I wish them the best of everything.”

The evening also saw film-maker Ravichandran and Upendra having a small interaction on stage, which was enjoyed by all.

A sea of admirers

Manjunath, an auto driver and a big fan of Upendra, had come all the way from Banashankari just to catch a glimpse of the star. “I feel it was a treat as I not only got to see Upendra but also many others from the film industry. I have enjoyed all of Upendra’s movies and ensure that I watch all his movies — first day, first show. Now that he has announced his next project, I am sure it will be a good film,” he added.

The event also saw the launch of the teaser of Uppi 2.

“Today has been an overwhelming day for me. Seeing the love and admiration of my fans,
family and friends from the industry. I feel I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday,” summed up the actor.

(Published 19 September 2013, 14:46 IST)

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