'It's the movie theatres where I meet my fans. We have a pact.'
Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu turned a year older on August 9, and he reflects on the year gone by.
He tells Subhash K Jha, "I really hope our country and the rest of the world get vaccinated in order to go back to our normal lives."
The past year has not been easy on anyone. How do you look back on it?
It's been a time to reflect and learn about many things.
It has also been a blessing in disguise because I have got to spend quality time with my family -- my father, my wife and children -- which I would not have got otherwise, given my work schedules and the kids' school timings.
Still, to be cooped up together for so long isn't the easiest of situations to be in, right?
I know. It's not been easy for any of us.
But it's been good for me.
It was a break none of us expected and I've tried to make the most of it.
Are you optimistic about the coming months?
I'm a very positive person and I look at the situation with the hope that things will get better if we follow the protocols and guidelines given by our authorities.
Also, the vaccines are a big confidence booster for us.
I really hope our country and the rest of the world get vaccinated in order to go back to our normal lives.
Do you feel this time of isolation was a blessing in disguise?
My family has been my balancing board and my strength even before the pandemic started.
I've had absolute undivided attention from them for so long and it's been good.
It's a blessing in disguise.
In this year-and-a-half, my son Gautham and my daughter Sitara have grown up so much.
They are wise and mature, much more than I was at their age.
Do you see your next release Sarkaru Vaari Paata making it to the theatres?
Yes, it will make it to the theatres on Sankranti, January 13.
I am confident about that.
We've suffered enough. We need a break.
My films are made for the big screen and I will never take that away from my fans.
I respect the OTT platform, but that is a separate entity.
It's the movie theatres where I meet my fans. We have a pact.
Tell us about your forthcoming films.
I have Sarkaar Vaaru Paata in January, followed by a film by Trivikram Srinivas for the upcoming year.
That is followed by (S S) Rajamouligaru's film.
What is your advice to your fans?
I'd like to say that this has been a difficult time for all of us and we are in this together.
We will come out stronger and we will win this fight together if we follow the guidelines given by our authorities.
Please wear a mask at all times.
We have to always remember that we're going to have to learn to live with this new virus in a way where we are all safe.
We have to protect our loved ones from the virus in any way we can.
The virus isn't going away anytime soon.