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'Reddy' for turtle love

Courtesy: IndiaFM

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Having small cute pets, dogs being the favorites, and displaying them in media at premiere shows or every other possible occasions is becoming a trend of celebs worldwide. But the glam girl, Sameera Reddy has an obsession for a different species - turtles. Well, it might not seem that strange though after you hear her justification.

Sameera says she was 12, when actor Arbaaz Khan gifted her two pet turtles. Initially, her parents objected considering her too young to take care of them but Arbaaz managed to convince them. Those pair of turtles changed her life completely. All of a sudden Sameera became a famous girl among kids. She used to carry the turtles to school in her pocket and kept them on her desk. Her school mates used to flock all around her to gaze at the turtles. She used to even feed the pair in breaks which was like a big show for the students. In fact, Sameera had also named her pets - the male was called Mackey and the female was Miki. Sameera, in fact, confesses that she used to talk her heart out to the turtles when she was alone with them.

The reason for this kind of attraction towards the species she says is mainly because Sameera was a very shy person as a child. She was fat then and had no friends. And if anyone tried talking to her, she would retreat, just like a turtle does into its shell. The turtle was metaphoric of her personality then.

One day the female turtle died due to an eye infection. Within five days even the male turtle died. Sameera was heart broken and found it difficult to cope up for few days. It was as if she lost her best friends who knew everything about her.

After this incident, Sameera started getting stuffed turtles as gifts from her family. Soon everyone who knew her and about her obsession for the pet started gifting her turtle soft toys. Now, Sameera has a collection of ceramic, jade, stone, metal, crystal, enamel, papier mache, etc. You name it she has it. Besides, every turtle she's got has a story attached to it. Once, her mom saw a set of three miniature turtles with bobbing heads in London. As it was raining heavily then, she purchased it the next day. It was tough though as Sameera's mom had to board a plane home within few minutes. Then there was this one time, when shooting in Mauritius, she made her choreographers Bosco and Caesar play the toy-vending machine all night long to win a cute looking turtle in the machine.

But one shouldn't baffle her love for the creature with just being crazy for the soft toys. Sri Lanka has a turtle sanctuary, where you can save leather-back turtles by buying them and setting them free in the sea. When the turtle loving Sameera was holidaying there, despite carrying limited pocket money, she went ahead spending the money that would cover holiday expenses on buying the turtles. She purchased and set free about 100 turtles in the sea. She says she would never forget the sight of all those turtles plodding their way back to the sea. This particular incident would touch the heart of any person, whether he cares for the species or not.

Looking at the onscreen persona of being the glamdoll of Bollywood, Sameera's soft corner for turtles can come as a big surprise for some. She definitely sets an excellent example of how we could be a little more concerned about the other living being on our planet. Not all care about them but we can definitely do our bit.

Three cheers for this beauty queen.

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