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300 film veteran almost in poverty

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Hyderabad (UNI): Fame and riches are not perennial in the tinsel world. As in real life, fortune or misfortune come according to one's fate. Actor Potti Veeraiah's story is a testimony to this. A dwarf by birth, he has acted in over 300 films. Yet he is forced to eke out a livelihood running a telephone booth at Krishna Nagar in the city. He lives in a single room with his wife, paying a rent of Rs 1,500. Strangely, his wife is not a dwarf like him. What's more, she is quite beautiful. Their's was a love marriage!

Sixty-year-old Veeraiah has acted in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam and Oriya films. He has appealed to the 'captains' of the film industry to at least provide him a small piece of land. ''At the fag end of my life, I can at least construct a small house and live in peace,'' he pleaded, talking to UNI. Surely, the Telugu film industry, which is celebrating its diamond jubilee at a cost of nearly Rs nine crore for three days from January 26, with pomp and gaiety must come to his rescue. Veeraiah was born in Banigiri village of Nalgonda district in 1947. While studying in school, he pitched on a strange idea.He wanted to go to Hyderabad to pursue further studies if he got through his school examination. But if he failed, he wanted to become an actor. As fate would have it, he failed in his examination and boarded a train to Madras with the ambition of becoming an artiste as he had some stage experience.Many laughed at him when he was leaving his town and many more, when he reached Madras.

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