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Brave Akki comes to Sameera's rescue

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    By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
    Monday, November 27, 2006
    On Sunday morning, Sameera Reddy almost had a panic attack while attending the 10K Marathon Run at the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad. Surrounded by a huge crowd, the actress almost fainted with fright till knight in shining armour, Akshay Kumar, galloped to her rescue.

    Freak incident
    Says Sameera, "Akshay and I had gone to attend the same marathon event that Salman (Khan) had attended last year. We were called to address the 30,000 odd crowd that had turned up. It's a great event where nearly the entire city of Hyderabad gets together on Necklace Road, by the lake. Children, physically handicapped people, adults and corporates in Hyderabad come together in full spirit for a good purpose - to raise funds for charity. It's also one of the best-managed events and security is very tight."

    Unruly crowds
    Describing how the situation got out of hand, Sameera says, "Akshay and I were on stage and the energy from the crowds was electrifying. The organisers were fantastic and everything was going beautifully. We were leaving the stage after addressing the crowd, when we realised that we would have to walk a little distance to reach our cars. That's when things got a little serious."

    Says a source close to the actress, "The crowds came rushing in and they couldn't reach the car. Akshay and Sameera had to run through the crowds. Sam has a phobia of crowded places as she's had some bad experiences. The crowd was getting too close. It's not that they are unruly but they just want to touch the stars."

    Sam is all praise for Akshay. She says, "It was truly amazing the way Akshay took over. He's a thorough gentleman. I have only interacted with him during shows, but this time I came to know him personally. They were going at him, but the first thing he asked was if I was okay. Akshay took my hand, pushed me in front of him, started walking fast and fought off the crowds so that they wouldn't come near me. He was literally pushing people off. About 10 security men formed a human chain around us but the crowd couldn't be stopped. It was nobody's fault. It was just one of those freak incidents when things go out of control."

    Adds the source, "Sameera couldn't talk for some time after sitting in the car with Akshay, but he kept talking and joking so that she could relax. Apparently, such things are worse in North India where people are much more aggressive."

    Sameera flew off to Kolkata later that day, to shoot for Buddhadev Dasgupta's next untitled film with Prosenjit. "I will fly in to Mumbai for a day to celebrate my birthday with my family on December 14," says Sameera.

    What's the Hyderabad 10K Marathon?
    The Hyderabad 10K Run Foundation is run by a group of socially conscious citizens. Film stars, politicians, sports personalities and people from all walks of life participate in the run. The mission of the run is to promote Hyderabad city as well as to promote sports, fitness and healthy living.

    A part of the proceeds go to Mission Sports. Mission Sports helps children in government-run schools by providing them access to sports and fitness facilities. A part of the proceeds also go for treatment of poor children with heart ailments.

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