Popular Manipuri digital film actor Kaiku feels that Manipuri film industry will grow faster if imposition of too much ‘dos and don’ts’ are not there.
While sharing his ideas with Manipur Times Kaiku, whose real name is RK Somorendro, says that actors of Manipur understand their society and they will not cross the limit. Actors will not do anything which the society does not accept and will not misguide the society, he quips.
Kaiku was born to late RK Modhusana and RK Ongbi Reba on 3rd January 1974 in Dimapur in Nagaland. He stayed there with his parents for some time running a hotel near Dimapur railway station. After some time he along with his parents returned to his permanent home at Thangmeiband Meisnam Leikai in Imphal West district.
Kaiku got married to RK ongbi Kiranmala before he entered acting life. The couple have been blessed with two daughters – Simran and Krishtina. Kaiku gives the credit for his success to his mother and his wife.
Already featured in about 180 Manipuri films including two celluloid films by November 2012, Kaiku is one of the leading actors of Manipur.
The 39-year-old actor stepped into the acting world in the year 2001 through a Manipuri music video. His first music video,Nungsinaringei eidi nongmatasu khallude…, which was released under KAMS production is still remembered by many as their favourite video.
Kaiku was featured in some other albums as well before the journey of music videos production faced a roadblock when it was banned in Manipur by some organisations.
However, halt in music video production did not deter Kaiku from acting.
He soon turned his fate towards digital films. Kaiku got his first break in Manipuri film in Kalpana in which he played the role of a simple village boy opposite late Seema.
The film was about his love journey with Seema, who was from Imphal (read urban area). Seema herself was the producer of the film. Since then, there was no looking back, Kaiku has acted in a number of Manipuri digital films so far.
Apart from films, Kaiku also experimented his acting skills in Shumang Leela (traditional Manipuri courtyard plays) for some time. Although, he did well and became popular in Shumang Leela as well, he was compelled to leave the traditional art form as it was hard to manage schedules.
Kaiku says, “Acting has been my passion since my childhood. During the school days, I participated in plays and played various roles like Charlie Chaplin and other comedians. But I didn’t have any formal learning of acting those days. I started acting in films as a passion, and the experience I got from music videos proved to be of immense help in films.”
“During my initial acting career, I learnt acting lessons from Oja Birjit Ngangomba, Oja Khuman etc. I was introduced to films by Kaka Mocha and Kaka Muhindro.” Kaiku remembers.
“I kicked-off my career in films after the completion of my studies. I did my graduation in Physical Education from Panjab University, Chandigarh. I already got married before I entered film”, Kaiku says.
“A turning point came in my career after I acted in the films like Ta Tomba the Great, Hari Chandra, Basantagi Nongallamdai etc. A drastic change came in my life after that and life became very responsible.
Imagi Laman Singamdre and Inspector Yoihenba were also the films which were appreciated by cine goers,” Kaiku says.
Kaiku still remembers the shooting of a scene of Imagi Laman Singamdre as the most memorable experience in his acting career.
He says, “Shooting of the last scene of the film was very touching. The story of the film was based on a boy who abused drugs. The boy fell into the clutches of death when he realised about life and decided to stop using drugs. When the boy was dying he told his mother that he didn’t want to die. While filming that particular scene he felt as if he was going to die in real and his eyes were filled with tears.”
About Inspector Yohenba, his latest hit, Kaiku says, while shooting the film, he didn’t expect much.
He plays the role of a village youth who aspires to become a cop in Inspector Yohenba opposite Devita, who is also the producer of the film. Pizza and 14 Years are some of the upcoming films of the popular actor.
Kaiku has a very polite dream. He wishes to open an amusement park where children may enjoy leisure as well as the film industry may use it as a shooting spot.
Kaiku says, “Whenever I travelled outside Manipur and abroad, I saw many parks for children which is not here in Manipur where children can play and spend their holidays. In order to provide the much needed leisure, I started construction of a park two years back at Maiba Khun.”
However, it takes time in its completion due to financial inadequacy, he adds.
When the park becomes a reality, Kaiku says, children can spend their time there, and the film community may also use it for shooting. As such, he is thinking over a name related to film and children.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
In his journey as an actor Kaiku has achieved a lot of recognition and won awards from various organisations. He is a recipient of Manipur Viewers’ Choice Award, Ketawn Award and awards of various local clubs.
His favourite Manipuri actors are Tomba, Amarjit and Diya. Among his contemporaries he appreciates Olen, Denny and Gokul’s acting skills.
MESSAGE TO YOUNGSTERS
As a message to the youngsters who aspire to enter the film industry, he says that it is good to be a part of Manipuri film industry.
Kaiku says that the newbies may grow better if they knock the industry’s door after having completed a course in their chosen field from an institute. Good discipline is the most important quality which a new comer must possess to mould himself or herself to a successful actor, he points out.
Regarding his tight shooting schedules, Kaiku says that he maintains his schedules by giving 3 days each on rotation basis to different producers.
“In the initial stages I tried hard to give different tastes to the movie buffs and kept on thinking to popularize the digital film industry in Manipur.” he says.
He also remembers the initial stages of Manipuri digital film industry. Kaiku says, “We had very limited manpower, even the main protagonists had to run and push the trolley after make-up.”
“That time I didn’t bother about getting payment and the payment was also less when we compare to the current scenario,” he says.
“But today, digital film industry in Manipur is flourishing with each passing day and I feel good seeing this.” he freaks out with a smile.
Kaiku says, “This is the result of the struggle we faced in the initial stages. This industry generates employment to number people and will last long in Manipur. Moreover a successful actor can earn more than Rupees one lakh in a month with Rupees 40,000-50,000 per assignment.”
Regarding his other co-curricular activities, Kaiku says, “I was a badminton player before I started my acting career. I played for Manipur in the 4th and 5th National Games held in Karnataka and Manipur.”