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Friday, July 4, 2008

Gollapudi at Atlanta

The Telugu Association of Atlanta ( conducted some events over the weekend. While it is taking up initiatives to start a Telugu course at Emory University, I was more interested in the get-together with renowned writer, actor Gollapudi Maruthi Rao.

Gollapudi as many Telugu cinema goers acknowledge, is a versatile artist. He had an illustrious film career as a villain, comedian and character artiste. I still remember his role in Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya. No one else could have played that role to that perfection. Another memorable role was that he played in Smasaram Oka Chadarangam.

However, I admire Gollapudi more as a writer than as an actor. In fact, he rose to stardom through his writings. Not many know that he was one of the best screen play writers of Telugu cinema. He won acclaims for his work in 1965 for the film Dr Chakravarty. He had many more popular films in his kitty as a screenplay writer.

His contribution to Telugu Stage is even more greater. Some of the finest stage plays were penned by him since his college days, and during his stay at Andhra Prabha and during his All India Radio career. He wrote the critically acclaimed “Kallu” which was later made into a movie.

I am a fan of the writer Gollapudi, who used to write a weekly column – Jeevana Kaalalm - in Andhra Jyoti. I used eagerly await to read his satirical writings on contemporary politics and social issues. It inspired me in many of my own writings. One of the characters of his column is “Om Namassivaya”. He brought subtle humor with the innocent ramblings of om namassivaya with the author.

With the demise of his youngest son, Srinivas, in 1992, Gollapudi’s career as an actor, as a writer has calmed down. He sounded more philosophical then on. The last I saw him was as an anchor in a TV show. I guess it was Praja Vedika on Gemini TV. He has a great voice and an exceptional ability of expressing his thoughts in lucid Telugu. I wish this great man lives a happier life and dishes out many more writings, acts that enthralls all of us.

For more on Gollapudi, pl visit his site

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