Mutyala muggu

Sunday, July 15, 2007

BAPU Sri.Sattiraju Laxmi Narayana , famous by his pen name Bapu, was born on 15th dec 1933 to sri venu gopala rao and smt suryakantham , in Narsapur, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh .He set a new classical, social and comed trend in telugu literature and art fields. Bapu, is a man of many talents.Bapu began contributing story illustration, magazine covers, cartoons, comic strips to English,
Bapu has also introduced a new cursive writing in Telugu. This font is his own handwriting and reflects the same simplicity he exhibits in his art. His main achievements are the production of an illustrated book of Ramayana for children, over a hundred exhibitions and ‘one-man shows' of his art work were held all over Andhra Pradesh and also at the National Film Theatre, London in 1978 and at the Telugu Conferences held in the U.S.A. in 1978, 1985, 1989, 1992, 1995 and 1996. Many exhibitions and seminars held on his paintings till now have all registered an unforgettable memory to the visitors & viewers.

Telugu, Tamil periodicals from 1945। Bapu is a law graduate from Madras University in 1955. Bapu joined as political cartoonist for the newspaper Andhra Patrika in 1955. Bapu is also a proficient graphic artist and had worked in Advertising agencies as a senior artist in J. Walter Thomson, as Art Director in Efficient Publicities and F.D. Stewarts - Chennai. Bapu later went on to become a designer, movie director and a popular painter.

Mullapudi Venkata Ramana

Mullapudi Venkata Ramana (born 1931) is a Telugu story writer. He is versatile in penning both heart-touching and rib-tickling dialogues. It is a known fact that Ramana's word and Bapu's line are made for each other.One whips the pen in broad strokes, the other wields the pen
in sharp words. One infuses life through strokes while the other sustains it through words.They lead their life tied to each other through their natures. They are one mind operating in two entities.For a team of so many achievements and accomplishments, they go by a simple tag name Bapu-Ramana.

Ramana’s association with Bapu on a career plane completes 60 years. They first met in 1942 in P.S. High School, Madras. They studied there in standards V and VI and then continued schooling at Kesari High School.Ramana’s first short story Amma Maata Vinakapothe was published in 1945 in Bala, a children's magazine published by Radio Annayya (Nyayapathi Raghava Rao),he was 14 then. Bapu illustrated the story. That was the beginning of their career as a writer-producer -illustrator- filmmaker duo”.

While Bapu achieved much of his fame sticking to a subtle style of artistic elegance, Ramana announced his entry through a bunch of talkative characters, who try to make no sense out of the sensible world around them, because of their askew point of view. Ramana is the dialogue, story and screenplay writer for many of the movies that came as a Bapu-Ramana combination. He provided an able foil, providing script/dialogue that suited bapu's visuals and this celebrated friendship and professional associatioon gave many good cinemas.

Beginning as an illustrator - story writer team and then turning into a film-director-writer duo, they have contributed immensely to the enrichment of Telugu cultural ethos through literature and cinema. When one mentions Bapu, then one is bound to mention Ramana's name too and vice versa. If Bapu had received an honorary doctorate from Sri Venkateswara University last year his alter ego Mullapudi Venkataramana received the honours this year. All the other honours including the Raghupathi Venkaiah award the inseparable twins of Telugu cinema shared between them.

When ever the renowned duo of Bapu and Ramana come together for a project, viewers are glued to the screen. The celebrated team now has recreated their magic on the small screen with a mega serial Bhagavatham (mythological serial on ETV) which, in a very short time, has scaled the popularity charts.

pagalu-raeyi, sukhamu-dukhamu, aatu-potu, padugu-peka - one completes the other, one defines the other, one contrasts the other, one supplements the other and more importantly one sounds hollow and empty without the other. The duality that pervades the universe around, is never more pronounced than in this team; the duality is defined in this relationship; the duality is exemplared in this association. One whips the pen in broad strokes, the other wields the pen in sharp words. One infuses life through strokes(paatra bhiksha) while the other sustains it through words (pada bhiksha). They lead their life tied to each other through their natures. They work together shackled to one another through a hyphen. They are one mind operating in two entities, they are two sides of the same coin, their common bond belies the physics rule that only opposites attract. For a team of so many achievements and accomplishments, they go by a simple tag name - sattiraaju lakshmi naaraayana - mullapoodi venkata ramana. They also answer to Bapu-Ramana once in a while.

Bapu entered into cine field with Mr. Mullapudi Venkata Ramana and was an assistant producer of some movies. Bapu started directing in 1967 and the movies under his direction are famous for classical and lyrical charm. Bapu has so far directed 49 films, social and mythological; in Telugu and Hindi.The liveliness in his paintings are real portrayals of the artists in the movies directed by him. His debut film "saakshi" was screened at the Tashkent (ussr) film festival in 1968.

During 1986-1988 Bapu and Sri Mullapudi Venkata Ramana, designed and produced, for the Government of Andhra pradesh, Audio and Video lessons to be used in the Telugu medium primary schools.Bapu has also designed pilot lessons for Adult literacy.

Bapu worked as the Asthana Chitrakar of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams(TTD), he has illustrated many works of Saint Annamacharya. Bapu has designed and produced the TTD Video on the Brahmotsavam Festival of Lord Venkateswara of the Seven Hills for the T.T.D. in 1992 and again in 2001.Bapu has also illustrated the 30 paasurams (devotional songs) of Andal (Tiruppavai).


In recognition of his contribution to the field of Art in general and Telugu Culture in particular, Sri Bapu was honoured by various Govt and non Govt organisations and presented with many prestigious awards. to name a few,

Bapu was conferred with the prestigious Raja-Lakshmi Award in the year 1982 from Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation, Chennai.
Honoured by A.P. Kala Vedika in 1986, in a function presided over by Late Mother Theresa, presented with Raghupathi Venkaiah Memorial Award by Govt of Andhra Pradesh in 1986. He shared the award along with his soul-mate Mullapudi Venkata Ramana.

Honoured with "Kala Propoorna" a honarary doctorate by Andhra University in 1991.
Honoured with "Siromani" award by the American Telugu Association (ATA) in 1992.
Honoured by the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) in 1995 in recognition of his 50 years contribution to the Telugu art,films,literature and culture and the golden jubilee celebrations of the publications of his first work.

Honoured with “Life Time Achievement Award” by IIC(Indian Institute of cartoonists) on 9th June 2001.
Potti Sree Ramulu Telugu university has honoured him with Visishta Puraskaramu on 2nd December 2002.
Bapu has received the " President of India Award" from the Academy of Fine Art, Tirupati.

BAPU and Art

"If there is one artist who vividly captures the telugu
culture, life, ethos and charm of myriad moods of characters from epics or day to day life, it is Bapu. His works are nothing but treasure trove of telugu culture that are to be preserved for posterity". His paintings sway the hearts for generations .Since 1945 he has been doing story illustrations, cartoons, comic strips and cover designs for telugu magazines. Bapu has devoted his life to pursue his passion for creativity.

Bapu's illustrations have appeared with works of almost all the writers appearing in print in telugu.Writers consider it a privilege to have his artwork as they feel they are not just illustrations but intelligent interpretations. Bapu's genius can be seen in his exquisite arts where the men show valour and extreme kindness, while the women are depicted with rich ethnic glamour and dignity.

Government of Andhra Pradesh has announced the setting of a permanent art gallery of his works “Bapu Bommala Koluvu" at Hyderabad. Bapu's paintings are instant eye-catchers. The use of simple bright colours is easy on the eye. And his unique style of economy of strokes, freehand drawing and non-usage of background clutter makes the painting simple and beautiful.

The highlight of his art works is the about one and half metre long “Ramayana at a glance,” which depicts Sita's swayamvaram, Rama's exile, the confrontation with Ravana and Sita's sacrifice.

Bapu Cartoons

A cartoon is a rare creation that wraps art, portraiture and comment in the same picture. Bapu is famous for his delightful cartoons. In one simple frame, he manages to deftly tell a whole story, making you laugh as well as appreciate some hitherto hidden truth.He explains, “… whether it is a film ,a painting or a cartoon (all) express a picture in the mind…”

He started as a cartoonist in `Andhra Patrika' where his pocket cartoons were a rage in the '50s. His illustrations for the famous weeklies of the time were equally popular and almost every known novelist of that era had illustrations by him as covers. Though he shifted his attention to movies in the late '60s, Bapu has been considered the father figure of cartoonists. Apart from cartooning, he is in to graphic art and film direction and production.

Just a mention of the name Bapu brings smiles on the faces of
Telugu people. Such is the spell the artiste has cast on the masses across Andhra Pradesh over the years. Whether it is the little Budugu with his trademark mischievous smile or the traditional Telugu girl with a beautiful jada (plait) looking back over her shoulders, Bapu's line art has earned him a large fan following in the Telugu Diaspora during the last 60 years.

His most well-known cartoon strip, called Budugu, was the result of a collaboration with his childhood friend, Mullapudi Venkataramana, and gave life to Mullapudi's characters Budugu and his family in the form of pictures.The cartoon strip is about a lovable, precocious little boy-next-door called Budugu.

Daevudu, amma, praema, Bapu bomma - these abstract terms need no special/extra physical description. The very thought of them fills one with an image of completeness, assuredness and a sense of belonging. Bapu bomma - her eye "lashes" stronger than a mighty whip, the vermillion on her forehead can drown a thousand suns, her braid - long and broad - rivals the best even in the slippery reptilian variety, her coy look (gomu coopu) can melt down even the mighty Himalayas - she is a consummate nutritional mix of shyness, surety, vulnerability and confidence - a wholesome beauty whose charm can bowl down any beholder! Bapu passes his keenness and sharpness of observation down to his pictures. The sleekness and slender nature of the picture, the innocence and bravado that define the drawing, the childish maturity and the mature playful nature that ooze out of the image form the trademark of Bapu's still pictures. Budugu has a catapult stuffed in the pocket of his suspenders short (minus the shirt), with his hands folded, looking straight at the reader, in a mark of rebellious innocence. The picture "brahma kadigina paadamu" has two giant feet at the top of the picture and mukkoti devatalu buzzing around the feet like bees taking to honey. While his pictures speak for simplicity, they also attest to a grandiose vision.

It is easy to pick his script out of all the different styles lying around. His script flew in the face of the then existing standard, which was round, rotund and block-like. Bapu turned around the tide and brought consensual acceptance of to his non-conformant defiance. His script is but a series of strokes - tala kottaesina tala kattu, kattadi caesina di, sudeergham kaani deergham are some the giveaways of Bapu's script. His letters literally jump out of the page. They declared their independence long back from the tyranny of calligraphy and just as a double negative make a positive, the unruly bunch banded together to form a signature of the free, a union of the unfettered, an association of the alphabetic mercenaries.

While Bapu achieved much of his fame sticking to a subtle style of artistic elegance, Ramana announced his entry through a bunch of talkative characters, who try to make no sense out of the sensible world around them, because of their askew point of view. Budugu has a beef (problem) with the world around him. He likes to be treated as an elder in the matters of respect and rights and
he views himself as a child when it comes to burdens and responsibilities. He is irked when society does not confer him the same selective growth privilege that he treats himself to. Appa Rao does not understand the world. His view that "appu" is as fundamental to a civilization as water is to sustenance. He points to the fact that "panca bhootaalu" - pruthir aapas taejO vayu raakaasaha - has "appu" (aapas = water in Sanskrit) as one of its chief constituents. He wonders why world does not share his view on it and "lend" him some "credi(t)"bility.

Welcome to the wacky world of Ramana - irony, satire and sarcasm are the holy trinity that Ramana is an ardent devotee of.
His characters look the sarcastic lens and speak through the satirical mouthpiece. His irony is often mistaken as cynicism, but with the hearts in the right place, the characters also double for hopeless romantics, caring even for the minute detail. This view spills into his characters a lot - consider the contractor character in Mutyala Muggu. As unpardoning and ruthless he is, as cynical and cruel he is, he holds his daughter up on the highest pedestal, unable to bear her slightest discomfort. Back in golden age of movie and contemporary literature fields (50s and 60s), Ramana emerged as a fresh voice, scything through the best of the movies with his valid and thorough scathing reviews (published in Andhra Patrika) in an otherwise drab reel critic world. His forays into literature at a very young age (of 13), led him to skip past the banalities and by the time he forged with Bapu (in his late teens), Ramana developed a weird, but unique sense of humor, where he moulded his characters through what they speak than what they do.

The violins screech while the percussion thumps four times in quick succession. The frame is composed with a low angle on Contractor looking at the up at the sky lit by early dawn. The streaks of red light escaping the incongruous clouds occupy the entirety of the frame on the top. Contractor's face is bathing in the radiance and the warmth of the translucent light. Contractor has a crew cut sporting a 'Hitler'esque moustache, holding a cigarette between the thumb and the index finger.

"segatree, alaa coodu, poddunnae aakaasam lo aedo maddar jariginattu laedu?
sooryudu netturu gadda laa laedu, errragaa?"

That single line establishes the contractor's character completely. He is an aesthetic par excellence with a vision for the wicked even in the glorious of things. The parallel drawn between contractor's aesthetic vision with his line of work, says a thing or two of Ramana's
chiseling of the character right to the core of it. Ever since Sakshi, Ramana adhered to rooting the characters in reality but endowing them with a practical yet skewed perspective of things. In "Buddhimantudu", a social drama, the religious and pious Nageswara Rao, who is a priest at a local temple, starts to have epiphanic visions of Lord Krishna, appearing to him in person, talking to him in a voice of simple reason. At one point Lord Krishna even says to the preist "asalu aaenu laenae laenaemo, naenu nee kalpanae naemo", when the priest starts straying away from humanity toward religious fanaticism. Ramana, while allowing the characters to move adrift above the plane of normal behavior, lassoes them up more often than not with reason, pragmatism and common sense.

"asooya ghaataina praema ku thermometer" says a character while trying to reason his possessiveness (Pelli Pustakam), "paapam, atanu Dabbu caesi poyuntaadu" laments another character holding in contempt the behavior of a strayed rich person (Mantri gaari ViyyankuDu), "siphaarasulato kaapuraalu nilabadavandee" reasons a character resigning to her separated state from her husband ("Mutyaala Muggu") - take a raw emotion, add right amounts of sensibility, throw in discerning capability for good measure, mix it up well with a humorous lightening rod, allow it to settle in a volatile container. The concoction sums up Ramana's characters. His characters usually spread out on the far sides of the colorful spectrum. Either they are truly sensible, looking at the world without any additional lens (kanta rao character in Mutyaala Muggu, nirmala character in Mantri gaari viyyankuDu etc), or they are completely outlandish bordering on biting sarcasm, whimsical fantasy and skeptical cynicism (naitaas in Raajadhi Raaju, contractor in Mutyaala Muggu, basu baavamaridi in Pelli Pustakam etc). It feels that Ramana identifies more with the latter characters more than with the former.

Two different age groups mirror Ramana's bent of mind and his thought process - the young ones and the elderly. While he reveals the optimistic side, the innocent facet and purity of the thought through his child characters, through the elderly, he puts forth the age old experience, the balance brought on by age and the worldly wisdom amassed through the years. balaraju (Balaraju Kadha), Budugu (his non-film character), seeta (Mutyaala Muggu) and his various other child characters (Raadha kalyaanam, Kalyana tamboolam, Vamsa vruksham etc) embody his eternal playful spirit. "kaalll mullu juccukuntae kantlo juccukolaedani anukOvaali", "aidu vaeLLu aidu raakaalu gaa unnaa annee kalistae gaani annam tinalaemu", is the attitude that the elderly profess.

While he reserves his reserved best for the soft characters, Ramana puts in extra effort to prop up the evil characters. The mechanics of the evil designs smack hard of creativity, sinisterness and ingeniousness. Basu baavimaridi relies more on tiring his prey by toying with its weakness than pouncing on his right away (peLLi pustakam). This character is similar to the Mohan Babu character portrayed in "Goranta Deepam", which corners the Vanisri character cashing on the innocent and unsuspecting behavior of the Sridhar character mistaking his interest in him (or his wife, precisely) as friendship and proximity. This subtlety lends more credibility to the character, whereby the execution of the evil design makes it possible and plausible. Contractor (mutyaala muggu) hatches his plan and executes it to perfection relying on suggestive and suspecting behavior of the spouse, than indulging in some outlandish schemes to separate the couple.

Though known for such insights, and other beautifications to the character, Ramana is most known for his special brand of humor, his unique style of extracting a chuckle out of everyday events. "maaTa, maaTa mukhyamoy, ee Dabbu daskam poyae Tappudu moota kattukupotaamaa, harischandrudu coodu, maaTa migilipotundi" says one, "sarlaevoy, harischandruDu kooDa poyae TappuDu maaTani maatram moota kattukuni poyaaDa!" retorts another. Humor, be of any kind, has to arise from any or a combination of pain, observation and situation. "maashtaaru, vennakki venakki" cries out the child, when the teacher wrings the ear in the same direction as he had twisted and turned it the previous day. "maa rendo baava maridi adda gaadidalle tirutunnaadu, mee office lo emanna udyogam untae coodaraadu" pleads one, "naenoooo, adda gaaidalaku (stressing on it), aa maata meerae annaaru, udyogaalu ivvanu" retorts another.

From Saakshi to Sreenatha Kavi Saarvabhuoma, Ramana created a microcosm of colorful characters that embrace the normal emotions and expressions - love, hate, sorrow, exultation, wit, humor, evil, sarcasm, innocence, beauty, wisdom, experience - in their own distinctive way, etching their places and positions solidly and permanently in people's minds and memories.

Ganga, following the request of Bhageeratha to help his ancestors
attain salvation, gushes out from the heavens in a ceaseless flow. Lord Siva, acting on the request of Bhageeratha again, promises to ebb her flow and release her in a controlled and a phased manner. The frame, a marvelous close-up, starts at the Siva's visage, with his trinetraalu looking up, anticipating the mighty mad dash of Ganga. A little above, his jatajootaalu spread out in all possible directions to accommodate her. Up above the frame, Ganga, wrapped up in white robes descends from the heavens, like bundles of joy unfettered by the wreaths of heaven (sura Srunkhalamulu tenchi), like chortles of laughter uncontrolled by the customs of heaven, like the flow of free will unshackled from the traditions of heaven.

The movie - Seeta Kalyanam (1976). This entire movie is a series of beautiful frames one after the other, that could be each singly be reminisced, recollected, and marveled at. It is easy (relatively) to establish, and thus trademark, one's style through the usage of words. The words have a certain sense of rhythm; they usually follow a flow and work around in an established pattern that is unique and recognizable, most of the times. But a visual style, on the other hand, is quite arduous to arrive upon, without following gimmickry and resorting to cheap tricks. Interpreting a scene at hand by either positioning the camera or the movement of it, which is done for most often times, relies on the words being spoken by the characters. A character yells something in shock and the camera zooms in to register the shock and convey the idea that the character is indeed shocked. Now, only when the words are taken away out of the equation and the onus of true story-telling (or screenplay-interpreting) technique falls entirely on the director, does the term visual style comes into play.

Case in point - mutyaala muggu - The point that needs to be conveyed here is that of intimacy between the lead characters - A few days into their marriage, Sridhar and Sangeeta walk into their garden, prance around in a playful manner, engage in joyful and playful banter and finally consummate. The entire sequence, with a running time of a few minutes, shot as a montage, does not rely on a single spoken word, but the combination of framing, the (excellent) background score of a sole mandolin, and the black & white-ish photography (the movie is in Eastman color) of Ishan Arya, evokes the idea of true bonding between the characters, without the usual routine duet or heavy dialogues.

Shot division - within a scene, the shots are spliced up for actions and reactions। And if one goes by the regular shot division procedures, the focus shifts from one character to the other as dictated by the dialogue. In a frame involving two characters, character A talks, camera stays on A till his pause, cuts to the reaction of B, cuts back to A continuing his dialogue. Pelli Pustakam - baasu cutti into the office and starts parading around in the same saree that KK (Rajendra Prasad) has promised Ms. Bhama (Divya Vani) on her birthday. The dialogue continues in the background and the focus shifts between the reaction shots of KK and Bhama. He looks at her apologetically. She looks at him hurt and hurtful. Bright flashes of light overwhelm KK, indicating the flashes are real whip lashes (koraDaa debbalu) for his misdemeanor. The (wonderful) dialogue is still relegated to the background. This is one of many instances that the director rises above the dialogue using his style to get across a plot point.

The shot division/framing comes naturally to Bapu, considering his artistic background. If one observes his framing, it is but a sequence of individual pictures that move. The camera isn't moved too often, not even by the low budget telugu movie standards, and the idea is conveyed by simple expression(s) that occupies that particular frame. In that, Bapu style is more artistic (read static) than it is dynamic. His characters do not occupy a frenzied world, caught up in a flurry of activities, doing things in a whirlwind fashion. Instead, they operate at less than the normal pace, taking things as they come by in their own languid mode, relying more on the reaction than on the action. His characters are mature beyond their ages (thus explaining their slow motor skills) without showing any signs of impulsiveness, restlessness or unpredictability. The hero does not spring into action bashing up goons, beyond his physical means, when he faced with a confrontational situation. Instead he gulps the indignation and walks away from the situation. His characters rely more on the brains than on the brawns. His characters occupy a real world than a surreal one. His characters are more human than they are exaggerated.

Ramana's exuberance is reigned by Bapu's sensibility. Bapu's vision is enhanced by Ramana's brilliance. They remain the two sides of the same coin. When one shines, the other remains in the background, and when it is the turn of the second, the first gladly gives way. Their association has broken many accepted truths - artists good on paper can never be great on film; only opposites attract; two swords cannot occupy the same sheath; nobody would watch mythological characters in a social setting; telugu heroine should never look like one from telugu land; heroism in a movie is directly proportional to the body count in the fights; heroine should always be dependent on the hero for her (cinematic) existence. For all the myths that they have shattered, here is one that they could not get their arms around - a great wine ripens with age!

Budugu walks in front a mirror, looks into it, folds his hand (in namaskaaram fashion) and starts singing: okkaDae mahaanubhaavudu, aa okkadiki vandanamulu...

Seee Gaana Pesoonamba rushes into the frame and starts yelling:
veedu, paatanu khooni caestunnaadu

Budugu looks at Seee Gaana Pesoonamba obligingly and corrects his song, this time turned toward her:
iddare mahaanubhalu,
aa iddarikee vandanamulu...

Seee Gaana Pesoonamba is pleased!

iddaroo mahaanubhuvulae! aa iddaroo vandaneeyulae!!

Bapu Cinemalu

Bapu is one of the very few truly original filmmakers in the Telugu film industry and is the popular half of the
Bapu-Ramana (Mullapudi Venkata Ramana) pair that made movies that went on to define subtlety in telugu cinema.

The most notable achievement in his movie making is his success in capturing the nativity of Telugu people and translating it great on-screen visuals. Bapu's movies deal with very real familial troubles and relationships and most movies have a recurring theme of magic realism, with sketches of mythological characters aiding in the narration. Bapu treats each of the scenes in his film with lyrical, classical, artistic, and colorful charm. Bapu ‘draws’ every still of a movie to show the artistes how he wants the frame to be.

Most of his movies have a female protagonist and this was and remains a breakaway style from the commercial movies that relegate female lead characters in movies to song and dance numbers. Bapu's preferance for preserving the telugu nativity in his movies can be seen in the choice of artistes, especially the dusky female leads and very un-intimidating villains, which is uncommon in the industry.
The pace is relatively slow, the humor spontaneous and innocent and the visuals captivating. Bapu helped unearth great artistes such as Ravu Gopal Rao, or get the best out those such as Rajendra Prasad, Aamani etc.

Apart from telugu movies Bapu also directed a few Hindi Movies such as Hum Paanch, Bezubaan, Pyari Behna, Mohobbat, Mera Dharam, Diljala, Woh Saath Din and Prem Pratigya.

Muthyala Muggu (1975)

Direction - Screenplay

Story - Dialogues:
Mullapudi Venkat Ramana

Lyrics: Arudra, C Narayana Reddy, Guntur Seshendra Sharma

Camera: Irshan Arya

Music: KV Mahadevan

Cast: Sreedhar, Sangeeta, TL Kanta Rao, Ravu Gopal Rao, K Mukkamala, Suresh, Allu Ramalingaiah, Varaprasad, Suryakantham, Purnima, Jayamalini, Kalpana, Baby Radha, Master Murali, Arja Janardhana Rao, Saakshi Ranga Rao, Halam.

About the film:

Although the author of mythological films like Sri Ramanjaneya Yuddham (1974), Seetarama Kalyanam (1976), Bapu is best known for updating of genre as a critic of modernity (e.g Manavuri Pandavulu).

This film is a contemporary version of the Rama Legend. Sreedhar (Sreedhar), the son of Raja Ramdas, marries Lakshmi (Sangeeta), who is earlier seen with a pet monkey (evoking the monkey God Lord Hanuman). The villain (Mukkamala) and his daughter (Jaya Malini), seek out a modern Ravana (Ravu Gopal Rao), who hides a person in the wife's bedroom so that husband will suspect an affair. Eventually, the couple's twins bring their parents together and wreck revenge on the Ravana figure.

Ravu Gopal Rao's out standing performance, Allu Rama Lingaiah portrayal of monkey along with the twins cute pranks assured the films entertainment value. A few of the Mullapudi dialogues that got a new meaning with Ravu Gopal Rao's dialect are ...

* Suryudu Netthuti Gaddalaa Ledu? Aakasamlo Mardar Jariginatlu Ledu?"
* "Madisanna tarvata kostanta kalaposana undala"
* "Segatri! Eedni dikkilo tongopettu"
* "Eee mukka nenu lekka ettaku mundhu cheppali. Asalu nenu lekkattanane ga nee edava aalochana"

Pelli Pustakam (1991)

Release date: 1st April 1991

Starring: Rajendra Prasad, Divyavani, Sindhuja, Gummadi, Jhansi, Subhalekha Sudhakar, Ravi Kondala Rao, Saakshi Ranga Rao, Dharmavarapu Subramanyam


Story: Ravi Kondala Rao

Dialogues, Screenplay & Production:

Mullapudi Venkata Ramana

Songs: Arudra

Music: KV Mahadevan

Photography: RK Raju

Editing: Anil Malnad

About the film:

Director Bapu has carved out a niche for himself even in his film making like in his painting works as an ingenious creative mind who
is capable of packing up native stories and presenting them with native touch. While doing so he goes into greater details and tries to express what he wanted to a thorough close-up shots that film the screen. You sometimes see just two beautiful eyes on the screen, just bangles, and other occasions an eye peeping through two fingers. Mullapudi Venkata Ramana, a humor writer of excellence, always makes a combination with Bapu and is known as Ramana's word and Bapu's line are made for each other. The two after a considerable gap almost make a comeback with the film "Pelli Pustakam" made for Sri Seetarama films for which Mullapudi Venkata Ramana himself is the director. The technical like is also strong with KV Mahadevan scoring music, RK Raju's camera work and Anil Malnad's editing. Besides Arudra pens lyrics for this film and all the songs are well written and are equally well scored by Mahadevan, which turn out to be one of the basic assets of the film well picturised by Bapu. This film also introduces two girls with incisive looks and talent using them for appropriate roles. Thus the film is an experiment by itself of testing Bapu's hand again giving the best of native touch.

The story in short is almost a rehash of good old film Missamma. For that matter, there is a reference to that film in one of the scenes when a newly married couple Krishna Murthy (Rajendra Prasad) and Satyabhama (Divyavani) agree to pretend unmarried as they go seeking a job in an office whose boss wants only to give just a job to one member in the family. In Missamma, the spinsters pretend married couple while in this film the married couple pretends spinsters. There are also character to character in parallel like Gummadi replacing SV Ranga Rao, Sindhuja replacing Jamuna, Subhalekha Sudhakar replacing a similar role that of A Nageswara Rao. The entire story here is a kind of battle of wits the couple trying to hide their relationship for situation getting created with the danger of exposing them. There are also scenes between husband and wife quarrelling over petty issues particularly when Satyabhama doubts the relationship between her husband and the boss's daughter. The narration moves mainly on humorous course and it is the way the couple fight like two children on silly issues but these are the scenes that are down to earth that takes audiences with them. The company's proprietor (Gummadi) finally comes round and realizes his mistake in the end when the drama taken to heights when Satyabhama was to breakdown. The two expose themselves tell their proprietor their relationship and that is when the proprietor relaxes the rule and even grants more money in appreciation of their truthfulness towards each other. There is a cinematic adjustment as to why they had to compromise with the boss principles is when they narrate the vows of their families at either side needing some money for some urgent medical treatment.

Rajendra Prasad offers a commendable portrayal well supported by new find Divyavani and also Sindhuja playing boss daughter. The artistic creativity of Bapu is also found in one scene when the company comes out with a saree with new designs and the border and design on the saree is nothing but 'Muggu' that women folk draw in front of their houses decorating their front yards. Gummadi gets a fine character after a long time and presents it with ease giving it a characteristic relief. The other artists like Subhalekha Sudhakar also offer good performances.

ముళ్ళపూడి వెంకటరమణ
తేదీ: 29th Jun, 2009రచయిత: చందమామ

 ముళ్ళపూడి వెంకటరమణ సుప్రసిద్ధ తెలుగు రచయిత. తెలుగు నవలలు, కథలు, సినిమా కథలు, హాస్య కథలు వ్రాశాడు.
ముఖ్యంగా తన హాస్యరచనలకు ప్రసిద్ధుడయ్యాడు. ఇతను వ్రాసిన పిల్లల పుస్తకం బుడుగు, తెలుగు సాహిత్యంలో ఒక విశిష్టమైన స్థానం కలిగి ఉంది. ప్రఖ్యాత చిత్రకారుడైన బాపు కృషిలో సహచరుడైనందున వీరిని బాపు-రమణ జంటగా పేర్కొంటారు.

బాపు మొట్టమొదటి సినిమా సాక్షి నుండి పంచదార చిలక, ముత్యాల ముగ్గు, గోరంత దీపం, మనవూరి పాండవులు, రాజాధిరాజు, పెళ్ళిపుస్తకం, మిష్టర్ పెళ్ళాం, రాధాగోపాలం వంటి సినిమాలకు రచయిత. 1995లో శ్రీ రాజా లక్ష్మీ ఫౌండేషన్ నుండి రాజా లక్ష్మీ సాహిత్య పురస్కారం అందుకొన్నాడు.


బాపు-రమణ జంటలో ఒక్కడు ముళ్ళపూడి. ముళ్ళపూడి వెంకటరమణ 1931 జూన్ 28న ధవళేశ్వరంలో జన్మించాడు. ఇతని అసలు పేరు ముళ్ళపూడి వెంకటరావు. తండ్రి సింహాచలం గోదావరి ఆనకట్ట ఆఫీసులో పని చేసేవాడు. వారి పూర్వీకులు బరంపురంకు చెందినవారు. రమణ కుటుంబం గోదావరి ఒడ్డున ఒక మేడలో ఉండేవారు.
రమణ చిన్నతనంలోనే తండ్రి మరణించాడు. కుటుంబం ఇబ్బందులలో పడింది. సాహసం చేసి అతని తల్లి కుటుంబంతో మద్రాసు వెళ్ళింది. మద్రాసులో అక్కా బావల వద్ద చదువు మొదలుపెట్టిన రమణ 5, 6 తరగతులు మద్రాసు పి.ఎస్.స్కూలులో చదివాడు.

తర్వాత 7,8 తరగతులు రాజమండ్రి వీరేశలింగం హైస్కూలులోను, ఎస్సెల్సీ ఆనర్స్ దాకా కేసరీ స్కూలులోను చదివాడు. పాఠశాల విద్యార్ధిగానే లెక్కలలోను, డిబేట్లు, వ్యాస రచనలోను ప్రతిభ చూపించాడు. హాబీగా పద్యాలు అల్లేవాడు. నాటకాలలో వేషాలు వేసేవాడు.

1945లో బాల పత్రికలో రమణ మొదటి కథ 'అమ్మ మాట వినకపోతే' అచ్చయ్యింది. అందులోనే బాల శతకం పద్యాలు కూడా అచ్చయ్యాయి. ఆ ఉత్సాహంతోనే ఉదయభాను అనే పత్రిక మొదలెట్టి తనే ఎడిటర్ అయిపోయాడు. మిత్రులతో కలిసి ఒక ప్రదర్శన నిర్వహించి, వచ్చిన డబ్బులతో సైక్లోస్టైల్ మెషిన్ కొన్నాడు.

ఆ పత్రికకు రమణ ఎడిటర్. చిత్రకారుడు బాపు. విషయ రచయిత మండలీకశాస్త్రి. ఆర్ధిక ఇబ్బందుల వలన ఎస్సెల్సీతో చదువు ఆపిన రమణ చిన్నా చితకా ఉద్యోగాలు చేశాడు. 1954లో ఆంధ్ర పత్రిక డైలీలో సబ్ ఎడిటర్‌గా చేరాడు. ఆంధ్రపత్రికలో పని చేసేటపుడే బుడుగు వ్రాశాడు.

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