J.Vishnu Shankar

To put someone’s signature on even one aspect of a 3000 year old culture is not easy. And if someone does that in multiple fields, you know he is not an ordinary genius. Bapu who passed away today achieved precisely that. He taught us the most beautiful way of writing this great language – Telugu. The artist in him drew the picture of the most beautiful woman to ever step on this land. So much so that for any woman to be called a ” Bapu Bomma” is the ultimate compliment for her beauty. He did not stop there. He made films that shaped an entire generation. And all through this stunning success spanning several decades, he retained his simplicity and his life long friendships. ( Particularly with the other genius -Mullapudi Venkata Ramana)

bapu bomma

It is not hard to imagine that someone who drew the most beautiful woman, must have been intensely in  love with the female form. Not surprisingly, his movies mostly centered around the institution of marriage. His men were, of course, ordinary men. It was always his heroines who led his films. They were mostly ordinary house wives, who were entangled in extra ordinarily difficult circumstances and emerged victorious. All this without any hint of banner burning feminism. He elevated the simple housewife to heroic heights in all his films,whether it is Mutyala Muggu, Gorantha Deepam, Pelli Pustakam, Mister Pellam or other films. And blended these tales with memorable sequences, ever green music and wrapped them with the most beautiful cover called Telugu culture. The romance between the lead pair in his films was always unforgettable. Little surprise, that two of the most romantic songs to be heard in the 80 year Telugu film history, were from his film Mutyala Muggu. ( Edo edo annadi and Gogulu pooche).

It does not surprise that many Telugus will be saddened and disillusioned by his sudden demise. It definitely is not easy for someone else to fill this void. But if this great culture can produce one such illustrious son, it will definitely produce another. It is going to be an agonizing wait, though. I sincerely wish that another equally illustrious torch bearer of our culture emerges soon. But the times we live are disappointing and that really fills my heart with sadness and anxiety.

R.I.P Bapu, you touched every Telugu and made our lives fulfilling. We would have been lost in this globalized world without you.