Mullapudi Venkata Ramana
|Mullapudi Venkata Ramana|
Mayor Sabbam Hari presenting the 1995 Raja-Lakshmi Literary Award to Sri Mullapudi Venkata Ramana
June 28, 1931|
Dowleswaram, Rajahmundry, East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh
February 24, 2011 (aged 79)|
Mullapudi Venkata Ramana (Telugu: ముళ్ళపూడి వెంకట రమణ; 28 June 1931 – 24 February 2011) was a Telugu story writer. He was especially known for his hilarious style of writing. He also created a child character called Budugu. Many other memorable characters like Radha, Gopalam, Contractor (in Muthyala Muggu), Tutti (in Mister Pellam) in modern Telugu literature/cinema flew from this master writer's pen.
Mullapudi was the dialogue, story and screenplay writer for many of the movies that came as a Bapu-Ramana combination. He was versatile in penning both heart-touching and rib-tickling dialogues.
Sri. Mullapudi Venkata Ramana was born in a middle-class traditional family and his childhood mostly spent in a tiny village called Dowleswaram near Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. Ramana had one elder sister and a younger brother. It was a happy family with no troubles until his father expired when Ramana was 9 years old. This turned their status upside down and they shifted to Chennai (called Madras in those days) for better opportunities. Ramana's mother Mrs. Adilakshmi took all the pains to raise the family in such situation. Ramana's education and career happened in Madras. During his study days, Ramana had shown penchant for literature in Telugu and inclination in writing up short, effective storylines.
During the same period, he got a good friend in 'Bapu'. Their friendship was unconditional and mutually expending talents as Ramana is good at write-ups whereas Bapu is good at painting and caricature drawing. Soon they excelled in their talents and gave some of the most admirable Telugu films later in their life.
Katha Ramaneeyam' Part-1 each have around 40 stories off 8 chapters each of them representing one of Navarasams (Nine emotions each human has). Some of them were made Films later viz. Seetha Kalyanam, Bhogimanta, Swayamvaram etc..
Katha Ramaneeyam' Part-2 having about 45 stories some of which representing Indian middle-class' tryst with life in hilarious way. While others pointing out the superstitions in our society, treatment of underprivileged in society which are definitely thought provoking.
Runanandalahiri is representation of average Indians, leading life in the times of inflation, joblessness, less privileged society and their tryst with their lives' problems. Sri. Ramana himself suffered such upsets in his life and even frank enough that some characters inspired from his own sufferings but dealt with in a humorous way.
After completing SSLC in Madras, Ramana had to do many odd jobs before starting as a reporter for then-popular newspaper Andhra Patrika in 1953. Here he got the opportunity to interact with eminent writers of Telugu literature like Nanduri Ramamohana Rao, Pilaka Ganapati Sastri, Surampudi Seetaram etc. who were working for the same newspaper.
Sri. Ramana was first working for the "Daily" section of the newspaper and then shifted to "Weekly" section. While working here, his stories for children in the name of 'Budugu' (lil kid) were published and became very popular. He authored these stories to present the views of the little kids off their elders in the family. These stories are humorous, informative, knowledgeable to children and at the same time helping the elderly to know the thought process of their kids. Later, these stories were published in the form of a book, which was well received.
While writing for the "Cinema Page" section in the paper, Ramana's short and crisp writing helped him to gain popularity for his film reviews. That was the same time when he got introduced to film industry and befriended the famous stars of film fraternity. He got introduced to some great directors of those times, Adurthi SubbaRao and Dundi, who encouraged him to work for films. RakthaSambandam was his first break as a writer; since then he never lagged in his progress as story, screenplay, dialogue writer.
Ramana's writing talent highlighted with his movie reviews and stories he wrote for films. Some of the initial films for story, screenplay dialogue Velugu needalu, Kanney manasulu were runaway hits, that has kept Ramana in good stead. Mooga manasulu, Bharya Bharthalu, Velugu Needalu and Teney manasulu have firmly established him as story writer. Some of these films had ANR (Akkineni NageswarRao) in the lead and their association brought their talent to the fore.
Soon, he became sought after film story writer and gave up his journalist job at Andhra Patrika. He partnered with his childhood friend Bapu and co-produced their first film Sakshi featuring actor Krishna which got accolades for its storyline and direction.
Bhakta Kannappa (great disciple of 'Lord Siva') with actor Krishnam Raju, who was till then doing villain roles, was a huge hit and gave him stardom. However, the milestone in his career is Sampurna Ramayanam (Ramayan epic) which featured Shoban Babu as Lord Rama turned out to be a major hit and is a masterpiece of Telugu films which is the best representation of the epic 'Ramayana' till today. The music of this film is ever popular and is played in festivals and functions.
Association with Bapu
Sri. Ramana's association with Sri. Bapu has a 60-year career plane. They first met in 1942 in P.S. High School, Madras where they studied 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. His paintings were liked and that was the beginning of their long-standing association.
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. 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
Sri. Ramana provided an able foil, providing script/dialogue that suited Bapu's visuals and this celebrated friendship and professional association made some very meaningful social films that were decent hits like Radha Kalyanam, Vamsa Vruksham, Pelli Pustakam, Mr. Pellam, Sundarkanda, and Radhaagopalam.
MuthyalaMuggu is one of the path-breaking films of yesteryear and the characters and story are very relevant today. This film launched Ravu Gopalarao in a negative role who soon became most sought-after actor in negative roles for next 20 years. The dialogues by Sri. Ramana were a runaway hit with all generations alike and popular even now.
During the years 1985–90, Sri Ramana and Sri Bapu made videos for school subjects for children on television. At the behest of then the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh Dr. N.T RamaRao, Bapu-Ramana made these education videos which were aired by Doordarshan in Telugu were very popular. The same were later dubbed and aired by National Doordarshan. A.R. Rahaman, the present day music maestro, was then an upcoming drummer, providing background music for few of these videos.
In this millennium, the magic of the Bapu-Ramana combination provided their expertise for the mega mythology serial Bhagavatham on ETV. Etv Sri Bhagavatam serial cast : Arun Govil as Dasavatara and Maha Vishnu, Sunil Kumar Sharma as Rama and Krishna, Gargi Roy Chaudhury as Sita and Rukhmini, Sharmilee Raj as SatyaBhama and Bhudevi, Bhavana as Jambavati, Sana as Yashodha, AVS as Narada, etc.,. It was well received by audience and firmly scaled up TRPs for the channel. Also directed Sri Venkateswara Vaibhavam for SVBC-TTD Channel by Bapu Ramana with SaiKiran, Mounica, Ashmita.,.
Kothi Kommachi, Inkothi Kommachi and Mukkothi Kommachi are Ramana's three-volume autobiography in books and audio forms. Just like the titles, the story keep hopping timelines and incidents. To put it in Ramana's own words, "it is like a monkey hopping from one branch to another branch."
Though Sri. Ramanas' career has many faces – journalist, story teller, film critic, film story writer, dialogue writer and a popular film personality who represented a genre that produced the finest work in film arts, literature, journalism – many are dissatisfied that he hasn't been nominated for Padma awards, instituted by Government of India. His humble background and disinclination to associate with any political party could have been the reason for this.
However, he received endless appreciation of the Telugu people for his excellent work and has made a respectable place in their hearts. He is one of those who kept the flag of Telugu pride flying high.
- He was felicitated with Raghupathi Venkaiah Award for excellence in Films in 1986 instituted by the state of A.P.
- Received Honorary Doctorate awarded by Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati.
- He was awarded the Raja-Lakshmi Literary Award for 1995 from Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation, Chennai.
Ramana died of old-age related illness in Chennai on 24 February 2011. At the time of the death, he just completed the work for another mythological film Sri RamaRajyam.
This is partial list of his films. Kindly help expanding it.
|1965||Tene Manasulu||Telugu||Story and Dialogues|
|1966||Kanne Manasulu||Telugu||Story and Dialogues|
|1967||Prana Mitrulu||Telugu||Story and Dialogues|
|1969||Buddhimantudu||Telugu||Story and Screenplay|
|1978||Gorantha Deepam||Telugu||Story, Screenplay and Dialugues|
|1978||Mana Voori Pandavulu||Telugu||Dialogues|
|1980||Rajadhi Raju||Telugu||Story, Screenplay and Dialogues|
|1980||Vamsa Vruksham||Telugu||Screenplay and Dialogues|
|1982||Pelleedu Pillalu||Telugu||Story and Dialogues|
|1985||Bullet||Telugu||Story, Screenplay and Dialogues|
|1991||Pelli Pusthakam||Telugu||Dialogues, Screenplay and Dialogues|
|1993||Srinatha Kavi Sarvabhowmudu||Telugu||Writer|
|2005||Radha Gopalam||Telugu||Story, Screenplay and Dialogues|
|2008||Sundarakanda||Telugu||Story, Screenplay and Dialogues|
|2011||Sri Rama Rajyam||Telugu||Story and Dialogues|