Mutyamantha Bapu - Sinimaakantha Chaaya !
by Mamidi Harikrishna (harikrishnam at ragalahari.in)
Do you know Sattiraju Laxminarayana..
Everyone will definitely get confused, if we ask the question.
Instead, if we ask any Telugu, do you know Bapu?
Then the answer will come with a rocket speed!
That is the impact and spell of the multi-talented intellectual and the manifold-faceted genius….Bapu!
There is no exaggeration to describe Bapu as the perfect package of art, paint, cartoon, design, script, put into one! He gave the Telugu people, a cause to cheer, laugh, cry, inspire,surprise, sympathise, empathise, romance, flirt, admire, adore, respect, dream about everything of their life rooted in the glorious culture of India. And above all, he made us to revisit the BUDUGU in ourselves !
Bapu, the personification of art and aesthetics, was born in Narasapur of West Godavari district on 15 Dec, 1933.After schooling, he went to Madras ( now Chennai ) and joined in Law in University of Madras and completed his degree in 1955. The same year he joined in the much reputed daily of those times, Andhra Patrika, and started his career as a cartoonist! From there, he expanded his talent from cartoon to painting, designing, art to film making and showed the world his Vishwa Roopa as an epitome of aesthetics!
Bapu is the man, who made the Telugu audience to realise the importance of Art in the life, through every one of his creations. Madisannaka koosinta kalaposanundala..(Human should have some aesthetic sense) !
Bapu, the Artist
He has done thousands of cover sketches to the books, magazines, news papers and anthologies while, Bapu, the painter, has done magic with colours by making a priceless works on Ramayana, Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, Leela Janardhanam and nava rasas!
Bapu, the Cartoonist & Caricaturist
He has created innumerable characters in simple lines depicting multi-dimensions in the behavioural patterns of the people from all classes, from political to family to professional themes. He painted smiles on everyone"s face,with his magic wand of brush !
Bapu has succeeded in creating Bapu Bomma, synonymous with a beautiful Telugu girl of typically unique Telugu culture. His cursive writing has been admired by many and as such it is transformed into computer fonts on his name—Bapu script!
Bapu, the film-maker
Bapu has created many celluloid canvases which includes Saakshi (1967-his debut movie), Budhimantudu(1969),Sampoorna Ramayanam (1971), Andala Ramudu (1973), Mutyala Muggu (1975), Sita Kalyanam (1976), Bhakta Kannappa (1976), Manavoori Pandavulu (1978), Goranta deepam (1978), Pelli Pustakam(1991), Mister Pellam (1993), Srinatha (1993), Radha Gopalam (2005) and the very appreciated work of Sri Rama Rajyam (2011).
Bapu, as the director has proved his mettle in national arena too and made 8 hindi movies which includes Hum Paanch, Mohabbat, Woh Saat Din, Prem Pratigya etc.
Bapu, the friend
Bapu has an exemplary friendship with the renowned author and script-writer Mullapudi Venkata Ramana. The duo of Bapu-Ramana had created celluloid wonders with their works. Both of them produced many characters, which became icons in the Telugu lifestyle and in Telugu Literature. Last year, Ramana garu passed away, leaving his pal beside. Bapu had dedicated his latest offering "Sri Rama Rajyam" as a tribute to him and expressed his unflinching bondage with Ramana.
Bapu has been honoured with the prestigious Raghupati Venkaiah Award for his contribution to Telugu cinema in the year 1986 by the government of Andhra Pradesh and rewarded by the Telugu people across the globe with their admiration towards him.
Your art is eternal…as such it lives forever!
Your contribution to Telugu kala saraswathi is priceless..as such it inspires the generations to come!!
You are one unique persona, second to none…as such you are the magnanimity of art!!!
So, salute to you on your 80th Birthday...