‘RRR’ star Ram Charan has said that it was Tollywood hero turned Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister NT Rama Rao who put Telugu on the world map and he will live as long as Telugu cinema exists. He was speaking at an event held Saturday night on the eve of the 100th anniversary of NTR’s birth, which falls on May 28. Ironically, Ram Charan’s father, Mega Star Chiranjeevi, used to be a political opponent of NTR, but clearly, a lot of water has flown down the Godavari since then. His co-star in SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ Junior NTR, by the way, is the grandson of the Andhra icon.
“Today, Telugu cinema is being highly praised in foreign countries and everyone is praising South Indian cinema,” said Ram Charan. “But, back in those days, NTR Garu proved and reiterated the power of our cinema. We must never forget those days. We must continue to remember those great achievements”, added the ‘Global Star’.
He was speaking at the centenary celebrations organized at Kaithalapur Grounds, Kukatpally, Hyderabad. Various movie and political celebrities graced the event. On this occasion, Ram Charan recalled his personal link with NTR Garu. “I don’t know where to start,” Ram Charan continued. “His name of him is beyond all benchmarks and achievements. Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Garu was a great personality.”
Speaking of mass leaders like NTR, he reverently said, “We should remember their achievements and be inspired by their way of life. Following in their footsteps gives us immense pride and happiness.”
“Every artist including me who goes to the film set every day remembers his name. He made us aware of. What is the film industry? What is the Telugu film industry? To our neighboring states as well as to the whole country and other countries. The Great Legend NT Rama Rao Garu brought respect to our film industry. This industry has a great personality. It is a privilege for all of us to work in the industry where NTR Garu belonged.”
On a personal note, Ram Charan recalled, “I met NTR Garu only once. Purandhareswari gari’s son Ritesh and I used to go to skating classes together when we were kids. We used to finish our classes early in the morning, from 5 :30 to 6:00 am One day, Ritesh asked me to accompany him to his grandfather’s house. He was the prime minister at that time. He had great security. I felt that I didn’t even have the strength to say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ I said ‘fine.’ We both went on our roller skates from Purandhareswari Gari’s house and reached Rama Rao Garu’s house at 6:30 am
“I wanted to meet NTR Garu and say goodbye to him. But when we got to his house, he was about to have breakfast. When he saw me, he made me sit down and offered me tiffin. I felt very lucky. I will always cherish that moment of sharing the I have breakfast with him. I thank Purandhareswari Garu for giving me that opportunity.”
(With IANS entries)