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మన తెలుగు సినిమాలలో ఈమధ్య తెలుగుదనం బొత్తిగా కనిపించటంలేదు. హీరోయిన్ పాత్రలతో మొదలైన పరభాషానటుల దిగుమతి సంస్కృతి, ఈనాటికి తల్లి పాత్రలకు, తండ్రిపాత్రలకు, విలన్, కామెడీ పాత్రలకు కూడా పరభాషా నటులను దిగుమతి చేసుకోవటం దాకా వచ్చింది. కాబట్టే, మన తెలుగు సినిమాల్లో తెలుగుదనం కొడిగట్టుకుపోవటం ఆశ్చర్యం అనిపించదు. అసలు విషయానికి వద్దాం.

 

చిన్నప్పట్టి నుంచి ఏ కథ చదివినా, ఏ నవల చదివినా, ఏ సినిమా గురించైనా ఆలోచించినా తండ్రి పాత్ర ప్రస్తావన రాగానే ఊహల్లో మెదిలే రూపం గుమ్మడి వేంకటేశ్వర రావు గారిది. ఎంతో ఉదాత్తంగా, హుందాగా, గంభీరంగా ప్రతిపాత్రలోనూ ఒదిగిపోయే నటుడు ఆయన. కొన్ని వందల సినిమాలలో తండ్రిపాత్రలో ఆయన జీవించి ఉంటారు. తెలుగు తండ్రికి ఒక రూపం ఇవ్వాలనుకుంటే బహుశా ఆ రూపం గుమ్మడే అయ్యుంటుందనటంలో అతిశయోక్తి లేదు. సినిమాల సంగతి సరే, నిజజీవితంలో గుమ్మడి గారు తండ్రి పాత్రలో ఎలా జీవించారో తెలుసుకోవాలనుకోవటం కూడా సహజమే.

 

ఇదంతా వ్రాయటానికి ఓ నేపథ్యం ఉంది. మొన్న ఏప్రిల్ నెలలో రాబోయే గుమ్మడి గారి జయంతి (గుమ్మడిగారి జన్మదినం 9-జులై-1928) సందర్భంగా ఓ వ్యాసం వ్రాద్దామనే ఉద్దేశ్యంతో నెట్‌లొ ఆయన విషయాల గురించి వెతుకుతుంటే, “My Father – Lakshmi Jagalur pays tribute to her father Gummadi Venkateswara Rao” అనే వ్యాసం కనిపించింది.

 

ఒక తండ్రిగా గుమ్మడి గారి గురించి ఆయన కూతురి అభిప్రాయం చదివిన తర్వాత, వేరే వ్యాసం వ్రాయటం కన్నా, ఆవకాయ పాఠకులకి ఆ అభిప్రాయాన్నే అందించటం సముచితంగా భావించి అందుకు అనుమతి అడిగాను. నాలుగు రోజుల క్రితం అనుమతి వచ్చింది. నిజానికి, ఈ వ్యాసాన్ని గుమ్మడిగారి వర్ధంతి రోజున అంటే 26 జనవరి న పోస్టు చేద్దామని అనిపించినా, పాఠకులకు తొందరగా అందించాలనే ఆతురతతో ఇప్పటికిప్పుడు పోస్టు చేస్తున్నాను. మౌలికమైన వ్యాసంలో ఇంగ్లీషులో ఉన్న పదాలను తెలుగులో వ్రాయటం తప్పించి ఏ మార్పులూ చేయలేదని గమనిక. ఇక ఆ వ్యాసం :

 

 

‘My Father’ — Lakshmi Jagalur pays tribute to her father, Gummadi Venkateswara Rao

 

Father……….the word ‘father’ evokes images of love, protection, and compassion. My father Mr. Gummadi Venkateswara Rao was all this and more, much more. My first memory of my father is when I was four years old sitting on his stomach. He would come home from shootings, lift me up in his arms and place me on his stomach relaxing on the carpet. He would place me on the table during dinner times and feed me the most delicious పెరుగన్నం. I remember him holding me tight as I fell asleep in his arms feeling safe. Despite the stormy weather on the day I was born, and six children before me did not deter him from rushing to shop for gold bangles to adorn my tiny hands. I remember the day when he carried my son in his arms. My father looked at the newborn with love, and tenderly stroked his grandson’s tiny fingers and toes, bringing tears to my eyes.

He taught us to respect fellow human beings, and the importance of humility. He taught us that money is not everything in life, and he showed it by his deeds, not words. His favourite dialogue as we were growing up was "మనిషి అవసరానికి మించి డబ్బు ఏం చేసుకుంటాడు?" (Why does one need more money than needed for basic necessities) He proved it by spending every sparing moment he had with us.

As children we woke up to the strains of Classical music that he would listen to as he read the morning newspaper. Sometimes, he fed and milked the cows as he loved his coffee with fresh milk. He would help me make his favourite dish “బీరకాయ పచ్చడి”, when my mother was sick. Together we made the best pakodas on rainy days. He always looked at us with love and affection, and never uttered a harsh word even when we disappointed him. He would dedicate his Sundays to the family. Memories of playing cricket and badminton with him on our front yard, or playing games sitting on the marina beach are still fresh in my mind. Our beach outings ended with a treat of kulfi ice cream at PALS restaurant on beach road. He at times disguised himself with a turban and drove the bullock cart to take us to movies in Kollur movie theater during our summer vacations. Growing up we had no idea how important he was, for us he was just our loving father. He never hesitated to lend a helping hand, be it toward a loyal foreman at his ancestral property or to a fellow artiste facing hard times. When he visited me in the States three years ago, the only shopping he did was to buy T-shirts and clothes for Ramesh (his aide) and his children.

[This the picture drawn by Bapu which is a depiction of Gandhi and Nehru]He was an avid reader, his library consisted of Epics such as Ramayana, Mahabharatha, The Bhagavdgita, Veyi Padagalu, Sarat Chandra, Chalam, Jandyala Papaya Sastri books to name a few. I remember many a splendid evenings watching him enjoy Dr. Narayana Reddy garu’s poetry, and in conversation with Dr.. Akkineni Nageswara Rao garu. Our dinner table conversations would include his description of his childhood, praising his grandmother’s cooking, his carefree teenage days, his college days, his meetings with Dr. Radhakrishnan, Pandit Nehru, Sir Richard Attenborough, to name a few. The topics of conversation would range from politics, to art to literature to music. He would praise enthusiastically if he identified talent in an artiste and likewise he would not hesitate to criticize if he did not like something, no matter how big an artiste he or she is. I remember the day he rushed home to take us all to listen to U. Srinivas mandolin concert. He came home during the break as he was the chief guest for Srinivas’s first concert and he discovered that he was a child prodigy. His enthusiasm was so infectious that we followed him without questioning. Another time I was roped in to go to a Russian circus with my six nephews and nieces because he wanted to go to the circus with his grandchildren. Needless to say I was the reluctant participant in the excursion, as I was 19 years old and did not want to be seen with tiny tots at a circus. He once asked Mr. Bapu (the great south Indian director and artiste) to draw Gandhi and Nehru in one stroke and Mr. Bapu obliged by drawing it for him.

He never compromised his principles and I know of instances he resigned as a judge when he was asked to compromise. He once ripped apart an audio cassette tape and did not hesitate to put a match to it when he found the lyrics vulgar. His anguish and disappointment with people when they failed to exhibit basic human qualities and the deteriorating human values flowed out in the form of poetry –

 

ఒక కళాకారుడిగా ఇదే నా ఆశ, ఆకాంక్ష

మళ్ళీ ఒక మహాత్ముడు నా ఇంట్లో పుట్టాలి

ఒక గౌతమబుద్ధుడు నా గడపలో కాలు పెట్టాలి

వెలిసిపోయిన నా ఇంటి గోడలకు వెల్ల వేయాలి

రాళ్ళు రప్పలు ఉన్న నా ముంగిట్లో రంగవల్లికలు దిద్దాలి

నల్లేళ్ళు జిల్లేళ్ళు మొలిచిన ప్రాంగణంలో

నందనవనాలు నాటాలి

నట్టింట్లో కొడిగట్టిన నా దివ్వెకు

నవ్యకాంతులు అందివ్వాలి

మసకబారిన నా మస్తిష్కాన్ని

మరమ్మతు చేయాలి

దయ్యాలు తిరుగుతున్న నా కొంపలో

దైవాన్ని ప్రతిష్టించాలి

మరచిపోయిన మానవత్వం

మళ్ళీ నేను పొందాలి

మరుగునపడ్డ మంచితనం

తిరిగి నాకు చెందాలి

మళ్ళీ ఒక మహాత్ముడు నా ఇంట్లో పుట్టాలి

I was truly blessed to be born as his daughter. Words fail me to describe the love I received from him. His tall figure always dressed in pure white, as pure as his heart and his gentle smile, his loving gaze will forever remain with me. If I ever have another lifetime, I want to be born as his daughter. He was a great actor, a great human being, a caring parent till the end; his last words were spoken to me on the cell phone saying “I am fine, do not worry” and this was before he went under the ventilator for the last time.

ఆయన తలపే మాకు పరమ పవిత్రం....

Original Article at

 

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మహానటుడికి ఆవకాయ తరఫున నివాళులు.

Thanks to Lakshmi garu for permitting us to reproduce the article.

 

Comments   

 
0 #1 Dr. Syamala Kallury 2013-11-30 11:04
A very nice article, For every living human being father is the first and the best friend. Whatever his achievement professionally at a personal level father holds the same adorable role which his/her the entire life. Thanks
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