One of the most successful writers of Telugu cinema, Satyanand’s foray into the field came rather unexpectedly. The turn came even as he started his career as an assistant director under his maternal uncle the legendary Adurthi Subbarao during the making of Mayadari Malligadu . Knowing his interest in writing, Adurthi narrated the story briefly and asked him to develop it into a movie script. Satyanand wrote a novel! Adurthi liked it and engaged him to write the dialogue.

“He was filming a song on the lead pair Krishna and Manjula and told me to write the dialogue for the preceding and succeeding scenes (to the song). He felt the dialogues are reasonably good and told me to go ahead. He taught me the nuances of screen writing. Krishna, Nagabhushanam, Sakshi Rangarao and Anjali Devi appreciated my work. In fact, Anjali Devi and her husband Adinarayana Rao signed me for two of their films. Mayadari Malligadu ’s commercial success brought me offers from top banners. For anybody the first experience remains a memorable one,” says the ace writer who has 400 films to his credit and many of them with K. Raghavendra Rao. He chooses five from among his works.

Jyothi

Cast: Jayasudha, Murali Mohan

This offbeat film was produced by Kranthikumar and directed by K. Raghavendra Rao. I also wrote for Raghavendra Rao’s debut film, the lavishly made Babu . It didn’t do well but Kranthikumar had the confidence in him and signed him to direct Jyothi based on C.

Anandaramam’s story. He planned it as a low budget film in black and white. It is the story of a teenage girl who falls in love with a young man but had to marry an older man and why she does that is the main plot.

Raghavendra Rao’s deft direction, Jayasudha’s brilliant portrayal (she won a Nandi award) made it not only a hit but a trendsetter too. My dialogues were appreciated and I cherish the compliment given by Sri K.S. Prakasa Rao garu. This film is a turning point for both Raghavendra Rao and me.

Gopalarao Gari Ammayi

Cast: Jayasudha, Chandramohan, Rao Gopala Rao

A wholesome comedy directed by K. Vasu, it is also my first attempt at total hilarious dialogue. Based on a story idea by my pina menamama (younger maternal uncle) Adurthi Narasimha Murthy, the film proved a variety among the comedy genre and even now when you watch it, it gives you a fresh feel.

Justice Chowdary

Cast: N.T. Rama Rao, Sarada, Jayanthi, Sridevi

I wrote for about four films for NTR. Earlier I wrote for his starrer, Kondaveeti Simham where he played a dual role. Though he essayed a dual role in Justice Chowdary too, there is whole lot of difference in treatment and characterisations. I wrote the story, screenplay and dialogues for this movie directed by K. Raghvendra Rao.

NTR played the father and son. His power packed portrayal, especially in the title role, elevated the film to a new high. Sarada and Jayanthi were cast opposite him while Sridevi paired with the younger NTR. A very big hit from producer T. Trivikrama Rao’s stable.

Rowdy Alludu

Cast: Chiranjeevi, Sobhana, Divya Bharathi

I have written over 30 films for Chiranjeevi. It was after Yamudiki Mogudu that Chiraneevi said, ‘let’s do a mass entertainer.’ Thus was born the story, screenplay and dialogue for Rowdy Alludu . Chiranjeevi played a dual role as an auto driver and industrialist excellently.

Allu Ramalingaiah garu expressed his displeasure with the title as he felt prefixing ‘ rowdy ’ to the respectable word, ‘ alludu ’ may not be good. Since it is a mass oriented entertainer, director K. Raghavendra Rao, Chiranjeevi and me felt that the title is an apt one and we went ahead. Both mass and family audience liked the film and made it a big hit vindicating our stand.

Pelli Sandhadi

Cast: Srikanth, Ravali, Deepti Bhatnagar

I particularly enjoyed writing the story and dialogues for this clean and wholesome entertainer.

Just a small point revealed at the interval that the two girls who fall in love with the same guy are sisters, created curiosity and worked well for the film’s success.

Interestingly this film is jointly produced by big time producers like Allu Aravind, Aswini Dutt, Jagadish Prasad and the film’s director K. Raghavendra Rao.

Another interesting point is that Raghavendra Rao won a Nandi award as the best choreographer! Made on a shoe string budget of Rs. 1 crore. it went on to collect ten times that and became a trendsetter among low budget films. Easily it is one of the best entertainers that Telugu cinema has produced.

as told to m.l.narasimham

(This fortnightly column features the five best works as shared by the maestros of the industry)

It was after Yamudiki Mogudu that Chiraneevi said, ‘let’s do a mass entertainer.’

Thus were born the story, screenplay and dialogue for Rowdy Alludu .