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Waiting in the wings

P. Sujatha Varma
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Chat Besides RJing, hosting shows and acting in Telugu serials, there is something more to Venu Sravan that makes him endearing

Striking a chordVenu SravanPHOTO: V. RAJU
Striking a chordVenu SravanPHOTO: V. RAJU

He is effusive and gabby and has landed in the right job. Tune in to FM Rainbow and you will have Venu Sravan cracking you up with his jokes interspersed with a dose of off-the-cuff philosophy.

Speaking about his fascination for the spotlight, on and off air, he says even as a child, he had always yearned to be centre stage—for the spotlight of attention to fall on him. “As a child, I would walk 3 km to watch a Telugu film on TV as there were not many TV sets those days.”

By working on good script, ideas to crack different situations and voice modulations, Venu manages to infuse myriad emotions in his voice depending on the situation. “Intense, intimate, husky or even honey-soaked, I can do it all effortlessly. It is this trait perhaps that has won me a huge fan-following,” he claims.

A Masters in Telugu language has equipped him with a sound knowledge of the language. He greets his audience in his signature style in chaste Telugu: Teluginti loni tulasi mokkani….kovelaloni kobbari mukka ni…koneti loni kalava mukka ni….ee ushodayam vela ila palakaristunna nenu mee Venuvu.

Born in Brahmanapalli village in Khammam district, Venu shuttled between his native village, a neighbouring village Kalakota and Khammam for schooling. “This was to escape the frequent caning I would get from father whenever I skipped home work,” he chuckles.

After doing small roles in TV serials and hosting shows, he got an RJ’s offer in 2007. “Initially I was reluctant because I thought I must use my good looks appropriately in the visual media. I wanted to be seen on the television. But soon I realised that RJing is more than just chit-chatting. It is about striking a chord, about being able to make an impact on the listener’s mind without being seen,” he says.

Following many small roles and a few significant ones in serials like ‘Radha Madhu’ and ‘Aame’, he is happy to be part of a horror movie being made under the banner of MRK Productions. “The film is not yet named. I play a shady character in it. I am also keeping my fingers crossed for yet another film that is likely to get me a significant role,” he says.

Venu idolises Telugu TV personalities Suma, Jhansi and Udaya Bhanu. “They are like Lakshmi, Saraswathi and Durga to me. I want to be like them…successful and most sought-after”.

This RJ has an endearing side to him. Whenever time permits, he joins a group of entertainers from different fields and visits jails to enthuse prisoners. “We have done a number of programmes to entertain prisoners of Chanchalguda, Cherlapalli and Rajahmundry jails. Such cultural shows can be rejuvenating to prisoners who have no source of entertainment. I ensure a visit at least twice a month to these places,” he says.

“We start with peppy songs and dance numbers choreographed on film songs and gradually take the prisoners into meditation and spiritual discourses. It is essential to sprinkle small doses of humour every now and then to hold their attention,” he explains. The year 2011, Venu says, was good for him because he was bestowed with Mother Teresa Award by Citizen Council of Andhra Pradesh and ‘Best Young Artist Award’ by Osmania University.

“I am waiting for good days when good films and TV serials will come my way. But regardless of my schedule, I will not give up this good work for it gives me a sense of satisfaction,” he lets out a calm smile.

P. Sujatha Varma

RJing is about striking a chord, about being able to make an impact on the listener’s mind without being seen

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