With a raised left hand, the still head and the straight body, the chiselled features of N.T. Rama Rao have been captured countless times on celluloid and on statues dotting the streets in the State.
Amidst the picturesque paddy fields dotting this village, an imposing bronze statue of NTR stands tall. The nine-foot three-inch tall statue was scheduled to be moved by road on Tuesday night to the Parliament in New Delhi, where it would be unveiled on May 7 by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
Weighing about 900 kg, the statue is getting its finishing touches by renowned sculptor Devu Shankar at his house here. It took him a little over six months with his sons, both post-graduates, using bronze, copper, gun metal and gum to breathe life into the statue.
“We had designed a model of the statue and showed it to NTR’s family. His daughter and Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Daggubati Purandeswari, liked the design and gave the go-ahead,” Mr. Dasu Shankar said.
This is not the first time that Shankar’s statues are being installed in Parliament. The bronze statues of Acharya N.G. Ranga and Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu, both sculpted by him, have been installed on Parliament premises.
But this had to be special as Shankar had a personal relationship with NTR. He recalls that it was NTR who had asked him to make the statues of Annamacharya, Telugutalli, B. Rama Krishna Rao and had them installed on Tank Bund in Hyderabad.
“It was difficult to get an appointment with NTR after he became Chief Minister. Once, I was called to be at his home at 4 a.m. Believe me, he spent close to two hours with me,” Mr. Shankar says.
A bit restless, Shankar appears to be in a hurry.
“A brief spell of inauspicious period during afternoon delayed the journey. I hope it will start by 7 p.m.,” he says and goes back to his routine of chiselling the rough edges on the statue.
Statues of Acharya N.G. Ranga, Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu on Parliament premises have been sculpted by Devu Shankar