‘Vasantha Kokila’ brings a new fare for Telugu television

Adverse circumstances are the negative characters in the serial, says its 73-year-old director and writer Anil Kumar

Updated - July 12, 2024 01:33 pm IST

Published - July 11, 2024 01:53 pm IST

A scene from ‘Vasantha Kokila’ 

A scene from ‘Vasantha Kokila’  | Photo Credit: special arrangement

“If you want me to tell a story, I can tell one for 11 years,” laughs television director Anil Kumar referring to his Telugu serial Manasu Mamatha, which ran successfully on Eenadu Television (ETV) for 11 years! Now, the 73-year-old gears up to tell a new story with his daily serial Vasantha Kokila on the same channel.

Metaphoric title

Anil Kumar 

Anil Kumar  | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

The story revolves around Sandhya (Padma Laksha Setty) a working woman who shares a special bond with her in-laws. Her husband, an army officer, is believed to have been killed during an operation,” says Anil, who has also penned the story. While Sandhya’s in-laws want her to remarry, she opposes the idea but eventually relents. The story takes a twist after her second marriage, when Sandhya’s first husband, presumed dead, returns to their lives. The title, he says, is a metaphor for the void in Sandhya’s life. “Kokila (koel) sings only in Vasantam (spring) and the protagonist Sandhya too waits for the season to add a new colour to her life.”

While such stories have been created on screen more than once, the director believes that honesty in his screenplay and an army background make for a good watch and evoke patriotic fervour. He says, “Vasantha Kokila has no negative characters; there are no villains in the serial. Adverse circumstances play the negative role.”

Debut with movies

‘Manasu Mamatha’ serial ran for 11 years

‘Manasu Mamatha’ serial ran for 11 years | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Anil worked for 10 years as an associate and co-director in Chennai in the 70s. He directed his first Telugu feature film Ooha Sundari in 1984, followed by Anuraga Bandham, Anaadiga Aadadi and Bangaru Chiluka. His other notable films include Punya Dampatulu, Parama Sivudu, Donga Rascal and his latest film Gamyam, starring actor Srikanth.

The 13-episode serial Wonder Boy, his debut on television, was a ‘learning experience’. “Direction techniques were the same but the screen size changed and so did the screenplay.” In his 30-year television career, Anil has directed eight serials including Antharangalu, Vidhi, Padmavyuham, Thurpu Velle Railu, Pelli Pustakam and the ongoing Rangula Ratnam. Each one had different storylines and ran for more than 750 episodes. Manasu manmatha proved to be a milestone with multiple storylines depicted over 3,350 episodes.

Rangula Ratnam

Rangula Ratnam | Photo Credit: special arrangement

While his stint as an assistant to writer Satyanand boosted his storytelling skills, the family as a unit has been a constant theme of his serials. He attributes this to growing up in a middle-class household and a passion for telling stories to different kinds of audiences. “TVmeans drawing-room entertainment. Family members should be able to watch a drama happily, without feeling bored or embarrassed with the content. Understanding each other is an important part of a family or a couple; this simple message can be delivered without being preachy.”

Vasantha Kokila airs on ETV Telugu daily, at 1.30 pm.

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