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Writer Mullapudi passes away

Special Correspondent


HYDERABAD: Noted Telugu story writer, Mullapudi Venkata Ramana, who won the hearts of people through the adorable child character, ‘Budugu', and a host of others in Telugu films, passed away in Chennai on Thursday after a brief illness. He was 80. The writer is survived by wife, son and daughter.

Pairing up with his long-time friend, Bapu, Ramana penned stories and dialogues for several movies. Enduring characters like Contractor (in Muthyala Muggu) and Tutti ( Mister Pellam) that flourished from his pen, remain unforgettable. A versatile wordsmith, he was known for his writings laced with wit and humour.

Bapu and Ramana worked in tandem for nearly six decades, the former giving artistic expression to the latter's writings. The writer-producer-illustrator-filmmaker duo made some of the most endearing films -- pure family entertainers. Ramana wrote for films like Sakshi, Mister Pellam, Radhagopalam, Budhi Manthudu and Andala Ramudu.

Born in Dhowleswaram on June 28, 1931, Ramana's real name was Mullapudi Venkata Rao. He started his career as a sub-editor in Andhra Patrika. He turned into full-fledged film writer with Dagudu Moothalu. Active till he fell sick a few days ago, he has also written for the upcoming Balakrishna starrer, Sri Rama Rajyam. Apart from his classic, Budugu, his autobiography, Kothi Kommochi too received all-round appreciation.

On hearing the news, Telugu film industry plunged into gloom. Condoling his death, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy recalled his contribution to Telugu films and literature. Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu recalled the time when the writer worked with NTR in the film Srinadha Kavisarvabhouma. Congress MP T. Subbarami Reddy expressed shock.

Praja Rajyam president K. Chiranjeevi spoke of Ramana's brilliance in humour writing. Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan recalled how the writer brought out childlike innocence through his works. State CPI leader K. Narayana, Cinematography Minister D.K. Aruna and Tourism Minister Vatti Vasant Kumar condoled his death. Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce president K. Ramasubba Reddy said the film writer raised the bar in film-making.

M. Venkata Ramana

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