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In a league of his own


The journey of Tanikella Bharani has seen some rough curves before making it big on the silver screen, discovers R. Ravikanth Reddy




Tanikella Bharani.


Telugu stage and cinema has been lucky that some great talents have emerged from literally unknown places.

Bharani – an actor par excellence, a writer whose pen generates variety with equal flair and a poet whose philosophical face is emerging quite strongly now, belongs to that league.

Coming from a large lower middle-class family, he yearned for satisfaction without spending anything. And that's how he took to poetry.

“You don't need money to write poetry. I can write whatever I want wherever I want to satisfy myself. And that's how I began writing,” he says. The passion for writing slowly developed and it introduced him to the stage and later to films. Though he made his entry into films much earlier, he was noticed by the world in the film Siva portraying the “nanaji” character. It is still etched in the memories of people.

Basic quality

From poet to writer and actor - the transformation was amazing. “One has to have the basic quality of writing and he can write anything – from poetry to plays and for cinema,” he recalls the smooth transformation. But being an actor was different. It was more for money and he had to act on the directions of someone else. Acting overtook other passions because it got him name, fame and money.

But after 25 years of journey he realised that his creative zeal was not satisfied. “That is when I took to direction making short films.” The kind of subjects he dealt with reflected the agony in him on the changing society. “I made some serious short films on issues like global terrorism, farmers' suicides and animals. I am afraid that there will be no farmer left in society if things don't change,” he says.

Creative pursuits

For a while, he turned philosophical too and the result was an album on Lord Shiva – Shivatatvalu.

“These devotional songs were basically to satisfy the feelings in me.” And he agrees that every person has a devotional and philosophical face which he discovers at some point or other.

Future plans

It is more so with artistes. Since cinema is his bread and butter, Bharani is now planning to make what he calls an “arto-commercial” film that will satisfy his creative pursuits and also bring money to the producer. “It will start shortly.”

Is he not lured by the television? He feels the film industry here still considers television inferior to cinema and he fears being branded as a TV guy.

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