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  • Writer's pictureHarinath Babu B

My encounter with Venkatesh garu; Simran garu, I missed her but … Okka Magaadu happened

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

Desire to see Ramanaidu Film Studio

Life is so unpredictable, and you never know what is coming next, what comes next might be better than you expected or maybe not. Whatever, I believe that time is the only answer for our endeavours. My love for movies made me ask a friend’s elder brother to take me to Ramanaidu Film Studio as he was working there. Big bro (Annayya) obliged and took me on his bike from Nallakunta to Ramanaidu Film Studio. The moment we reached the gate, I could not contain my excitement…my first time into Ramanaidu Film Studio. Visited the temple there and as we proceeded, I was thrilled to see the settings for a song, Vachindi Paala Pitta (saw dancers practicing) from the movie, Kalisundam Raa!

My first encounter with Venkatesh garu

This is luck! Came to see the studio and found an opportunity to see the shooting of one of my favourite actors, hero Venkatesh Babu and heroine Simran. I was too eager to meet them but due to delay Annayya asked me to move on to see the rest of the studio. As we stepped out of the sets, I saw none other than Venkatesh Babu. I could not hold my joy and at the same time the internal anxiety about how to meet him, what to say…? Annayya introduced me to Venkatesh garu. I shook my hand with him and involuntarily I uttered that I want to direct him. In his casual, simplistic way, he told Annayya, “Introduce him (me) to Suresh Annayya.” I just couldn’t believe anything that happened at that moment. I wish I had a smart phone at that time to take a selfie, I wish I was not so carried away to be in my senses to ask for his autograph. Suddenly I realised that I still did not get to meet Simran garu. All through the day I was on cloud nine and but carried a disappointment that I missed Simran garu due to our time constraint.

Time and Luck favoured me - My encounter with Simran garu

Eight years after that encounter, my luck favoured me again in a bigger grandeur way! I got the opportunity to work with YVS Chowadary garu for the movie, Okka Magaadu, as an associate director. I was thrilled to know that actress Simran was signed for the movie.

Harinath on the house sets at Pudipalli where Okka Magaadu scenes with Simran were shot
Harinath on the sets (arranging the house sets) at Pudipalli where Okka Magaadu scenes with Simran were shot

In Okka Magaadu, Simran’s scenes (where she was portrayed as an old woman) were planned in Pudipalli (approximately 50 km from Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh). To arrange the sets, the entire team reached Rajahmundry. Our manager arranged our lodging at Purshotham Patnam near Pudipalli in a Munasab house. We were given a room at the backside of the house. Through a local manager we came to know that Simran garu was given the front room. I was pleasantly surprised.

Apparently, even though A.C. rooms for makeup were available in Pudipalli, Simran garu has to come all through the way from Rajahmundry to Pudipalli which was a one and half hour journey, then sit for 4 hours for the old woman makeup and then has to reach sets by 6 am. This can be quite taxing. Also, Simran garu has a small son, who was accompanying her at that time. In order to save that 1 hour 30 minutes journey time, she preferred staying in Purshotham Patnam in Munasab house.

Harinath and Simran with the makeup of an old woman on the sets of Okka Magaadu
Harinath Babu and Simran with old woman makeup

Finally, I am thrilled at this opportunity to work with her, much better than what I had expected 8 years back. Next day, I was introduced to her by YVS Chowdary garu. I was assigned the task of explaining the scenes to Simran garu and helping her in her dialogue delivery. One day, I also got the opportunity to hold her son while she was feeding him dinner. Those 20 days where I was incharge of all the work aspects of Simran garu were the most memorable moments for me.

Actor Simran, Director YVS Chowdary and Associate Director Harinath Babu filming scenes of Okka Magaadu
Actor Simran, Director YVS Chowdary and Associate Director Harinath Babu filming scenes of Okka Magaadu

One day, I hope, I will get a chance to direct Venkatesh garu. I am holding that hope passionately. Rest, I am leaving it with time and my luck. Wish me all the best as I am praying for the best of luck!


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