Nalugu Stambhalata (1982)

Sunday, February 7, 2016 - 22:00

Navata Arts
Nalugu Stambhalata (1982)

Duration: 2 hrs 20 minutes

Naresh ... Naresh
Pradeep ... Pradeep Kumar
Poornima ... Sarada
Tulasi ... Kamala
Rohini ... Gayatri
sutti Velu ... Gurnadham
sutti Veerabhadra Rao ... Veerabhadram
Other Cast: Vijji Babu, Shankar, Janaki, Kakinada Syamala, Annapurna, Sundaralakshmi, Balaji, Krishna Chaitanya, Vallam Narasimha Rao, Master Ali, etc.

Music: Rajan-Nagendra
Camera: S. Gopal Reddy
Asst. Cameramen: M.V. Raghu, Divakar, Subbarao
Editing: G.G. Krishna Rao, Gautam Raju
Lyrics: Veturi Sundararamamurthy
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, P. Susheela, S. Janaki
Art: Kaladhar
Associate Directors: E.V.V. Satyanarayana, Batthula Ramakrishna
Dance: Siva Subrahmanyam
Producer: N. Krishnam Raju
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, Direction: Jandhyala

raagamO anuraagamO geetamO sangeetamO
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam. S. Janaki
Cast: Poornima, Naresh

chinukulaa raali nadulugaa saagi varadalaipOyi
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, P. Susheela
Cast: Poornima, Naresh

kaliki chilakaraa ulikipaDakuraa hE
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam
Cast: Naresh

kobbaraaku gaali mabbukEsindi masakabaDDa mabbu urimi choosindi
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam
Cast: Vallam Narasimha Rao

doralaneeku kanula neeru
Playback: P. Susheela
Cast: Poornima, Tulasi


Naresh and Pradeep are classmates. Naresh loves Sarada but marries Kamala due to certain circumstances. To save Sarada who is a pregnant by then, Pradeep marries her. Naresh, who is unable to forget the past, cannot compromise with Kamala. What happens in this situation forms the rest of the story.

Naresh speaks about his first film:
I was just seventeen when the film started, I celebrated my seventeenth birthday on the sets of the film. Though I started my career with the film Prema Sankellu, my mother wanted to launch me with an outside banner. Jandhyala gaaru (I call him as guruvu gaaru) first saw me at a dance class and remembered me when there was a problem with the dates of Suresh, Jandhyala gaaru approached us for the film. We were really thrilled to work with the Navata banner, which had a big name then, and it was an honor to work with them, and we immediately agreed!

...I still remember the first shot of the film – they made me stand upside down for a shot. My mother was worried about it, that my career might turn upside down too if my first shot was like that! When I expressed this concern with guruvu gaaru, he laughed and said that it was not only my career but also his and assured me not to worry too much about that.

...They booked a hotel room for me to stay, while the rest of the crew stayed at MVP Colony, in an independent house. When I got to know that, I insisted on staying with the rest of the crew, and guruvu gaaru was very happy about that. I learned a lot while staying with the other cast and crew. All the rest of the cast came from the stage and they knew how to act while I was just a beginner. I used a Honda bike in the film and I did many tricks in that film which were, may be, the first time on Telugu screen, and thus caught the attention of the youth then.  As I was brought up in Madras, my Telugu was initially mixed with a lot of Tamil, and I had the Tamil slang when I spoke. So guruvu gaaru decided to get my voice dubbed by Balu gaaru. My mother was not at all happy with that, but guruvu gaaru said that he had to do that for the betterment of the film and thus convinced my mother. He promised her that he'd let me dub for myself in his next film. My mother agreed to it with much difficulty. Later, when I met Balu gaaru, after a couple of years, he came to me and congratulated me saying that my Telugu improved very well, and that made me very happy.

One sad thing is that I worked with Sutti Veerabhadra Rao gaaru for his first and last films. In fact, he did his last shooting with me in Choopulu Kalisina Subhavela. ...I think that's the only one duet between two males in the whole history of films. ...He was a very nice person. ...Today, if I look back, I am really grateful to Navata Krishnam Raju gaaru and my guruvu gaaru, who gave me a wonderful debut film, and Veerabhadra Rao gaaru, all of who passed away now.

Pradeep speaks on the film:
After an exciting assignment of acting in Muddamandaaram as hero,  my guru Jandhyala gaaru asked me to act in Nalugu Stambhalata, the producer being great Navata Krishnam Raju gaaru. The story was narrated to me by the director gaaru and I was thrilled to hear the story-line. After a romantic, soft guy role in the first film, here was a character which had everything in it – sacrifice for friendship, empathy for a girl who was cheated by another guy, lots of comedy, and a student life with enthusiasm in the first half. In fact, it was the first film in Telugu which has disco dance, and I was asked to rehearse the song for seven days. The dance master Siva Subrahmanyam taught me the basics of disco dancing; the song was a big hit and held a sensational craze in the youth! Even today, after 23 years, people recollect my song.

The shooting was at Vizag and all of us again shared houses at MVP colony for over 60 days. Besides Vizag, the movie was also shot in Araku and Ramachandrapuram. I shared a lot of fun with my co stars Naresh, (Initially, Suresh was selected for the same role, but due to his preoccupation, he could not make it and the opportunity went Naresh's way.) Poornima (my first heroine), Tulasi (the youngest among us and the most talented), Rohini (a much-accomplished child artiste then) and, of course, the great duo Veerabhadra Rao and Velu, who all through their life, from then on, were fondly called sutti janTa. Young Ali was also with us. ...I was a bit disappointed during the shooting – all romantic scenes were for Naresh and two great songs were picturized for him. But, when I finally saw the first copy, I thought that my character was the best-portrayed in the film, thanks to my mentor, Jandhyala gaaru!

The film was a phenomenal hit and ran over 100 days in 8-10 centers and 175 days in three centers. People, especially in Telangana, still recall me as the hero of Nalugu Stambhalata. (It ran for 175 days in Devi 70mm, one of the bigger theatres in Hyderabad, for more than 100 straight days and the rest in morning shows.)

It was a pleasure to work with the team. Navata Krishnam Raju gaaru, the producer, was not only experienced but also artistic and poetic! Though there was a considerable age gap, I used to enjoy his company, and he was fond of me. His son Acchibabu is a well-wisher of mine even today. The director's team was with full of creative youngsters. Sastry (the director of many shows on television today, including the popular paaDutaa teeyagaa and paaDaalani undi), E.V.V. Satyanarayana (a star director who needs no introduction today)... The camera team under the leadership of S. Gopal Reddy, consisted M.V. Raghu, Divakar, Srinivasa Reddy, Raju, and Veerraju, all of whom later became successful men behind the lens. Camerawork was excellent, specially in picturizing our own Araku so beautifully in the songs chinukulaa raali... and raagamO anuraagamO...

If one sees the movie today, one can see four main characters running to touch the four pillars and a man in the disguise of vidhi (the Fate) trying to stop them. This role of the man in disguise was enacted by one of the associate directors for the film, E.V.V. Satyanarayana. This is the first film for E.V.V. with Jandhyala; he was chosen to assist upon insistence by the producer Navata Krishnam Raju gaaru. E.V.V. worked with Jandhyala until he became an independent director with the film Chevilo Puvvu.

Side notes:

  • Pradeep was paid Rs.10,000/- as remuneration. He bought a scooter with a part of that money.
  • sutti Velu got a remuneration of Rs.1,116/- for his role.
  • The film's dialogues, famous because of the introduction of sutti janTa, were released in an audio cassette by AVM Audio.
  • The 100 days function was celebrated in Swami Shankar Das Auditorium on Aug 20, 1982. D.V.S. Raju, Krishna, Vijayanirmala, and L.V. Prasad were among the attendees of the event.
  • Naresh was not paid any money until the film was released. Actually Naresh didn't feel that he was not paid, and he thus never asked. He was not paid initially due to certain sentiment, and after film's release, Navata Krishnam Raju came to his house and gave him a check for Rs.10,000/-. Naresh bought a used herald car with three thousand and with got his house air-conditioned with another two thousand, and safe-deposited the rest in the bank.
  • The film was made under less than 12 lakh rupees and was shot for 50 days.
  • The film was later made in Hindi by the star producer V.B. Rajendra Prasad with Sanjay Dutt, Mohish Behl, and Padmini Kolhapuri in lead roles.

Acknowledgements : Sri Naresh and Sri Pradeep for sharing thier experiences and Sri Pulagam Chinanarayana for side notes.

Compiled and edited by NaChaKi

Article by Sri Atluri