Friday, November 26, 2004

Row over Irrigation Project in Andhra Pradesh

FinancialExpress.com is reporting a story on the irrigation project controversy that's snowballing in Andhra Pradesh.

An Interview with a Veteran of Telugu Cinema

NewsTodayNet.com has an interview with one of Telugu film's veterans: Gollapudi Maruthi Rao, actor, writer, director and freelance journalist. The star started his career as an officer in All India Radio, Andhra Pradesh. Visit NewsTodayNet.com for the full interview where he discusses the industry.

The Push for Urban Oriented Telugu Films

Producer-director Sekar Kammula surprised many with his hit film Anand. In an interview with ScreenIndia.com the filmmaker states:

"Like in Hindi films, I hope that this film will trigger a trend for urban-oriented Telugu films."

Visit ScreenIndia.com for the full interview.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Bibliophiles Delight in Rajahmundry

The Hindu reports that the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica is available to peruse at the 106-year-old Sri Gowthami Regional Library in Rajahmundry, AP. The edition contains many fascinating historical documents, including those in Telugu script. Click here for an indepth account.

Telugu stars attend highbrow wedding

Telugu superstars Chiranjeevi and Mohan Babu (among other notable guests) were in attendance at the marriage of superstar Rajnikanth’s daughter Aishwarya with young actor Dhanush. Source: Sify.com

Monday, November 15, 2004

Top Five Films at the Telugu Box Office

IANS reports that Telugu cinema had a "lacklustre" Diwali with none of the new releases registering a hit. "Shankardada M.B.B.S." remains atop the list (which is compiled every fortnight). The top five films are:

1. "Shankardada M.B.B.S."

2. "Chanti"

3. "Yuvasena"

4. "7 G Brindavan Colony"

5. "Swaraabhishekam"

For more commentary on these films please visit Nowrunning.com.

Priests Protest Kanchi Seer's Arrest

Newindpress.com reports that priests of the famous Kanakadurga temple in Vijayawada, protested against the November 11th arrest of Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswati by wearing black badges. The seer was arrested in connection to a murder case.

It is unfortunate that the religious head of the Sankara mutt has been arraigned in a criminal case, hurting the sentiments of millions of Hindus,'' priests here said. They, however, performed rituals and offered prasad to the devotees who had turned up in large numbers on the auspicous Telugu month of 'Karthiga.'"

For more on this story please visit Newindpress.com.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Fake Certificate Racket Busted In Hyderabad

For years, the city of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh was a hotbed for gangs engaging in the fake certificate creation business. The illicit business kept on thriving, despite the fact that 17 gangs have been caught by police within the past three years. The police however plan to put an end to this by capturing yet another gang.

The Sun Network Online reports that:
"It took just five minutes for Hyderabad's Additional Police Commissioner, A K Khan to get a MBBS degree from a man called Syed Azeemuddin. Syed, a Class XII dropout may not know what a convocation ceremony is but he has signed as the Vice-Chancellor of many Indian universities. This gang initially charged up to Rs 10,000 for a fake degree but with competition turning stiff, they had to slash the rate to Rs 1,000. "After sometime, discretion is thrown to the winds. They start doing more and more certificates. It becomes a matter of public knowledge slowly. That is when they get exposed," said Khan."
This will be the third arrest for this particular gang in the last three years. Apparently being arrested served as no deterrent. Whenever they got bail, they promptly returned to their highly profitable business. The police are now planning to book them under the more severe Organised Crimes Act to ensure they don't repeat their offences.

More on the "Helmet" Controversy

The Sun Network Online has more on the helmet controversy that we previously posted. Apparently, Mohan Kanda, the Chief Secretary tried to ease elevated tensions.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

From Tollywood to Bollywood

Chicago resident Aleeza Ali's dreams are coming true. In 2000, she won the Miss India-USA contest and then pursued a career in acting. Her perserverance lead to a brief stint in Tollywood:
"Eventually, Aleeza got a break in Telugu films, acting in a murder mystery by producer-director Daasri Narayan Rao. The film, however, presented another set of problems. Although fluent in Urdu, Aleeza had only a passing acquaintance with Telugu. "This film taught me a lot," said Aleeza, "They would help me with mugging the dialogues, mixing it with English words, and shortening the lines for me." The film did average business at the box office. It was followed by a second Telugu film, a comedy, which did well."
And now the actress finds her biggest dream coming true. She landed the lead in a Bollywood film entitled "Ho Jata Hai Pyar". You can read more about her here. (Source: NewKerala.com)

Deccan Chronicle IPO

Deccan Chronicle Holdings is set to price its initial public offer (IPO) at a range of Rs 162 to Rs 194 per share. The Hyderabad-based company publishes The Deccan Chronicle, an English daily and Andhra Bhoomi, a Telugu language newspaper. A banker who is working on the offer, has been quoted as saying: "The issue will be open between November 25 to December 2." (Source: Sify.com)

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Helmet Norm and the Shortage

Here's an amusing story from Andhra, regarding challenges faced by the government legislated "helmet norm". Apparently the requirements to wear helmets are being held back by a helmet shortage in shops. (Source: Sun Network Online)

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Telugu Cinema and Mass Culture

NewIndpress.com has an article on how mass culture dominates Telugu cinema.

Mass culture films made their entry in Telugu cinema during N T Rama Rao's golden run. According to the article:

"Such pictures are identifiable by the lower class viewer, huge budgets, crowd-pulling stars and of course - lots of action. Top this with songs having dhinchak beats where some 50 trained dancers do vigorous steps standing behind the hero...Cinema in Andhra Pradesh is not just fluff and romance, nor is it about a recent multiplex crowd-puller like Anand. Here, films have an intricate relationship with politics of linguistic identity. "

However the dynamic of mass films are changing:

"Once in a way however, films like Show, Missamma, Anand come along to gladden the heart because they too find success at the box-office. With crossover NRI films aplenty, even a seasoned mass director like K Raghavendra Rao produces Morning Raaga which showcases Shabana Azmi as a Carnatic singer and son Prakash Rao as a fusion band artiste! Oh yes, the winds are-a-changing."

Film News

Newstodaynet.com brings us the following cinematic updates from Tollywood and beyond. The updates outline the ease for which Telugu actors and films adapt to or are adapted by other film industries.
  1. Tollywood actresses like Asin, Nameedha and Ramya have all ventured into the Tamil film scene. Now another actress from Telugu filmdom, Samsikha, is set to follow suit and make her debut in Kollywood. Samsikha acted opposite Nagarjuna in the Telugu film "143" has been assigned to play the lead in a movie entitled "Arindhum Ariyamalum" which is to be directed by Vishnu Vardhan.
  2. Actor Vijay has reportedly rejected an offer to act as the hero in the Tamil remake of recent Telugu blockbuster "Arjun" starring Mahesh Babu. The actor is said to be busy filming "Thirupachi".
  3. Ravi Krishna has been assigned the lead in the remake of the Telugu hit "Sathyam" which is to be directed by S S Stanley.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Telugu Defined

Dictionary.com defines Telugu as:
"Tel·u·gu also Tel·e·gu
n. pl. Telugu or Tel·u·gus also Telegu or Tel·e·gus
1. A Dravidian language spoken in central India.
2. A member of the Dravidian people who speak Telugu.
adj. Of or relating to Telugu, its speakers, or their culture.
"
Another version of their definition is:
"A Dravidian language spoken in the northern parts of the Madras presidency. In extent of use it is the next language after Hindustani (in its various forms) and Bengali."
Merriam-Webster Online defines Telugu as well:
"Tel·u·gu, Pronunciation: 'te-l&-"gü
1 : a member of the largest group of people in Andhra Pradesh, India
2 : the Dravidian language of the Telugu people
"
Britannica Online also has many insightful articles on Telugu people, language and history. Unfortunately you have to be a member for full access. You can still read samples of the articles for free, however. Here is a brief depiction of Telugu language from Britannica Online:
"Dravidian language spoken by more than 66 million people in South India and in immigrant communities elsewhere.

It is the official language of the state of Andhra Pradesh. The earliest inscription entirely in Telugu is from the 6th century; literary texts begin in the 11th century. The Telugu script, derived from the writing of the Calukya dynasty, is closely akin to Kannada script (see Indic writing systems). Like other major Dravidian languages, Telugu has very marked distinctions between formal or literary and colloquial registers and between social dialects."
Ethnologue.com is a website that classifies and references languages from every corner of the globe. Visit their website for an excerpt on Telugu. Answers.com also has a page devoted to defining Telugu. Want more Telugu language links? Click here and here. Don't forget Wiki (and its Telugu language version)!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Accomodations in Andhra

Planning to visit Andhra? If so, then here' s some info you could use.

Andhra Pradesh to set up Human Rights panel

Chief Minister Y S Rajsekhar Reddy announced on November 1, that the Andhra Pradesh government will soon constitute a state Human Rights Commission. Setting up such a panel has been a longstanding demand of civil liberties organisations. Visit 123bharath.com for the full story.

Telugu Film Breaks Jinx for Raja

Newkerala.com reports that the "woman-centric" Telugu film "Anand" has served to break a jinx for young actor Raja who is ecstatic about the movie's huge success. Raja seemed "down and out" after flops like "Apudapudu" and "Vijayam". With the success of "Anand", however, the actor has received some good offers and it appears that he is on the rise.

All India Radio's DTH to Include Telugu Coverage

All India Radio (a nationwide broadcaster) will soon launch its satellite Direct-To-Home (DTH) channel offering a 24-hour digital radio feed on television. The channel, covering India and a few neighbouring nations, will have multi-lingual coverage including broadcasts in Telugu.

Other languages covered are Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Punjabi and a few north eastern languages. Subsequently coverage will include languages like Urdu, Malayalam, Assamese and other tribal languages. (Source: 123Bharath.com)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Master: Viswanath

Sify.com describes K.Viswanath as Telugu cinema’s most ‘avant garde’ director. Viswanath, known primarily for musicals based on classical music is now back with "Swarabhishekam" after a nine year hiatus. Swarabhishekam is a musical dealing with family values, tradition and sacrifice. Vidyasagar provided music for the film.

Viswanath himself stars in the lead role alongside Srikanth, Sivaji, Laya and kuchipudi dancer Amukthamalyada. It will be interesting to see how a film about family values does at the Telugu box office against more popular genres of action, romance, violence and as Sify.com describes it "sleaze".

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Film: A Romantic Comedy Telugu Style

If you enjoy romantic comedies, then Apunkachoice.com states that you will find director Siva Nageswara Rao’s Telugu film "Mr & Mrs Sailaja Krishnamurthy" a delight to watch. The site has a review and a brief photo gallery on the film.

Amisha To Star Opposite NTR


Amisha Patel is headed to southern India to star in a Telugu film opposite NTR. The actress who recently filed a case against her parents for cheating her of her earnings has returned to Tollywood, it appears to make more money. The film will be directed by B.Gopal and will be produced by Venkat Rao. Amisha is rumoured to have signed on for a record salary. The film will also star Ankitha but Amisha is described as having a "meaty role". The film will also star six popular villains of Telugu cinema and will be released next summer. This will be Amisha’s third film in Telugu cinema. The actress is now open to more roles in Tollywood as offers from Bollywood have decreased. Her most recent effort was the disastrous Naani opposite Mahesh Babu. (Source: Sify.com)

Minister: Telugu Compulsory for Private Schools

On Nov. 2, at the State Council of Educational Research and Training, School Education Minister N. Rajyalakshmi stated that the Andhra Pradesh government would "derecognise" private schools that do not enforce Telugu as a compulsory subject under the three-language formula. You can read more on this story at the Sunnetwork Online.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Book Review: Andhra Patrika Charitra

The Hindu online has another captivating book review. Featured this time is "Andhra Patrika Charitra" by C.V. Rajagopalarao. Seventeen chapters in total serve to depict the history of the Andhra Patrika (a Telugu daily) established by Kasinadhuni Nageswararao Pantulu who is described as "a pioneering journalist, patriot and an astute businessman". Visit The Hindu online for the full review.