Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year!

A very Happy New Year to everyone who reads Sodi News. Thank you for visiting. Here's to a safer, healthier and happier New Year for everyone.

Best Wishes!

Nagarjuna's "Mass" Tops the List of Telugu Films

From via IANS:
"Hyderabad, Dec 31 : "Mass -Dammunte Kasko" tops the list of Telugu films and has turned out to be the biggest hit of Nagarjuna's 15-year career.

1. "Mass": Nagarjuna's much-hyped action film has opened to a terrific response all over Andhra Pradesh. The typical mass entertainer, despite a few loopholes, has launched Lawrence as a commercial filmmaker.

2. "7G Rainbow Colony": This is one of the major hits of this season. Despite being made by the new team of actor Ravikrishna and director Selvaraghavan, the realistic love story has crossed the 50-day mark and is racing towards 100 days.

3. "Vijayendra Varma": After collections of over Rs.20 million ($457,000) on the first day, this patriotic film has lost ground, disappointing Balakrishna's fans. The clichéd second half, which contrasts strikingly with the interesting first part, must be the reason. Koti's music has proved to be the saving grace.

4. "Prema Chadarangam": The dubbed version of "Chellame" has received critical acclaim and it could pick up with big promotion. Reema's performance and glamour and Harris Jayaraja's score hold interest in this tale of an obsessed lover.

5. "Anand": Sekar's love story withstands heavy competition to rake in the moolah. By 100 days, it is expected to make over Rs.40 million, giving 300 percent profit to investors."
(Source: via Indo-Asian News Service/IANS)

Mani Sharma Leads The Way in Telugu Soundtracks

From via IANS:
"Hyderabad, Dec 31 : Mani Sharma is back on top this fortnight with his soulful compositions in Telugu film, "Balu". Devisri Prasad, however, claims the lion's share of three among the top five.

1. "Balu": With the Kalyan-Karunakaran combo hitting it off again, the film's album is doing pretty well even in remote areas. Mani Sharma regains his position as a top composer. "Inthe inthite" and "Kannu kotina" are a rage among the youth. Fans are hoping the film will prove a hit like the audio.

2. "Naa Alludu": This time, Devisri Prasad teams up with NTR Junior to deliver a 1980's kind of album with the emphasis on music rather than lyrics. "Sayya Sayyare" and "Muruga Muruga" are clean winners. The album is selling like hot cakes.

3. "Nuvvu Vasthanante Ne Vadantana": Devisri Prasad, who joined the big league with M.S. Raju's "Varsham", has again given a delightful score. "Chandrullo unde kundelu" and "Gall gall" top the album. The composer breaks away from his usual stuff to come up with some good melodies.

4. "Dhana 51": The hit team of "Satyam" - comprising Sumanth, Kiran and Chakri - has dished out a peppy album. "Aravirisina mogga" and "I am in love" are quite interesting. It's a good mix of melody and fast music and Chakri comes back after a big gap.

5. "Mass": Devisri Prasad relies on beat and survives. Despite its similarities with "Shankardada", the film's good opening has helped the audio to pick up again."
(Source: via IANS)

"When Tollywood Tunes Didn't Mesmerise Box-Office"

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Review of Telugu Film Vijayendra (via the Indo-Asian News Service ) has posted a not-so-favorable review of the Telugu film "Vijayendra". Click here to read.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund: Indian Tsunami Aid

More info from

"Twelve banks have been authorised to receive donations towards the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. They are State Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Dena Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corporation Bank, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Punjab National Bank, Indian Bank, Allahabad Bank and Citi Bank.

The nationalised banks will not charge any commission to prepare the draft. Contributions could also be sent through money orders with no commission chargeable, and will be come under Section 80(G) of the Income Tax Act. "


Epidemic threat unlikely in Nellore (AP) is reporting that an epidemic threat is unlikely in Nellore. Read more here.

‘Sea snatched family right before my eyes’ has lots of reports on the tsunami situation in Andhra Pradesh. Below is an account of a Guntur family's ordeal:

‘Sea snatched family right before my eyes’

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Blog

The SEA-EAT blog has been set up for news and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts regarding relief for the tsunami affected regions of Asia.

Update: they have an entry devoted to tsunami aid in Andhra Pradesh. You can find more info here.

(Source: Blogger)

Actor denies Ankitha's 'misbehaviour' charge

This entry seems almost absurd to be posted up, considering all the tragedy that's befallen Asia in the past two days but sometimes a little bit of sodi film gossip can serve to change one's mood from the present state of sadness into something a bit lighter. From IANS (Indo-Asian News Service):

"[Cinema, South India]: Hyderabad, Dec 21 : Actor Navadeep has denied all the charges of misbehaviour reportedly levelled against him by Telugu heroine Ankitha.

The actress who stars in "Manasu Matavinadu" was reported to have accused the film's hero of misbehaving with her during its shooting in Mauritius.

According to some media reports, she was so upset by Navadeep's behaviour that she even attempted suicide by consuming sleeping pills.

Denying the charges, Navadeep showed a letter to mediapersons supposedly written by a medical doctor, saying Ankitha should be referred to a psychiatrist.

"She was reluctant to come to Mauritius and once she arrived, she kept throwing tantrums with all the unit members. We kept quite since we wanted to wrap up the film," said the actor of "Jai" fame.

"All the 15 unit members, including two women, will vouch for my good conduct," said Navadeep.

Ankitha, however, is yet to react to the counter-allegation of the actor.

Actor Nagababu, vice-president of the Movie Artistes' Association, urged the media to close the issue."

--Indo-Asian News Service via

Telugu Book Review: Sankara's Heritage

There's another Telugu book review over at The Hindu Online. This time it's about Adi Sankara's heritage. Click here.

Sarees Became Death Traps for Andhra Women Fleeing Tsunami

This story is simply horrific to think about:

"Ongole, Dec. 28: Sarees literally killed several women taking a bath in the sea in south coastal Andhra when the gigantic Tsun-ami waves hit the east coast. Many women, caught in the surging waters, could not escape after their sarees got entangled in sea weeds and bushes washed in by the sea. Even those who ran for their dear life were pulled back after bushes and debris caught hold of their sarees..."

Read more at the Deccan Chronicle.

Tsunami Stories from Andhra Pradesh

The Deccan Chronicle has several heart-rending stories from the tsunami ravaged areas of Andhra Pradesh. Click on the links below to read a few of them in their entirety:

expert sea crawler fails to save his kin

boy trembles at sound of waves

vijayawada couple missing in maldives

between the devil and the deep sea

Pizza Hut Restaurant in Hyderabad

Blogger Sri recently mentioned in his blog of a "Pizza Hut" restaurant situated in the city of Hyderabad. Read his review of their fare.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Naidu Visits Andhra Coast, Announces relief

A report from the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) regarding N. Chandrababu Naidu's visit to the tsunami affected Andhra coast:

"Hyderabad, Dec 27 : Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu visited the tsunami-hit coastal districts to express sympathies with the affected people.

Within hours after receiving news of quake-induced tidal waves hitting the Andhra coast, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader left for the coastal area.

He went to the Vijayawada hospital, where bodies of the victims and the injured poured in from different parts of Krishna, one of the worst hit districts.

Naidu announced a compensation of Rs.25,000 each to the families of those killed in the disaster. The money would be paid from the TDP fund.

He also appealed to his party workers to rush to the aid of the affected.

Naidu was also critical of the state government for failing to react to the crisis immediately. He alleged that the district administration was lethargic.

"The government failed to even mobilize doctors to attend on those injured. Many lives could have been saved if only medical teams were rushed in time to the affected areas," he said.

Relatives of those drowned at the Manginipudi beach near Machilipatnam in Krishna district told him that the bodies were stuffed in the dickeys of vehicles to be brought to Vijayawada hospital. As a result parts of some bodies came off.

Naidu was told that some government doctors refused to rush to the coastal areas as they were afraid of the tidal waves."


Sunday, December 26, 2004

75 dead in Andhra Pradesh

The following report is from The Deccan Chronicle on the Web (please note the figures may change as more info becomes available):

"Hyderabad, Dec. 26: The tsunami that hit coastal Andhra on Sunday morning left a trail of destruction, leaving at last 75 people dead or missing in Kri-shna, Prakasam, Nellore and the two Godavari districts. The toll is expected to increase with reports still coming in from interior villages.

This is the first recorded tsunami to hit the AP coast after 104 years and had waves rising upto 10 metre. Prakasam district was the worst hit with 27 deaths followed by Prakasam district with 26, Nellore 11, West Godavari eight, Guntur two and East Godavari one. However, there was not much damage to property. Some reports said upto 1,905 people were missing, but official sources said most of the 922 fishermen who were on high seas returned in the evening. The whereabouts of some are still unknown.

The State government has set up a control room at the State Secretariat with the telephone No. 23456005. Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, who visited the affected villages, told reporters, “The situation is under control” but as a precautionary measure administration in these districts has been put on “state of high alert”. With geophysicists warning of possible aftershocks before 9 am on Monday, district collectors have been asked not to allow people to leave their rehabilitation camps. Villagers will be allowed to return to their houses only on Monday afternoon.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who heads the Crisis Management Group, accompanied by senior officials arrived in the night and held a review meeting with Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, Chief Secretary Mohan Kanda and other officials. Reddy said the Home Minister would not visit the affected areas in the State.

As many as 8,200 people have been evacuated in Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna districts. Four villages have been completely submerged as tidal waves rose up to six metre. No deaths have been reported in north coastal Andhra though about 20 boats were reported missing in Santabommali area of Srikakulam district. In Visakhapatnam, tidal waves continued to hit the coast till late in the evening.

President A P J Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC president Sonia Gandhi spoke to the Chief Minister and enquired about the situation. The Prime Minister assured him of all help from the armed forces for relief and rescue operations. YSR announced an exgratia of Rs 1 lakh to the kin of the adult victims while Rs 50,000 will be given to the relatives of child victims.

The government has also announced Rs 2,000 each for funeral expenses and 25 kg of rice per family as immediate relief. Water entered Sriharikota Rocket Launching Centre up to one kilometre. Meanwhile, Apollo Hospitals, announced that it had sent a team of doctors to the affected areas of Coastal AP to provide medicare to the victims of nature’s fury."

(Source: The Deccan Chronicle on the Web)

"Andhra Devastated" has the following report on the earth quake and tidal wave tragedy that has befallen South Asia and South East Asia, including Andhra Pradesh:

"Meanwhile, 61 people have been killed in Andhra Pradesh after the tsunamis hit the coastal areas.

There are reports of missing people from almost all the villages in the coastal areas.

Chief Minister YS Rajashekhara Reddy has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh each to the family members of those killed.

Meanwhile, at least 121 people were killed along coastal stretches of Kerala's southern districts today."

More on P.V. Narasimha Rao

There are reports all over the internet on the life, death and leadership of former Indian prime minister (who hailed from Andhra Pradesh) P.V. Narasimha Rao. Rao passed away last Thursday, December 23, 2004 at the age of 83.

He was most notably known as "the veteran Congressman and former PM, the first from the non-Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to complete a full term."

A statesman, scholar and linguist, Pamulaparti Venkata Narasimha Rao will be remembered for "several firsts" during his eventful five years as Prime Minister within the last decade. His reign saw India take on a new economic path, and saw the demolition of the controversial Babri Masjid and also saw the rise of the saffron forces. Rao was also described as a "hardcore Congressman".

(Sources:, another from,

Fond Farewell: Rao Cremated with State Honours in Andhra

So many sad stories from Andhra this holiday season. What a terrible thing indeed to wake up in the morning and to discover all the grief and devastation that has erupted in our motherland and nearby regions. There was another story that captured the hearts of Telugu speaking people this week, as well. P. V. Narasimha Rao, the first South Indian Prime Minister of the country and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, passed away in New Delhi on Thursday, December 23, 2004. Immediately, a deep sense of sorrow enveloped the State.

In respect to the late prime minister, the Andhra Pradesh government announced a week-long official mourning in the State and declared Friday a holiday for its offices, educational institutions and other establishments.

The Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, spoke to P. V. Ranga Rao and suggested that the funeral be held in his native State of Andhra Pradesh 'in view of his strong sentimental bond with the Telugu people.'

The nation bade a fond farewell to the former PM on Christmas day. He was cremated with full state honours on the banks of Hussainsagar lake.

Click here for a sample of the tributes that are pouring in for P.V. Narasimha Rao.

(Sources: Google, NDTV, Sun Network)

42 People Killed Along Andhra Coastline

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Season's Greetings

Sodi News would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 20, 2004

Fake Pictures of Telugu Actress Circulate Online

Telugu actress Trisha lodged a formal complaint with Chennai police regarding video e-mail attachments that have been circulating on the net, allegedly displaying nude images of the actress. These images, however, have been digitally altered to look like Trisha and in fact are not her. Chennai police are looking into the matter. The issue serves as a reminder that posting obscene mails and pictures on the internet is an offence under the Cyber Crime Act. (Source: Express Newsline)

Actor Venkatesh Helps Lure Tamil Director To Do Another Telugu Film

From "The lure of big money has trapped the young director Selvaraghavan to do a straight Telugu film and that too with a senior actor like Venkatesh."

For more, click here.

Joint Venture Global Programming To Include Telugu Content

Sun TV and Astro All Asia Networks have formed a joint venture for Indian language programming directed at a global audience. A company statement claimed that the joint venture (worth about Rs 112.50 crore) will prepare and distribute content for "filmed and other entertainment products" in several Indian languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi and Bengali. (Source: The Hindu)

Telugu Translation of Book on Indian Economy Now Available

A Telugu version of a book on the Indian Economy, written by the Chairman of the 12th Finance Commission, Dr C Rangarajan was launched by the Andhra Pradesh Governor Sushilkumar Shinde on December 20th. (Source:

Tollywood Defined

We've posted alot about Tollywood lately, and in case anyone who is not familiar with Telugu culture was wondering, we've decided that it would be beneficial to define the term.

Tollywood in a nutshell is: the Telugu film industry.

There you have it, simple as that. You can find some links here.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Tollywood's New Fear: "Cell Paparazzis"

Tollywood heroes and heroines dread a new nemesis these days: a cell phone camera. The apparent controversy over the "Kareena-Shahid lip-lock" has ushered in a new fear amongst the celebrities who've become more conscious of the ever present cell phone camera.

This new generation of cell phone paparazzis have made life rather miserable for Tollywood's elite actors and actresses. The Times of India states that:

'they dread being clicked even while enacting the official intimate scenes as dictated by the director and demanded by the script. The cell phone camera is now Villain no. 1' on Telugu film sets. The industry is planning to launch an all-out battle to banish the villain.'

"I firmly tell people not to take my pictures with cell phone camera. It has become dangerous to be photographed by unauthorised people," actress Shriya told Sunday Times of India. Shriya said a friend of hers had been photographed with a cell camera while talking to another friend and the result was horrifying. "In the picture, it looked like they were kissing," she said.

For more on this intriguing new story visit The Times of India.

Tollywood Updates

There's always lots going on in Tollywood, so here's a brief glimpse of the latest happenings:

Nagarjuna's is working with first-time director and leading choreographer Lawrence in the Telugu film "Mass Damunte Kaasko". The actor is confident that 'Maas' will be a success. (Source:

Actress Trisha is currently busy acting in a couple of Telugu movies starring Siddharth and Mahesh Babu (Source: Talkies Today).

After a brief hiatus, Mumtaz has returned in Maha Nadigan. In addition to T Rajendhar's Veerasamy, Mumtaz has now landed "plump" roles in a couple of Telugu features (Source: Talkies Today).

Lensmen, Aravind has faced increasing popularity due to the success of the Telugu remake - 7-G Brindavan Colony - which appears to be doing better than the original. Currently, he is working on another Telugu film. Though he is not in any rush: "Not my style of performing. Your work should come from the bottom of the heart. Creativity is of paramount importance for a lensman." (Source: Talkies Today)

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Young Patient Learned Telugu Before He Succumbed to His Illness

Twenty-five year old, Kolavennu Venkatesh bravely battled with the rigours of muscular dystrophy and yet remained an enthusiastic young man, with a passion for chess and the desire to help others. He even intended to donate his organs, so that he could do his part.

The Sunnetwork mentions that:

"His mother had appealed to Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking euthanasia, to allow Venkatesh to donate his organs. She was planning to approach the Supreme Court after the High Court rejected her appeal. The last wish of Venkatesh to donate his organs would not be fulfilled as his plea for euthanasia and harvesting organs was rejected by the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday, hospital sources said. Only his eyes were donated after his death, they said. No other organs were useful for transplant as Venkatesh had been on a ventilator for a long period, the doctors said. "

Venkatesh also took an interest in the preachings of Sai Baba. With his mother in tow, he followed the Baba wherever he went to preach. To the Times of India, his mother Sujatha said: "Sai Baba was a great influence in his life. Venkatesh became mentally strong after listening to Baba. He even learnt Telugu as Baba did not like Andhraites who did not know the language."

The Times of India and the Sunnetwork both have reports on this brave young man who sadly succumbed to his illness.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Reema Sen: Career Gaps and Telugu Projects has a brief excerpt on actress Reema Sen and the "gaps in her career". The actress is quoted as saying:
"I make it a habit to not sign up more than four films per year. This is the reason why my films follow one after the other. But sometimes one of the films gets delayed. Sometimes, the films simply get dropped. That is when gaps are created," she said. "When I made my debut in the Tamil film ''Minnalae'', I had offers for five new Telugu films. One of the films was dropped later. Then, there was also a Hindi film. That was why it looked as if I was away for a long time. Presently I don’t have any Bollywood assignments. So, I intend to concentrate only on Telugu and Tamil films," she ended. asks out loud: “But does she have any Telugu projects lately?”

"Mickey Mouse to India, Speaking Telugu"

There’s another article on the launching of two Disney channels across India. As we previously mentioned on Sodi News, of interest to Telugu people will be the fact that one of the channels will be airing Disney programming in Telugu. An Australian website Big News has an article entitled "Mickey Mouse to India, Speaking Telugu".

The BBC has a report on this story as well which includes another quote by Rajat Jain (Managing director, Disney India), "Indian children spend only 10% of their television viewing time watching kids' channels... due to lack of high quality programming."

Thursday, December 16, 2004

"Balu" Tops Telugu Film Music Charts

Mani Sharma's soulful album "Balu" makes it to the top of the Telugu film music charts after a lengthy gap. The Indo-Asian News Service provides the following summary of the top five hits:
1. "Balu": Superstar Pavan Kalyan teams up with ace composer Mani Sharma to come up with a soulful album. It is a good mix of melodies and foot-tapping compositions. "Kannukoti naa" and "Hut hutuja" top the charts. Whether the duo will recreate the magical success of "Kushi" remains to be seen.

2. "Mass": Devisriprasad, who lost his top position to Mani Sharma, is still doing pretty good business. "Kottu kottu" and "Indurudu" are gradually catching up while the title number is already a hit. Unlike other Nagarjuna albums, this has more of a mass-oriented score.

3. "Prema Chadrangam": Harris Jayaraj comes back with a dubbed film. Some of the numbers have caught on in a big way. "Venditherlo" and "Aryula hrudayappu" are hits.

4. "Vijayendra Varma": Days before the film's release, the audio has picked up again. It can set a new record if the film is a blockbuster. Veteran Koti bounces back with vengeance with a mass-oriented album. "Maissamma" is a rage already.

5. "Sakhiya": Mani Sharma's efforts go in vain as the film has bombed, leaving his album high and dry.

Disney Cartoons to Air in Telugu

In efforts to promote more educational and entertaining family programming, two new Disney channels:"Disney Channel" and "Toon Disney" will be launched on December 17th across India.

Of interest to Telugu fans will be the fact that "Toon Disney" will be India’s first 24-hour Tamil and Telugu language kid’s channel while the "Disney Channel" will instead be a 24-hour Hindi service. Both channels will of course provide an English feed in appropriate markets.

Explaining why the Tamil and Telugu languages were chosen, Rajat Jain, managing director, Walt Disney Television International (India ) claimed that: “Less than four per cent of children in South India tune in to cartoon channels.” (Source:

Victims Provide Supporting Witness to Telugu Actor

A new twist to the shooting incident involving Telugu film star N Balakrishna, emerged in a Hyderabad court as victims gave a "clean" account of the actor, stating that "an unidentified assailant had fired at them". Visit Team India News Network for the full story.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

More On Tollywood's Abuses

The Times of India has more on Tollywood's seedier side, as we previously posted. Film actresses from Mumbai and elsewhere in India who are working on Telugu film sets are secretly learning the meanings of common Telugu swear words. They're learning (or equipping themselves with) these terms secretly, because they are often at the receiving end of such taunts from co-workers on the film sets. One actress even discovered that her director was using insulting language towards her and dragged him into a police station. Each actress has a different way of dealing with the problem. Read more at the Times of India.

The Seedier Side of Tollywood

Recent altercations between lesser known Telugu male actors and Mumbai starlets have served to taint the image of some of Tollywood's finer actors. Many of these incidents have been swept under the carpet, unfortunately leaving some of the starlets like Ankitha and Malavika emotionally distressed. suggests that unless these lesser known actors behave respectfully, they can expect sexual harassment law suits against them. (Source: Sify)

Footnote: for those new to Telugu culture, Tollywood is the Telugu film industry.

Another Telugu Film for Preity Zinta is reporting that Bollywood star Preity Zinta, who's last Telugu venture was Mahesh Babu’s 'Rajakumarudu', will appear once again in a Tollywood feature. This time she will be paired opposite Prabhas. The film will be produced by Prabhas' uncle, former MP Krishnam Raju. Shooting will begin before the year ends. states that many Bollywood actresses venture into regional films to earn quick cash in a short period of time.

Tollywood Mania Comes to Bahrain

"Tollywood Mania" is coming to Bahrain on December 16th. The event was organised by the Telugu Kala Samithi (TKS) to commemorate its sixth anniversary. Shiva Reddy and Nikitha, among other notable acts, are scheduled to perform. Read about it here. (Source: Gulf Daily News)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

NTR's Widow Accused of Cheating is reporting that the Banjara Hills police in Hyderabad, have registered a "cheating case" against Lakshmi Parvati, the widow of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party founder N T Rama Rao (NTR).

NTR's son, Ramakrishna filed a petition in court, stating that Parvati sold their family's house and also a farm house, by forging their father's signature on November 18th of this year. Inquiries have revealed that Parvati sold the properties to two individuals. The police are currently investigating the case.

Sources indicate that family members of NTR have claimed that their father had never written any will incorporating the transference of properties to his former wife. Instead, the properties belong to NTR's daughter Uma Maheshwari. (Source:

Telugu Blogs

Sodi News is trying to compile a listing of Telugu blogs, if you have a Telugu blog please send us a link. In the meantime, you can visit the blog of one of Sodi News' regular visitors, Kiran Chava, who has a listing of Telugu blogs on his site. His Telugu blog is aptly titled "Sodi". Thanks for linking to Sodi News, Kiran!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Twin Cities to have Citizen Friendly Police Force

The twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad can expect a police force which is both "more friendly and easily accessible". The Sunnetwork Online has more on this story.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Telugu Delegation May Meet Rajkumar Regarding Kannada Film Moratorium

A delegation of Telugu film industry types led by actor Chiranjeevi will likely meet with Kannada matinee idol Rajkumar in Bangalore, in an attempt to resolve the issue of the moratorium. However, the date of the meeting is not yet finalised.

(Source: Deccan Herald)

Radical film opens in Andhra

The Indo-Asian News Service is reporting that leftist filmmaker R. Narayamurthy has once more made a pro-Maoist film. Entitled "Gangamma Jatara", the Telugu film opens this week in theatres.

"We have again chosen an issue affecting the poor and the deprived," said R. Narayamurthy who also describes the film as "an emotional saga between a father and his daughter".

The filmmaker denied that he chose a "devotional" title, saying 'jatara' could mean a huge gathering of people who have come together to resolve a social issue.


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Entry Into Temples Still a Dream for Dalits

Entry into temples for Dalits is sadly still a distant dream in many villages in Andhra Pradesh. The prime reason for this is that the government was not properly implementing "GOs 105" and "128" which relate to "untouchability". For the full article please visit the

APMS to Observe Dec 9th as Day of Protest

300 cases of Suicide by Farmers Reported in Andhra Pradesh

The government of Andhra Pradesh reported yesterday that "300 cases of suicide by farmers" had been reported in the state from May 14th to August 10th of this year. For more on this disturbing story visit

A Win for a Horse Named "Cannon Glow"

`Cannon Glow' won the Indian Navy Rolling Challenge Trophy for category-I horses in Hyderabad. Visit for more.

Monday, December 06, 2004


We found the moving story of Anupama on Anupama is both a wife and mother who is suffering from leukemia and is seeking blood stem cell/bone marrow donors who are of South Asian descent. For further info please visit SAMAR or "South Asian Marrow Association of Recruiters". Below is a picture of Anupama and a brief excerpt on her story, as quoted from where you can find more information about her.

Anupama's Appeal:
"My name is Anupama, I am 29 years old. I had a picture perfect life with a loving husband and a doting 3 ½ year old son. All this came crashing down when I was diagnosed with “ALL”, a fatal “Blood Cancer”. Everything that I held close to my heart is now threatened. I was given chemotherapy and went into remission for (2) years. But unfortunately this year I relapsed, the leukemia is back. Doctors now tell me that my only chance for survival is a marrow/blood stem cell transplant from a matched donor. The best chance I have of finding a match is from the South Asian community. I appeal to every individual between the ages of 18 and 60 and in good health to become a volunteer bone marrow donor, so that someone may match me or any other patient that is in a similar dire situation. Initially you have to give a small sample of blood and sign a consent form and if you match you will have an opportunity to donate marrow / blood stem cells to save my life or any other patient needing a marrow / blood stem cell transplant. Please register yourself at donor recruitment drives being organized by SAMAR. You can give me a second chance at life and give a mother back to my son and a wife to my husband."

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Sekhar Kammula and Telugu Cinema

The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) has an interview with "Anand" filmmaker Sekhar Kammula where he speaks about Telugu cinema and his future plans.

The actor feels that this "is a time of reckoning for Telugu filmdom". He believes Telugu cinema "can sink further if it keeps repeating itself."

Below is an copy of the IANS interview, the source for which is

Q: Did you expect "Anand" to become such a smashing hit?

A: Though I was confident about my concept, I was prepared for the worst. I thought that it would either be a huge hit or a complete washout. Luckily, the audience loved it.

Most of the buyers liked the film and said so, but no one was willing to invest in it since it didn't fit into their formulas. It was difficult to change their mindset. So I released it on my own. I also believed that a realistic film could succeed among routine potboilers since we have just handful of genuine hits this year. Besides, good performances, an interesting plot, good comedy and lilting music also made it a winner.

Q: Do you feel that this is a time of reckoning for Telugu filmdom?

A: Yes, definitely, because the audience has been rejecting routine potboilers described as 'formula films'. All of us should introspect and change our views. We cannot carry on with our pre-conceived notions, but should attempt something realistic and fresh.

Even buyers have to encourage novel concepts since they have burnt their fingers by investing in big movies. If a small-budget movie flops, buyers would not end up on the road and, if it succeeds, then it can bring double investment.

Q: Do you think "Anand" can set a trend for multiplex Telugu films?

A: I hope so because many aspiring makers can now try out something different from the routine with a bit of confidence. The audience has given a clear verdict for sensible films. Let us all resolve to cater to them.

I tried to set this trend with my maiden film "Dollar Dreams", but it couldn't happen. I am happy to achieve this with a Telugu film.

Q: Normally non-resident Indians (NRIs) are known for making crossover English films but you intend to settle down as a Telugu filmmaker?

A: I dislike being called a NRI since my heart lies in India. I do have regard for the US for giving me status and money but I also feel that most NRIs yearn to return to their roots.

With "Anand", I have proved my taste for classical music. Even the plot is truly Indian. My next film will definitely be in Telugu but with a different concept and a new team since I dislike repeating myself.

I have been browsing through a few ideas but nothing has been finalised. I don't intend to cash in on the opportunity at the moment by hastily announcing a film. I would prefer to announce one when I have a concrete script in my hand.

--Indo-Asian News Service via

Friday, December 03, 2004

Top Five Telugu Films

A multiplex film, "Anand" has the top spot among the fortnight's top five Telugu films:

1. "Anand"

2. "7-G Brindavan Colony"

3. "Shankardada MBBS"

4. "Yuvasena"



Top Five Telugu Audio

The top five Telugu audio list for the fortnight is as follows:

1. "Mass"

2. "Vijayendra Varma.

3. "Sakhia"

4. "Sooryam"

5. "Kuncham Touchlo Unte Cheputha"


Grounds for Divorce: Nagging

The Times of India is reporting an amusing story today regarding a divorce case between a Telugu Brahmin and his Sikh wife. The Supreme Court of India has held that "a husband who is subjected to abuse, humiliation and emotional trauma is entitled to seek divorce on the ground of constant nagging." The nagging (for purposes of clarification) "should be extreme and more serious than 'ordinary wear and tear of married life'." The latter (the wear and tear excuse) was the argument used by the wife to oppose the granting of divorce. The couple in question are both doctors who married in 1978. Both work at a private hospital started by the husband's father. (Source: The Times of India)