The story of Vijayawada is incomplete if it does not include the nostalgia of Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao (NTR), the scion of Andhra. The same holds good, vice-versa. As Vijayawada is now sprucing up to be the vital component of new Andhra Pradesh, it is a good occasion to give it a try for reappraisal of NTR’s nostalgia with tropical town Bezawada (erstwhile name of Vijayawada), which was almost his hometown.
Not many know that Vijayawada played a crucial role in shaping NTR’s destiny, surging him to become one of the biggest history makers for the State and the country. NTR’s struggles as a young man with dreams started with Vijayawada, not to forget his achievements and learnings. The man who ruled the silver screen with a magnanimous imposition, casting a great effect on his people as a leader owes his many memories of success to this place.
Here are five ways in which NTR became a brand with a close Bezawada connect.
1. Born close to Bezawada
Born May 28, 1923, in Nimmakuru village in the affluent Krishna district, not far from Bezawada, NTR was son of Lakshmaiah Chowdary, a farmer. Nimmakuru village in Gudivada Taluq had a school up to only 5th standard. So, after the preliminary education, NTR had to pursue secondary level education at Gandhiji Municipal High School in Bezawada, 50 KM from his village.
2. Home Town for the Star While in College
Bezawada became his exotic yet intimate hometown in mid 1930s. Later, after finishing his matriculation in 1940, he joined SRR College, established in 1937 by Sir Raja Rangayya AppaRaoBahadur, Zamindar of Nuzvid. It was only a second grade college with Intermediate classes.
3. The Making of a Legend Began Here
NTR etched in the memory of the college, as his acting career was initiated there. He was picked up by none other than the colossus of Telugu literature, Kavi Samrat Viswanadha Satyanarayana, who used to be his Telugu teacher. A shy lad with a round face, carved features and rotund figure, NTR had to be cajoled by Viswanatha to act in his play Vena Raju. NTR was asked to don the woman role as ‘Nagamma’ in the play. NTR’s robust father was against his son’s becoming an actor. Fearing the wrath of his father, NTR refused to remove his just-growing mustache and thus, acted as Nagamma with moustache. Since then, Viswanatha used to call NTR- Meesala Nagamma, a term of endearing his pampered pupil. In the second year, NTR acted as Saleem in the play ‘Anarkali’ and got best actor award.
4. Entry Into Theater and Connect with Young Andhra Association
He failed to get through Intermediate exams in 1942 due to his involvement in acting and his role in establishing National Art Theatre – Young Andhra Association. He got married to his maternal uncle’s daughter, Basavarama Tarakam in the same year. By the time, his family was hit by severe financial problems, for that he had to do many petty jobs for the survival.
5. Return to Bezawada After Bombay
After a futile attempt in Bombay, he returned Bezawada and started helping dairy business of his father, who migrated to the town. During the period in Bezawada NTR used to supply milk to hotels on bicycle. Clearing the backlog in Intermediate with determination, he joined BA in AC college, Guntur.
Even after he had opportunities to move with the leading lights in both the worlds of film and politics, Vijayawada was forever preserved in his memories of indebtedness. That preservation is what actually nostalgia is all about.
The uprising of a brand NTR started first with Bezawada. The place will forever remain super important in his life’s story of struggle, passion and success. The Vijayawada connect with NTR, sublimely eternal!