Jandhyala, a writer of over 350 films and the director of classics like
"Ananda Bhairavi" and
Ragam", can be cited as a shining
example of how greatness and celebrity status do not go into the heads
of those individuals whose best virtue is their humility. Always smiling and witty, Jandhyala is simplicity
personified - both in his attire and attitude. He is never tired of reminding you
that of all the living creatures created by God only man is blessed with
the wonderful expression of happiness through a smile. So one has to make the best of
this gift - by smiling and making others smile. This is the very reason why Jandhyala chose humour as his vehicle of
One would forget all his sorrows and tears and have a hearty laugh,
while witnessing a Jandhyala film. This is what humour does to the human psyche. Jandhyala is a master of
this art and has rightly earned for himself the title
"Hasya Brahma". Some writers seem to be of the opinion that obscenity is also one of the
forms of "generating" humour. Jandhyala has never allowed the commercial
outlook or "requisities" of a producer interfere with his work of art
and its sanctity.
Humour and writing skills apart, Jandhyala is a multi-faceted genius.
The little known fact is that he is an accomplished actor too. Before
venturing into the tinsel world, Jandhyala acted in hundreds of plays on
stage. It is notable that he rejected offers of roles in films due to
his ardent love and flair for writing. Interestingly, he dabbled with
the "art of dubbing" once. He lent his voice to the character of Nehru
in the Telugu version of Richard Attenborough's "Gandhi".
As a script writer, Jandhyala has carved a niche for himself. One day, he can write dialogues for such pucca commercials
like "Adavi Ramudu" and the next he can produce such classics as
"Sankara Bharanam" with equal
ease - blazing away to glory on both the occasions.
Jandhyala's filmi career graph does not exhibit any
"roses all the way" line. In fact it was just the
opposite as he had no "Godfather" in the film industry. Born in Narsapur in West Godavari district on January 14, 1951 into a
middle class family, Jandhyala exhibited rare abilities even during his
school days.He wrote his first ever short story at a tender age of
ten for his school journal. He wrote a short story (his second one) and sent it to
"Andhra Prabha" and it was published. He received a remuneration of Rs.10 for his
"forays into the world of creative writing". This was his first ever earning as a writer.
While studying as a teenager, he
wrote a number of critically acclaimed plays notable amongst them
and "Ek Din Ka
Sultan".Jandhyala completed his B.Com., degree and joined the Chartered
Accountants course. During the period, he wrote "Sandhyaragamlo
Sankharaavam" and staged 80 performances of the play. During the staging of
this play in Madras, two things happened that
"ordained" to change the career of Jandhyala. He received twin
offers - one to act as a hero in a film and another to script a film.
Pinisetti Sri Rama Murty, himself a prolific writer, playwright and
director, offered him the lead role in his forthcoming film "Thalli
Godaari" and B.N. Reddy, the doyen of the Telugu film industry offered Jandhyala the
task of writing the script for his next film. B.N.Reddy was then planning to film
"Punyabhoomee Kallu Theru", a well-meaning novel
written by Bina Devi. However Jandhyala decided to take up
B.N.Reddy's offer and joined his team as
script writer for his forthcoming film. Unfortunately B.N.Reddy breathed his last even before completing his pet project.
Jandhyala was,obviously, shaken by the tragedy. He knew no one else in
the film industry at the time and returned back to Vijayawada.
During this time Anandamohan
was then planning a film with new faces. He gave Jandhyala a chance to
script his film. Jandhyala stunned every one by completing the script in just ten days.
Thus Jandhyala, the script writer of great promise had arrived with the
film "Pelli Kaani Pelli". He was also offered the job of writing the
script of "Devudu Chesina Bommalu".
Though the first film he wrote was
"Pelli Kaani Pelli", Hanuman Prasad's
"Devudu Chesina Bommalu" featuring Murali Mohan in the lead role was
released first. The film was a hit and launched Jandhyala into an exciting film career.
K.Viswanath then offered him the script writing work of his film "Siri
Siri Muvva" to Jandhyala. The film was a runaway hit. Jandhyala never
looked back from then on. Well known director Raghavendra Rao saw the film
"Siri Siri Muvva" and offered the script of
"Adavi Ramudu", he was directing, with N.T.Rama Rao
in the lead role. As N.T.Rama Rao was a celebrity, Raghavendra Rao wanted to introduce the young writer to the hero. He took
Jandhyala along and introduced him as the writer. N.T.Rama Rao looked
enigmatically at Raghavendra Rao, thought for a while and said, "Don't
take the risk. This film is a high budget film. Engage a popular writer. I
don't think that this boy (Jandhyala was 26 then) can deliver the
Raghavendra Rao however
went ahead with Jandhyala as the script writer. After the film was completed and the first copy was
ready, Rama Rao saw the
preview of the film and thoroughly impressed with Jandhyala's work promised to utilise Jandhyala's services even
for his own films. Jandhyala went on to work for NTR's own films, including the big hit
"Driver Ramudu". He became popular by scripting the dialogues for such classics of
Viswanath as "Subhodayam",
"Sapta Padhi" and "Sagara
Sangamam". He also penned the script for the commercials of Raghavendra Rao like
"Amara Deepam", "Vetagadu",
"Driver Ramudu" and "Jagadeka Veerudu
Atiloka Sundari". Jandhyala was at his peak during
this time, writing script for 90 percent of the Telugu film directors.
foray into direction came through Koneru Rajendra Prasad, a film producer and Jandhyala's friend
who persuaded Jandhyala to direct a film for him. The result of the persuasion was "Mudda
Mandaram". Though he was himself new to direction, Jandhyala did not take any known star for the film. He chose
Pradip and Purnima, both new faces to do the lead roles in the film.
The film ran for 100 days.
His later films as director,
"Malle Pandiri", "Naalugu Sthambhalaata" and Ushakiran Movies'
"Srivariki Premalekha" were big hits. In
"Nalugu Sthambhalaata" he had introduced
the "Sutti" pair - Sutti Veerabhadra Rao and Sutti Velu. The sutti
(hammering) dialogue referring to anyone boring the other with 'non
stop talking' became immensely popular and the word he coined - sutti, found a place in
the day to day conversation of the Telugus.
"Though I became a busy director, I did not give up writing, my first
love. I have written script for 150 films even as I directed 42 films"
said Jandhyala. Jandhyala's directorial prowess stood the test of art critics when
"Ananda Bhairavi" featuring Girish Karnad in the lead role won the best
director and best film awards of the Andhra Pradesh Government.
"Srivariki Prema Lekha", a film written and directed by Jandhyala for
Ramoji Rao's Usha Kiran Movies was a hilarious comedy and a runaway hit.
"Padamati Sandhya Raagam" which Jandhyala produced in America with the
available Telugu acting talent there was a master piece of art and a
commercial success too. Apart from the heroine Vijaya Santi, all
the others were well settled doctors and technocrats of America who acted like
seasoned artistes. Jandhyala won the coveted Nandi Award (the award of
the Government of Andhra Pradesh) for the Best Story Writer for the film.
Jandhyala has won over 200 awards including the coveted 'Film Fare',
'Nandi', 'Kala Sagar', 'Siltara' etc.
Jandhyala, who acted as hero of hundreds of stage performances,
however did not evince any interest in acting in films. He has acted in
only one film, in Viswanath's "Apadbandhavudu".
While no noted artiste, director or writer wasted his time in television
programmes, Jandhyala did not hesitate to parade his talents on the small screen, unmindful of the negligible returns. He has produced
"Popula Petti" a humour serial and four tele-films for the
"ETV". Three of his tele-films received Nandi awards. He has produced
"Bhale Manchi Chouka Beramu", "Haasya Darbar" and the
current "Joke Show" for the Gemini TV. He also produced two
tele-films and a serial "Mahanandam"
for the Doordarshan.
Jandhyala is currently writing the script of a forth coming film and a
couple of TV serials. For Jandhyala writing has never been a money making exercise. He does
not have a big bungalow like most film personalities. He lives in a
modest flat in the Raj Bhavan Road in Somajiguda and is totally content
with his way of life. The living example of a man, who believes humility
is the best quality of a human being.