Very few know about Konidela Siva Sankara Varaprasad, but he is quite famous as Chiranjeevi. Right from a five-year-old kid to a 70-year-old man, everyone likes him for his style of action both in fights as well as dances. Though dancing in Telugu films during duets was 'started' long ago, it is Chiranjeevi who added some style and flavor to them.
Born on August 22, 1955 at Mogaltur in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, Chiranjeevi is quiet fond of acting and joined the Film Institute in Madras, after completing his B.Com degree. He started his career in a small role in 'Punadi Rallu', but the first film that saw the light is 'Pranam Khareedu'. Many may not know what Chiranjeevi is. Let me explain you a small incident which proves his dedication towards acting. In his very first film 'Punadi Rallu' there is a scene where four youths had to go inside a hut to take the food after washing their legs and Chiranjeevi is the fourth man. He could stand behind the others in line to wash the legs, but he did not.
Instead he showered some hay, grass and dust on him and started cleaning it while passing on the line as if he was returning from some agricultural work. That action really elevated the scene and the then cameraman complimented him and predicted a bright future. The audiences started liking him because of his ease in dance movements and swashbuckling fights. Later, he also tried his hand in soft roles also like 'Subhalekha, Intlo Ramaiah Veedhilo Krishnaiah' to name a few. However, he got a good break as commercial hero with 'Khaidi'. With the tremendous success of 'Khaidi' he turned a big star.
Several of his films proved commercial hits and many producers are after him as his film gives them minimum guarantee. Though there are no godfathers for him in the film industry, he worked hard and cemented his position in the tinsel world just through his performance and became a numero uno of Telugu film industry. For that matter, there are several top class artistes/heroes in Telugu like Nagarjuna, Balakrishna and Venkatesh and some of them also acknowledge that Chiru is the Mega Star and had the stature to be called the numero uno. Let us know what Chiranjeevi told his father, who refused to send him to the film institute. 'If I don't go to film institute now, the Telugu film industry would lose a great artiste.' Yes, it is true. The industry might have lost a great actor, humanitarian had he listened to his father and stopped going to film institute.
His movies like 'Rudraveena, Swayam Krushi, and Apadbandhavudu' proves his urge to satiate the real artiste in him. Though they did not do well commercially, they earned him a place in several audiences as an artiste. It may be noted that a top class national weekly like 'India Today' some time ago declared that Chiranjeevi is being paid the highest remuneration than Amitabh Bachchan, whom the entire country believe that it is Big 'B' the highest paid artiste.
As an artiste he enthralled the audiences on the silver screen. At the same time, he had decided to expand his activities for the social cause, by utilizing his fans in a right manner. He started Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust, which promotes blood and eye donations. Through the trust, Chiranjeevi had helped several people in getting sight and the blood collected through his blood banks is saving lives of hundreds of people. Chiranjeevi stood as a roll model by paying the tax honestly every year and won the highest tax payer's award many times.
Recently President Abdul Kalam inaugurated Chiranjeevi Charitable Foundation and released the first vision document of the foundation.
It is a privilege for the foundation that the first citizen of India visiting a private organization and launching it. It is Chiranjeevi who had a number of awards. Even the 'Filmfare' chose him as the best regional actor for seven times. He bagged Nandi awards as Best Actor for his films 'Swayamkrushi', 'Apadbandhavudu', 'Rudraveena' and 'Indra'. Above all Chiranjeevi had bagged the third highest civilian award 'Padma Bhushan' of India.
Though several Telugu film artistes bagged 'Padma' awards, they were awarded only for their service to the film industry alone. 'Padmabhushan' was awarded to Chiranjeevi in the film artistes' category; it is an honor not only to his acting talents but also his services to the society in general. Had it not been true, a person of Dr Abdul Kalam's stature would not have come all the way from Delhi to inaugurate the Chiranjeevi Charitable Foundation. Yes, a 'Padma' award to Chiranjeevi is a dream come true. In reel life he receives an award from Prime Minister and in real life he received the third highest civilian award from none other then the first citizen of India and brought glory to our State in general and the film industry in particular.
In an interview Chiranjeevi gave a good message to the youth. Let us repeat it for the benefit of our young readers. 'Utilize the valuable time in a right way. Always go ahead with a positive outlook. Work hard to achieve your goal. You live and let 10 others live. Be happy and try to make other smiling.'
Now let us remind what Rajinikanth said about Chiranjeevi: 'Chiranjeevi can fight excellently like me, dance well like Kamal Haasan and do good comedy like Amitabh Bachchan.' This compliment proves the versatility in Chiranjeevi.
After playing in several commercial hits and after getting a massive fan following, Chiranjeevi started acting in films that are not just commercial blockbusters but message-oriented ones. He started choosing characters with which he could send a message across to the people in general and his fans in particular. Looking at his recent releases one can understand this. His film Indra calls for amity among the factionalists. While his film Tagore fights against corruption. Like this, he inspired people with his impeccable performance. Now, he is coming before the audiences with 'Stalin'. Let us see what message he wanted to convey through 'Stalin'. The audio of the 'Stalin' is all set for release on August 22, marking his birthday. We wish Chiranjeevi, many more years of acting career and long life to serve the needy.