5 March 2016 stays as a memorable day in my life – met Nagarjuna – my everlasting dream – a very beautiful experience, I was completely in a different world the whole day, may be that is what cloud 9 is – nothing was sinking in, not able to understand anything going around me, just going with the flow – the day after and whenever I narrated that experience to my friends and family. It stays as a memorable day for ever.
I want to recollect those memories exactly after one year as they stay fresh and sweet as it happened now.
little bit into flashback …. Prologue …
Praveen has been asking me in every visit of mine to India whether I would like to meet Nagarjuna as he knows how strong admirer I am to him. I kept on telling him that I was not ready yet – Nagarjuna should be the one to say this – the reason behind it is I did not know what to talk about and I just do not want to meet him for just a photo op. For me, he should know at least a little about me as I know so much about him (atleast I thought I know), I keenly watch every interview of his (sometimes few times the same interview), every public appearance of his on TV, follow his Twitter account and the bottom line is I have my very own interpretation of him.
My passion for Akkinenis started almost 50+ years ago with ANR garu was my ideal hero. But my liking or admiration for Nagarjuna does not happen as a family lineage as I was not a big fan of his earlier movies but with Ninnae Pelladutha everything takes a ‘U’ turn (no looking back since then and even started appreciating and falling in love with his earlier movies). – his style, screen presence, his clothes anything or everything about him turned me into his big admirer.
So I am not sure what I would/should talk to him if I meet and every year I am just putting off praveen’s offer. But in 2016, some how I was very much determined that I should meet him, a matter of fact I was longing to meet him. I wanted to make a nice scrapbook and got some material from US and I have ordered some scrapbook paper and some art materials from Amazon.in and bought some stuff at Waldens. I have a habit of saving his or his family’s pics (from his movies or from any public or private appearances) or any reviews on his movies on my phone, iPad or computer. So I have a huge collection of his pics, it was a humongous task for me to choose the pics I could use in the scrapbook. It literally took me couple of days to sort out the pics I want to (may want to) use. But I managed some how and got them printed. So I started working on the book and every night I spent some time on this with an everlasting doubt creeping on the back of mind that whether I could really meet him or all my efforts would be going waste.
Finally the day came amidst confusion of few dates in the last week of my trip. And it happened to be the just the DAY before the day I left India – I was leaving India on 6 March at 10am flight and it happened on 5 March at 10:15.
I made the scrap book with some nice family photos and few beautiful articles published on Manam and Shiva movies and few articles from my blog. And by 10 am, I, Unnu, and Pragati were waiting in the car at the entrance of Annaporna Studios for Praveen to come. Actually the appointment was confirmed just a day before and I was just holding myself not to get too excited about, not even thinking of meeting my fav person which I wouldn’t even dreamt of. While we were waiting for Praveen, we have realized that I haven’t even taken pictures of my beautiful (at least for me) scrapbook, and we did not even brought a nice book to get his autograph.
After Praveen came, we walked to Nagarjuna’s office and sat in the reception area as he hadn’t come yet. Our appointment time is around 10:15 and he has another appointment for dubbing for oopiri movie at 10:30. So with zero hopes I was sitting there with least of expectations and excitement. Then he came around 10:20 and he walked into his office just looking at us. Then we were asked to come in and after introductions I didn’t even sit but just handed over him few ties I got from New York and the scrapbook and I was telling him something with regard to some incidents (articles) in the book as he also stood and browsing through the book. I was in a hurry to convey him something which relate to the articles and pictures in the book with the fact that we didn’t have much time to talk about. He asked me to sit and started conversation in a very friendly way. He has been with us for 40 min, made us so comfortable and showered so much warmth and love which I wouldn’t forget forever.
I haven’t planned about what I would talk and I am not sure how would I show or express in words in a limited time to a person with whom I haven’t talked before that they are almost more than a family to me and very deeply close to my heart – I could relate to their every emotion.
I did not even remember how the conversation started but it was endless – I did not even feel the existence of any animate or inanimate objects in that room except him. Few of the conversations among many of those I could recall – I told him about the message I posted on my FB when I saw Akhil very closely at New Jersey and said what would happen to me if he were Nagarjuna and my nephew posted a reply saying nothing would happen as he travelled with Nagarjuna sitting next to him when he was traveling to Bangalore the same day and I told him “nothing would happen to you but surely any thing could have happened to me if I were sitting next to him”.
And told him how many times I had told Unnu and Prati (they live across Mahesh Babu’s house) that I would have an heart attack if it were Nagarjuna’s house (even though I visit Hyd for a month every year); the conversation between our maid and my niece’s maid after I came home from watching Soggadae Chinni Nayana movie – when my niece’s maid asked me how was the movie, before I said anything, our maid said it is Nagarjuna’s movie and how would not Saradamma like it.
I even quoted his speech from Oopiri audio function – I have narrated exactly what he said in the speech – about if we wish for anything strongly that would happen for sure – he told Amala garu after watching the French movie The Intouchables his wish that someone would do the movie in Telugu and he would love to play the main character and how after 2 years Vamsi Paidipally came to him very hesitatingly with this story – my wish to meet him was very strong this time and it came into reality almost the last day of the trip.
He is very friendly and have a nice conversation with unnu and Prati too and asking about how they feel or agree or disagree or their emotions being twins as they shared mother’s womb for nine months.
We have picked up small pieces of paper from his office to get his autograph – when he was scribbling his best wishes to me, I had a thought came to my mind – when I looked at the way he was writing I felt like he was writing a prescription and he said the same thing that he was feeling like writing a prescription – it is really a PRESCRIPTION for me without an expiration date which I treasure forever.
When I expressed my wish to meet Amala garu, he told us he even asked Praveen to bring us to his home. And he made an open invitation to his house in my next visit but it seems like it may not happen but few more days are still there and I am very optimistic.
When I posted these pics on FB immediately, I have so many likes and comments/compliments, I was very much overwhelmed emotionally. Out of most compliments I received are about his fine hand writing 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻
And there are many more memorable conversations ….
The impromptu conversations and the incidents I picked up to tell him that how much he is part of my life hopefully conveyed the message which reflects clearly in his message.