While the good old Latin adage “Veni, vidi, vici” (He came, he saw, he conquered) sings paens to eulogise the accomplishments of historic icons, in the wide spectrum of Telugu cinema, this phrase aptly describes Megastar Chiranjeevi.
Born Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad on August 22, 1955, the legendary actor took his first steps into the world of dreams called cinema with Punadhirallu in the late 1970s. On a path of loneliness with nobody to back him or pat him, the actor began taking baby steps with smaller roles.
Later, he started honing his skills in terms of acting and dancing, thereby carving a niche for himself in the Telugu filmdom with hard work, determination, unrelenting and persistent diligence. Then, Khaidi happened to release, which went on to break records and earned him unrivalled glory, besides amassing a huge fan-following.
And, there was no looking back for the megastar. Box offices learnt new lessons of sensational revenues in the wake of Chiru’s advent. Besides masterminding mass heroism, he also brilliantly affected a change in Telugu cinema with back-to-back hits, and literally ruled the silver screen in the ’80s and early ’90s.
Despite the tough competition, Chiranjeevi managed to compel viewers to dance to his tunes and steps. He was also one of the first heroes to take risks and attempt action sequences without dupes which catapulted him into the numero uno position. No wonder, then, that two decades ago, a national magazine flaunted his supremacy over Indian cinema with a title ‘Bigger than Bachchan’ on the cover page.
It was a time when Chiranjeevi bulldozed the theatres with his maiden Hindi film Pratibandh.From then on, Chiranjeevi continued to set the cash registers ringing even in the north with his films dubbed into Hindi. His last outing, Khaidi no.150, is proof of his unfading charisma among the masses despite his absence on the silver screen for almost a decade.
Even some of the big heroes in the industry admit that they are ‘just weekly heroes, rather Friday heroes but not the virtual pullers of the masses’ and only Chiranjeevi can achieve that feat. The trade pundits find it difficult to trace a hero to uphold the legacy that chiranjeevi leaves behind him. With a monopolistic reign of more than 40 years over theatres and box offices, Chiranjeevi, very triumphantly, laid several milestones with an inscription of ‘The Last Emperor’ on them.