Friday, March 21, 2008

Sobhan Babu: An Icon in my life... joins the immortals

In everyone's life there will be someone we admire for most part of the life who is not a part of the family. Someone who brought lot of joy into your childhood, someone, who made you look forward to tomorrow. For me, it was Sobhan Babu, the immortal telugu movie star who passed away on March 20th, 2008.

For someone who didn't belong to 70s & 80s, it will be hard to digest most his movies. In fact, most of the telugu movies older than few years will feel absurd if we watch them today. So, we need to accept the fact that the greatness of most of his movies pertained to those years. Of course, he has lot of ever green movies and most of them belong to B&W era. One gem of a movie in which his acting skills are at pinnacle of glory is Malle Puvvu which fortunately belonged to the colorful days. He is considered a trend-setter in telugu movies. Even to this day many family movies are described as Sobhan Babu Style movie if hero had to deal with two heroins.

I still have a memory of a scene from Minor Babu in which he wins a car race. I probably was around 5-6 years than. That movie instantly made him my favorite movie star. For rest of my life, I ended up looking forward to his movies.

When I see my 8-year old son collecting Pokemon Cards these days, I recollect my childhood when I used to collect his pictures from several Telugu magazines. While I was studying in Nallapadu - Loyola Public School, I sneaked out to his movie "Manavadu Mahaneeyyudu" to see first day morning show. Later, I was caught by my warden who smacked me in front of 300+ students. While I felt humiliated that night, it later ended up being one of the sweetest moments of my life. I loved the feeling that I crossed all lines to enjoy his movie the first day. I once wrote him a letter telling him how much I like to see his movies and asked him to send me a picture of his family. He promptly sent me a picture which was signed by him. Too bad I lost that picture.

When I came out of boarding school to do inter in Vijayawada Siddhartha College, I felt like a free bird to watch as many movies as I want. My life until then, was strictly limited to watching around 6-8 movies per year. Those 2 years in Vijayawada are not only Golden Years of my movie watching but also happened to be part of Golden Year's for Sobhan Babu which started for him right when I was in 8th standard with the movie Malle puvvu.

During those two years, I enjoyed some of his best movies like Devalayam, Illalu Priyaralu, Bava Maradhallu, Jackie, Illalu Korikalu, Mundhadugu, etc. I watched some of them around 10-times. In fact, my weekend destination always had to be Kalyan Chakravarthi Theater in Vijayawada which was main theater for Lakshmi Chitra Films which distributed lot of Sobhan Babu's movies in those days. I also happened to watch lot of his great old movies during those years in suburban theaters. I also happened to see him for the first and only time when he was shooting for Jagan movie. Later when I went to see that movie in theater, I enjoyed throwing money at the screen just before the interval scene in which he rocks.

I was one of the few Sobhan Babu fans to openly admire him as many were shy to admit their craze for him as he was considered more a family hero unlike NTR, and Krishna who were action hero's.

As recently as 3 years back when I went to India, my sister made an appointment to meet him in person. I had a lazy afternoon with jet lag and I canceled it. What a missed opportunity! I will always look back to that day for missing out a great chance to meet my icon who brought so much joy into my childhood. Again last year, my sister asked me if I want to meet him. Me and my aunt thought we will make appointment to meet him after we are done with shopping. I was so excited that I will capture him on my new Sony HD Camcorder and Sony Alpha DSLR. Unfortunately, I missed out on that chance again as I got lost in shopping. These two missed opportunities to be with my childhood icon will haunt me for rest of my life as no one else had brought so much excitement into my early years like he did. Sunil Gavaskar was a distant second in bringing excitement into my childhood with his cricketing skills.

I am going to indulge myself in his movies during my retirement years to remind myself of many nostalgic moments in my life.

If I have to pick one movie from his 100s of great movies for someone to see, it will be Malle Puvvu. Listen to some great lyrics here


Related Links:
A Complete Planned Life
All About his Soggadu
One of his last interviews to
Sobhan Babu Profile
Sobhan Babu - Hyderabad Box-office Moghul
Sobhan Babu - Sarada Combination


Tummala Vijaya Bhaskar said...


Your post is heart touching. We are also like you ardent fans. Please visit and join us by registering your name in the discussion board.

ఆకెళ్ల ఆలోచనలు said...

your post is good, and heart touching, did u go throu the book SHOBHANBABU JEEVITHA CHARITRA- PARUGU AAPADAM OKA KALA

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