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  • Birth NameJandhyala Subramanya Sastry
  • Date of birth Jan 14th, 1951
  • Birth Place Narsapur, India
  • Occupation Director

"Navvatam Oka Bhogam, Navvinchatam Oka Yogam, Navvalekapovatam Oka Rogam!"

Did You
know

Every film of Jandhyala garu has atleast one classical oriented or a beautiful melody song.

Overview

Telugu Cinema has to be considered very fortunate to have wonderful comedy element in it thanks to one gentleman called Jandhyala Garu. The innovative words coined by him, the characters in his movies with peculiar behavior which remains to be remembered even till date, the dialogues which came from his wonderful thoughts and what not? He has done unforgettable contribution to the so called “Comedy” Era of Telugu Cinema and his movies will be remembered until people who understand the comic sense in his movies forget to laugh!

Navvatam Oka Bhogam, Navvinchatam Oka Yogam, Navvalekapovatam Oka Rogam!

Translation: To be able to laugh is a pleasurable luxury, to make others laugh is an art and to be unable to laugh is a disease!!

These were the words said by Jandhyala garu himself- who followed them in his every film and in his life as well.
 
Personal Life:
Fondly called as “Hasya Brahma” by Tollywood, Jandhyala garu was born in Narsapuram on 16th January 1951 to Jandhyala Narayana Murthy. He was married to Annapurna garu and the couple had twin daughters namely-  Sahithi and Sampada.
His sudden demise in June 2001 was a shock to many of his fans, which is still considered to be a huge loss to Telugu Cinema.

Career:
Jandhyala garu was very much interested in mythological plays right from his childhood days, and he earned several prizes for his stage performances.  He studied Bachelors of Commerce in SRR College , Vijayawada and it was when he started writing many stage plays as well.  His first penned play was “Atmahuthi” which was followed by much more popular Ek Din Ka Sultan. This particular play was enacted on stage thousands of times – which itself says the tremendous writing power which was churning from Jandhyala garu right from then! These plays were reprinted more than 10 times and his association with actors like Sutthi Veerabhadra Rao, Subbaraya Sarma , Music director Madhavapeddi Suresh dates back right from those days. 

Jandhyala garu never really planned out his film career or wanted to come to Film industry. After his studies he planned to become a Charted Accountant  and arrived in Chennai to get trained for the exams. As dramatic as it can be, Jandhyala garu met Gummadi Venkateshwara Rao (A noted character actor of Telugu Cinema) at a stage play and the latter advised him to venture into Story writing.

He rose to prominence with mesmerizing “Praasa” dialogues in NTR’s Adavi Ramudu ( Praasa in Telugu means a grammatical form where the ending words have rhyming sound and at the same time carries certain meaning). The dialogues said by Rao Gopal Rao in this film are the sole reason for the film to become such a commercial hit in 70s.

Jandhyala’s association with Kala Tapasvi K.Vishwanath was not only mutually beneficial but also gave Telugu Cinema some fantastic films. This brilliant duo did wonders in Telugu Cinema during the early 80s when the language was getting forgotten through emerging western influence during that time. Some critics even feel that it is indeed Jandhyala who is the brain behind Vishwanath in movies such as Shankharabharanam through his dialogues throughout. Can any Telugu Person forget the popular “Music Class” scene or the “Lawyer” scene in ShankarabharaNam where Jandhyala garu added power to every character through the dialogues he wrote?  Shankarabharanam is best remembered for its comedy element- Thanks to Jandhyala garu’s witty yet powerful dialogues!

Sagara Sangamam is another ultimate classic which had Jandhyala garu in dialogues deparment and Vishwanath garu in direction. The film retains the comedy element throughout the runtime- just because of peculiar characters Jandhyala garu created in the film!

He debuted as a director with Mudda Mandaram (1981). But it was with Nalugu Sthambalata (1983) which got Jandhyala the much needed break as the director. He was established as a director who not only is well versed with Comedy subjects but also with serious issues relating to Youth of the 80s.  Incidentally, this film was based on a novel written by Jandhyala garu himself which was published in Swathi weekly before. He also proved to be a director with classy taste with wonderful songs as well as clean comedy which appeared after ages in Telugu Cinema then!This film introduced the legendary “Sutthi Duo” to Telugu Cinema- Namely Sutthi Veerabhadra Rao and Sutthi Velu – the Ultimate Comedy Treat which could be cherished for years to come! Naresh - The veteran comedy hero of Telugu Cinema,  worked for the first time ever with Jandhyala in this movie.

Jandhyala garu directed some serious themed films after this, namely Amarajeevi starring ANR, Jayaprada and Sharath Babu which also featured some good Comedy- despite the theme!  His next project was Ananda Bhairavi- dealing with Classical Dance and the untouchability factor prevailing in Indian Villages even till date. The movie is best remembered for legendary actor Girish Kharnad’s performance and the amazing comedy trio featuring Sutthi Veera Bhadra Rao, Sutthi Velu and Srilakshmi! Telugu Cinema started witnessing a mesmerizing transformation in the Comedy genre, where the characters are so perfectly crafted, and look so close to real life! Music for the film was another asset, which even raised a debate among audience so as to decide whether Ananda Bhairavi is better or Sitara (Which released in the same year!) .

Little did Telugu Audience knew that a Comedy Marathon named Srivariki Premalekha was coming next! The film is literally a laugh riot where every character has their own mark on the film- with a tinge of craziness along with passion about what they love! For example- Srilakshmi plays a role of a film obsessed wife of Nutan Prasad in the film. She is so determined to keep her passion alive- that she tells story of every film she watches, with annoying perfection! The film was a huge hit and was loved by Telugu Audience- in short, it was an out and out Comedy Film and at the same time showcases the Dowry issue in India- in a satirical note!
 
Jandhyala’s talent reached a pinnacle when he chose Chiranjeevi , who did mostly angry and serious roles till then for a full time Comedy role of James Pond (Panduranga Rao!) in Chantabbai. People laughed and laughed looking at Chiranjeevi in every frame, with his unique histrionics and the fun element was never lost throughout the film! Another experimental project done by Jandhyala garu was Padamati Sandhya Ragam- which was a love story between an orthodox Telugu Girl and an American guy, filmed mostly in USA! It was Jandhyala garu who could imagine the percussion legend Shivamani can act like an American for the film!

The comedy spree from Jandhyala garu continued with another record height- now with Rajendra Prasad starrer Aha Na Pellanta. The film introduced the king of laughter in Telugu Cinema- Brahmanandam to Telugu Audience! The extreme frugality of  Kota Srinivasa Rao’s character and his servant Aragundu (Brahmanandam)’s satire on his boss is a non-stop laughter treat for the audience!  Jandhyala garu was the only writer who could think of the comedy element even in the saddest of situations- here being : A servant inexplicably stuck with a frugal boss! 
Vivaha Bhojanambu, Choopulu Kalasina Subhavela,Hai Hai Nayaka, Jayammu Nischayammura, Bava Bava Panneru, Shh Gup Chup are some of the Comedy Classics which came from Jandhyala garu’s direction! He also made some out and out serious themed films such as Babai Hotel which featured Brahmanandam as the hero.

Though Jandhyala garu is more popular with the Comedy element in his films, he never missed out giving a valuable message in every film of his. He was one writer with social responsibility and knew how to express his thought very well to the common film goer!  The dialogues in his movies are so crisp and perfect in timing that they remain to be unforgettable even in the current fast paced era!

Besides being a phenomenal writer and director, Jandhyala garu is an excellent actor as well. His role in K.Vishwanath’s Apathbandhavudu is best remembered for the earthliness and excellent acting.  He is a brilliant dubbing artist as well- giving voice over for films like Chiranjeevi’s Aaradhana.  His association as dialogue writer with K.Raghavendra Rao is another noted one, dating back with Adavi Ramudu and continuing with blockbuster movie Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari.
 
Interesting Facts:
  • Jandhyala garu is extremely fond of the old classic “ Mayabazar”. Hence his films had the titles “Aha Na Pellanta” , “Chupulu Kalasina Subhavela” , “Vivaha Bhojanambu” , “Hai Hai Nayaka”, “Oho Na Pellanta” which are the song titles of Mayabazar album. The title cards of his films even feature the original black and white footage of these songs!
  • He introduced Brahmanandam, Sutthi Veerabhadra Rao, Sutthi Velu, Potti Prasad, Subbaraya Sharma and so on who not only are great comedians but fantastic actors.
  • Gave voice for dubbed version of Mani Ratnam’s Iddaru (Iruvar-Tamil Original) for the character of Prakash Raj. The indigenous touch given by Jandhyala garu through his voice is something never forgotten!
  • Only director who had the unique idea of keeping “Titla Dandakam” as a song in Shh Gup Chup. It was penned by the great lyricist Jonnavitthula.
  • E.V.V.Satyanarayana, who also took many comedy films later worked as an assistant to Jandhyala. In fact, the idea of the gender reversal in Mogudu Pellalu was suggested by EVV, which was later made by him as a full time movie- “Jamba Lakadi Pamba”.
  • Every film of Jandhyala garu has atleast one classical oriented or a beautiful melody song.
  • Many of the comedy film directors who made mark in Telugu Cinema later- Relangi Narasimha Rao, E.V.V.Satyanarayana and even the recent dialogue writer turned director Trivikiram have an unavoidable Jandhyala mark in many of their works
  • The only writer in Telugu Cinema venturing into Science Fiction- for Singeetham Srinivasa Rao’s Aditya 369 which dealt with Time Travel.
 
Padmashri: Government of India

Nandi Awards:
  • 1984, Nandi Award for Best Director - Ananda Bhairavi
  • 1987, Nandi Award for Best Story Writer - Padamati Sandhya Ragam
  • 1992, Nandi Award for Best Dialogue Writer - Aapathbandhavudu

Filmfare  Awards South:
  • 1984, Filmfare Best Director Award (Telugu) - Srivariki Premalekha
  • 1987, Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu - Padamati Sandhya Ragam

Other noted awards:
  • Madras Film Fans Award
  • Andhra Pradesh Film Journalists Award
  • Vijayawada Film Journalists Award
  • Vamsi Award
  • Kalasagar Award
  • Andhra Pradesh Cinegoers Award


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