Balu was almost in tears listening to this harsh conversation and asked his friend to back off and let us go back.
But Murali did not perturb. He said, “ You keep these two bicycles and this guy also here. I will go inside and get permission from any officials there and bring them here for proof.”
Watchman continued, “Are you planning to go inside by yourself and see the studio with this excuse. Sorry, I am not going to send you in.”
Murali requested, “ Please give me ten minutes time. I will go inside. After that I wouldn’t object whatever you would do!”.
Finally the watchman agreed and Murali raced inside the studio and intimated the production people about the delay. The production manager said, “Oh no! We have been worried about Balu all the while. It is almost time for the recording. We have been wondering where Balu has been!” and came near the gate to take Balu in.
When Kodandapani saw Balu he got very furious. He started scolding Balu non-stop saying, “What is this Balu? This is your first chance to sing. Don’t you know you have to be here in time? Senior singers were waiting all the while here. Even the 40 musicians are ready! I sent exclusively car for you, and you come one and half hour late?”.
Balu said in an undertone, “Sir, the car did not come at all..”
A surprised Kodandapani said,” What! The driver Gopi started for your place even before 1PM!” . Gopi is none other than Padmanabham’s assistant and his driver as well.
At the precise moment, Gopi arrived saying that as he was on the way to Balu’s room, he met with an accident by hitting an auto. After admitting the injured in hospital , he was delayed!
Knowing what exactly happened, Kodandapani cooled down and rushed Balu inside the recording theatre. Padmanabham blessed Balu and told him that if the song is approved they will keep Balu’s version but if it is not, the song may be replaced by another singer. But he assured that Balu would get paid for the singing. Balu got terrified and was determined to sing his very first playback song perfectly. Thanks to the long days of rehearsal of the song, Balu could sing with courage.
After waiting with bated breath, Balu’s first ever playback song was approved and the senior singers Suseela, P.B.Srinivas and Raghuramayya congratulated him and gave him compliments that he has a bright future. With a turbulent start for a first playback song, Balu never looked back in his film singing career right from then!
The rest of the story is well known to every Telugu person with Balu becoming one of the most celebrated singers and versatile film personalities in not only Tollywood but also in Indian Film Arena. There can be only one verstaile playback singer like Balu and he still continues to prove it with his memorable renditions.
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