The pre-release function of Superstar Mahesh Babu's Maharshi, 25th film for the actor, was a grand carnival for his fans. The star actor utilised the platform to thank all the filmmakers who've made memorable films with him in two decades of his career. But, the major missing was the director Puri Jagannath, whose Pokiri earned him a huge fan base and undoubtedly made him the biggest box-office star in Tollywood.
Mentioning everyone's name, the actor thanked all his directors one after the other - starting with Raghavendra Rao. He said: "Firstly, I must thank Raghavendra Rao garu for introducing me and I am always indebted to him. Krishna Vamsi garu (Murari) for believing in my acting skills. The film that made me a star - Okkadu, and I cannot forget to thank director Gunasekhar sir. And, the movie which took me closer to family and US audiences is Athadu and I must thank Trivikram Srinivas for choosing me.
If I had to pick a turning point in my life, it certainly is Dookudu and I must convey my gratitude to Srinu Vaitla for that. Later, I should thank Koratala Siva garu for two great opportunities- Srimanthudu and Bharath Ane Nenu. And now, my 25th film director- Vamsi Paidipally." Having worked with Puri Jagannath on two films, Pokiri and Businessman, the actor specifically should have mentioned his name. But, Mahesh missing Puri's name has led to a wide discussion on social media.
However, as soon as Mahesh realised that Puri was missed in his brief speech, the actor took to Twitter saying: "Missed mentioning an important person in my speech today. In my 25 films journey, it was #Pokiri that made me a Superstar. Thank you so much @purijagan !!! Thanks for giving me Pokiri. A film that will always be remembered."
We all know the heights Mahesh Babu escalated after the blockbuster success of Pokiri. So, in the first place, missing his name had not gone down well with some Puri fans. With this clarification straight from Mahesh himself, the debate on this issue should certainly reach an end.