Chiru Birthday spl Article

Three decades after Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad pursued a dream and realised it too, he is now walking in an unusual territory only this

time he is unsure if this too would be a chart buster he has become habitual of delivering.

Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad, fondly and popularly known as Chiranjeevi has demonstrated that he is a meticulous planner, executing his plans gradually, but certainly, his eyes fixed on his goal.

But just who is this man who has a mega fan club devoted to him, who has caused scores of young hearts miss multiple beats with his antics on the silver screen and is now making political bigwigs wonder if he is a threat to them, their popularity.

The Wonder Years

Well, for starters, Chiranjeevi was born in a lower middle class family to Konidela Venkat Rao and Anjana Devi, the oldest child of this humble middle class family, his father a lower-level functionary in the excise department. Born in Mogalthur village in West Godavari district on August 22, 1955, Chiranjeevi (it is said that he changed his name to Chiranjeevi after he dreamt of somebody addressing him by that name) moved several towns in his childhood as his father's job was a transferable one. And it was while he was in school that he was bitten by the acting bug. But he wasn't in a hurry to realise his starry dreams. After completing intermediate at P R Sharma Junior College at Ongole, he studied for a commerce degree at Y N College at Narsapur.

Soon after, he moved to Chennai (then Madras) but did not try his hand in big bad world of films right away. Much like his preparation to join politics, a young Chiranjeevi then enrolled for a course in acting. With an acting diploma under his belt, he soon signed his first film in 1978. For the next three decades Chiranjeevi only grew to such dizzy heights that even as he dreams the CM's role, nobody is quite calling him presumptuous.

Chiranjeevi married Surekha, daughter of Allu Ramalingaiah, an actor subscribing to the left ideology, in 1980.
Chiranjeevi has perhaps had things not too difficult, so far. He became a star overnight after the release of Pranam Khareedu . He was on a signing spree and gave up the life that existed outside the film industry. "I got completely sucked into films. The going was both good and tough but I could not let down the guard," Chiranjeevi often said.
A smart planner, Chiranjeevi wanted to carve out a niche for himself. And thus was born the ‘dancer' star. If certain ‘exercises' of some big stars then had passed off as dances, Chiranjeevi changed the rules of the game.

He was the producers' dream star package: acting talent, dance with a dash of humility and availability. Here was their hero.

From Hero To Megastar

A string of hits catapulted the five-feet-nine-inches tall Chiranjeevi to superstardom. The chemistry he shared with his heroines and the attitude that he displayed on screen earned him accolades and offers. Khaidi was a huge hit and so were movies like Challenge . His swelling fan numbers started calling him supreme hero. But soon he outgrew himself. There were hits in the form of Gang Leader and Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari .

Around the time some magazine referred to him as a ‘Megastar' and that adjective stuck.

When the movie Marana Mridangam was released, Chiranjeevi was projected as the ‘megastar'. Not that he liked being showered with such titles but Chiranjeevi had to give in to requests of producers to tag megastar to his name.
However, the ‘megastar' tag didn't do wonders to the fate of his releases. His fans, now in lakhs, were disappointed with many of his films bombing.

In what was hitherto unknown, Chiranjeevi took the bold step of not signing any film for a year. "I just sat at home and whiled away my time. I needed time to think and come to terms with myself. Mistakes could not be repeated," the actor told a huge gathering of fans at the Annapurna Studios during the launch of Hitler after a break in 1997.

Chiru was back with a bang with a spate of hits, many in recent years such as Indra , Tagore and Shankardada MBBS .

After his last film Shankardada Zindabad in 2007, Chiranjeevi once again took a break.

He has not launched another film. With politics on his mind, Chiranjeevi had started scripting a new role for himself.
Father of two daughters, Sushmita and Srija, and one son, Ram Charan Tej, who was launched as a hero in 2007, Chiranjeevi has two brothers, Nagendra Babu and Pawan Kalyan, are also actors.

Sculpting A Future Role

Chiranjeevi has perhaps been carefully creating a larger than life image of himself - much bigger than one sees of him on the 70 mm screen. Could this have been with an intention to jump into politics one day? After all, it is not just in the last few months that one has heard of Chiranjeevi wanting to make a foray into politics. Besides, while most actors have restricted themselves to lending a helping hand to people in the state occasionally, Chiranjeevi started a full-fledged blood bank and inspired his numerous fans to donate blood. The incentive? A picture with the star himself, who visits the blood bank regularly. More than a lakh such fans have donated blood.

Then there are more such humane touches for fans. When Tagore was released, three of Chiranjeevi's fans died in mishaps in Rajahmundry.

A fan died due to electric shock when he climbed a pole to decorate a cutout of the actor. The actor sent his wife Surekha to distribute a compensation of Rs six lakh among the families of the deceased. Another Rs 2 lakh was announced for a family of a fan who was killed in Guntur district. With Mother Teresa as his role model and her picture is not only seen in his house but also his initiatives. The Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust which runs the blood bank and eye bank was started with her inspiration.

Besides, movies Chiranjeevi did in recent years indicate that the actor was trying to develop an image of a social reformer. Indra for example. The movie is about faction feuds in the Rayalaseema region. With his powerful dialogues and action, Chiranjeevi offered a solution to the problems - development and forgiveness. In Tagore the actor fought corruption. In Stalin , Chiranjeevi carried forward a goodwill message.


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