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'I have never dreamt of Jnanpith'

Highlights

Soon after the prestigious Jnanpith Award was announced for noted Telugu writer Dr Ravuri Bharadwaja, he was...

awar2Soon after the prestigious Jnanpith Award was announced for noted Telugu writer Dr Ravuri Bharadwaja, he was flooded with numerous congratulatory calls and visits from the literature fraternity, friends and relatives. "I have never even dreamt of Jnanpith, leave alone expect the award. It continues to feel like a dream," he says, responding to the announcement of the prestigious award.

Ravuri studied only up to Class VII and did odd jobs to make a living. Whatever knowledge and wisdom that he has gained is from a life full of struggles. As such, same struggles found their way into his writings. A Ravuri has written over 150 books including short stories, children's literature, essays, biographies etc. He has penned four books in memory of his deceased wife.

His novel 'Paakudu Raallu' exposes the dark side of the Telugu film industry, while 'Jeevana Samaram' � a compilation of his columns �showcase the lives of people from down-trodden sections of the society. They along with Kadambari are his favourites amongst his many books. "They also remind me of my wife. When I see and hear these stories, they remind me of my struggles and my wife who had been with me during my difficult days.

I wish she was there to share my joy," he says in an exclusive interview to Rajeshwari Kalyanam at his residence. Excerpts:

You have written plays, novels, stories and many other forms of writing. Which one has been the most challenging for you? Alexander said that the world is small for a winner. For a person with a desire to write, everything is possible. However, radio plays were very difficult as I had to write in a particular format, meeting the expectations of directors.

Who inspired you to take to writing? Tripuraneni Gopichand, Kodavaganti Kutumba Rao and Chalam have indirectly been my inspiration.

Can you share with us any unforgettable memories? There are many and I cannot forget them and they are too harsh to relate.

What do you have to say about the critics who call your writings too plain? As one gets closer to real life, the language obviously gets closer to reality. You cannot adorn harsh realities with flowery language.

Many say that your character Manjari of 'Pakudu Raallu' is inspired by Mahanati Savitri? How far is it true?

Most of it is true (smiles with a twinkle in the eye). There are many more instances that can come to light with real names, however, only when you can read my diary after I am no more.

What do you have to say about your predecessors who received the Jnanpith award before you? Viswanatha Satyanarayana wrote what he thought was truth and followed what he wrote. Cinare wrote what he thought people would like to read and people enjoyed reading him. And I wrote what my bosses wanted me to write, be it the publications I worked for, or All India Radio.

There is a feeling Telugu writers are overlooked when it comes to Jnanpith award? Well, for around five years before Viswanatha Satyanarayana got the award there were a few literary people from here who made trips to ensure he did not get it. If this has been the state of affairs, how can we expect Telugu writers to get prestigious national awards?

What do you think of the current generation of writers? Do you have any message for them? I cannot comment on new age writing as I have not been able to read much due to ill health. And I cannot give an honest message to these young writers. There was a time when I had written stories to fill pages; I had written for money and there were stories of mine published in some other's name. When there is no honesty within me, how can I give advice to these writers.

IJU, APUWJ hail award for Bharadwaja Hyderabad: The Indian Journalists' Union (IJU) and the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) on Wednesday congratulated Ravuri Bharadwaja for winning the Jnanpith Award. Secretary general of IJU D Amar, APUWJ president D Somasundar and general secretary Y Narender Reddy in a statement said that it was a matter of pride that Bharadwaja was the third Telugu after Vishwanatha Satyanarayana and Dr C Narayan Reddy to bag the award.

Cinare happy "Ravuri is a simple person and good with his work. He struggled hard to earn a few bucks to lead a simple life," said Narayana. To flourish as a writer, he had been working all through his life. Jnanapith adds colour to his literary talent," he remarked.

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