Relangi Venkata Ramaiah gaaru (1910-1975) is the iconic comedian of the Telugu film Industry.
He was a multi-faceted personality who had a great sense of comic timing, could easily stand up to all stalwarts. He starred in over 130 movies and roles were specially written for him and people flocked to see him. His performances are greatly enjoyed till date even after decades.
Relangi was synonymous with Comedy in Tollywood during his era.
1. THE STAR COMEDIAN.
Relangi Venkata Ramaiah or popularly known as Relangi, the super Telugu comedian of the past, was paid at par with the lead actors of the film!
He was the first comedian in Indian history to be honored with “Padmasri” Award.
2. RELANGI THE SINGER!
Relangi was a good playback singer too! There were songs written specially for him to meet audience expectations!
3. MULTI-TALENTED, INDEED.
Relangi had a very good music sense and played the harmonium well! Missamma showcases his sense of rhythm as you can see in songs ‘seetharam seetharam’ , ‘avunante kadanile’, ‘dharmam chey babu’.
4. THE STORY TELLER!
No. He did not stop with just singing and playing the harmonium.
Relangi was also a trained ‘Harikatha’ exponent.
5. PURE TALENT.
Relangi’s popularity touched new heights when he played a breezy comic-lead opposite then superstar Anjali Devi in “Pakkinti Ammayi” in 1953.
6. DESPITE THE ODDS!
As Telugu movies were shot at Kolkata in those days, Relangi, who suffered from utter poverty, had a harrowing time travelling all the way from his native place Kakinada. Yet he did what he was passionate about.
7. A MAN WHO KNEW HIS ROOTS.
Relangi knew what it meant to be hungry! After he achieved name and fame, not to forget, good money, he always made it a point to feed people whenever required. He had an open house which catered to the needs of less fortunate people, be they relatives or strangers!
8. DOWN TO EARTH, MUCH?
Relangi was known to possess extraordinary generosity. He never hesitated to offer to junior artistes a joy ride on his posh car!
9. HOW LIFE TREATED HIM.
Relangi often jested about the irony of Life! He remarked that he cannot enjoy good, rich food due to ill-health and medically imposed restrictions! He often remarked, tongue-in-cheek, that when he was a pauper he had hunger and no resources to appease it and when he has umpteen reosurces, he could not eat!
10. SUCH WAS HIS TALENT.
There is a popular tale about a close acquaintance’s funeral which he had to attend. As usual, due to his immense popularity, people flocked the funeral grounds and the sad part of the tale is they burst out laughing when Relangi burst into tears at the funeral!
Southie : Medha Muralidhar.