A writer should tell only the truth: Jnanpith awardee - The New Indian Express

A writer should tell only the truth: Jnanpith awardee

Published: 18th April 2013 08:15 AM

Last Updated: 18th April 2013 08:15 AM

Ravuri Bharadwaja, the latest Jnanpith awardee and third Telugu to be so, is too modest to boast of his genius. 

His modest background and close observation of people and society, moulded him into a good writer but he never dreamt that the nation’s highest and most prestigious literary award would come his way. Born in a very poor family, he experienced abject poverty and pangs of hunger.

He did odd jobs to eke out a living before becoming a journalist and staffer at All India Radio. MS Reddy produced the film, “O Prema Katha”, in 1987 based on Bharadwaja’s story “Karimingina Velagapandu”.

Bharadwaja’s friend and writer Undela Malakonda Reddy says: “Bharadwaja’s prose is more telling than his poetry. His Jeevana Samaralu, a sketch on different caste professions, is a marvellous work.”

The pride of the Telugu literary world  shares his thoughts with Express. Here are a few glimpses:

You have been selected for the nation’s  highest literary award. How do you feel about it?

When a boy falls in love with a girl, he dreams bout it. But I have no love for awards and I never dreamt about this.

What is the inspiration for your writings?

The hunger and poverty I experienced. I moved with people closely and understood their problems. This facilitated my writings to most extent.

What is the inspiration for the award-winning novel, Pakudu Rallu?

As a journalist I used to interview film personalities _ heroes, heroines and others. I watched from close quarters how they behave and came to know about many murky tales in the tinsel world. Pakudu Rallu is a graphic account of life behind the celluloid.

Among your 178-odd books, which are your favourites?

Jeevana Samaram, Kadambari, Pakudu Rallu. Of course, it does not mean that the other writings are not my favourites.

You have penned children’s literature like Keelu Gurram and how is it different from other works?

Children only need to be told the truth. I tried to tell the truth in a lucid  language and in a beautiful manner.

Who are your favourite writers?

Pingali Surana, Chalam, Gopichand,  Pathabhi, Prem Chand, Kodavatiganti are among them.

What hardships have you faced in life?

I studied up to eighth standard. Some told me that I would become a useless fellow and even end up as a beggar. Ironically those who insulted me obtained their master’s degrees later by studying and researching on my works.

What is your advice to upcoming writers?

They must have social awareness and mingle with people. They should tell only the truth in their writings.

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