Calm, laidback and recluse — national award winning director Praveen Sattaru remembers his college life more for the fun that he had with his friends and the different experiences, rather than academics alone. The director pursued Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bharat Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai, and says his college experience was a memorable one. “College obviously opened me up to a lot of things. Studying in Chennai itself was a new experience — like sharing an apartment with friends and living away from home,” he says.
While he made plenty of friends in college, Sattaru admits that he tried to avoid any interaction with his professors. “My equation with professors was almost non-existent. I used to avoid talking to them. I was a bit of a recluse and a bit low on confidence at that point of time,” he recalls.
A man of many personalities, Sattaru, whose film Chandamama Kathalu won the National Award for the Best Feature Film in Telugu (2014), says he exhibited different qualities when inside a classroom and outside of it. “I was an introvert in class and an extrovert outside. Even with my family, I’m an introvert but it’s not the case when I’m with my friends. In college, I had the image of a go-getter,” he reveals.
Sattaru, who had previously directed films like Life Before Wedding and Routine Love Story, recalls a particular incident from his college days, “Five of us decided to go on a road trip to Mahabalipuram (near Chennai). Three of us knew how to ride while the rest did not. The guys who were new to riding were keen to ride, so we let them. One of them met with an accident. It was a very narrow escape as they almost got run over by a truck. While the bike was severely damaged, my friends escaped without a single scratch. We were quite shaken by the incident and most of them said we should call off the trip and go back home. I, on the other hand, felt that having got so far, we mustn’t let an accident ruin the whole trip. We went ahead with a repaired (only just) bike and had a good time.”
However, the story doesn’t end there as there was plenty of drama still in store, Sattaru says. “We came back to the city and went to watch an average film called Mere Do Anmol Ratan. At midnight, we had food at a roadside stall and when we were driving back to our apartment at 2 am, the police checked us. I was riding a bike with two pillion-riders. I saw the policeman trying to stop us, and I knew biking from Andhra Pradesh, if we stopped, they’re were going to skim money off us. So I slowed the bike down and as soon as the cop relaxed, I took off. The cop hit my friend sitting at the back with his lathi. He didn’t say anything, but upon after reaching home, we saw that he was badly bruised. We were quite startled,” he explains, adding that the incident still remains vivid in his memory and also taught him not to ride triples ever again.
Sattaru credits his college experience for shaping him into the person that he is today. His next is Guntur Talkies, currently in pre-production stage