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'Life is a lesson for me and I learnt from each obstacle'

 Tanikella Bharani
Tanikella Bharani

Muscat: For South Indian film buffs, Tanikella Bharani is a next-door character actor par excellence. Bharani is a screenwriter, poet, playwright and director who did films in south Indian languages and Hindi. He has acted in more than 750 films, including some in Tamil, Kannada and Hindi. He was also a screenwriter for 52 films, and won three Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards. Bharani made his acting debut with the Telugu film ‘Ladies Tailor’ in 1985.

Tanikella Bharani was in Oman recently to take part in a function organised by Chiru Mega Youth Force. Fascinated by the beauty of Muscat, Bharani said, “I was astonished to see the way this beautiful city is built in a desert. It is just beyond our imagination.”

This is his second visit to Oman, and this time he travelled to Suhar by road and was awestruck by the road network.

Though he hailed from a literary family, he had his own share of struggles, ups-and-downs and finally success in the film world. “My life is a lesson for me and I learnt from each obstacle.”

“There are numerous incidents during my initial journey in films and can be written in a book. They may look fascinating to others... but for me it was a struggle for survival. In a way all those hardships made me strong to face any situation in life.”

Talking about his roles in movies, Bharani said he preferred to do negative roles as there is no need to act in those roles as many of us are villains in day-to-day life. In a negative role an actor gets connected to the audience, whereas in a positive character the actor has hardly any role to perform. Many heroes did negative roles and became stars as audiences like negative roles more than positive ones, whether done by heroes or villains.

“As an actor we should accept all types of roles, and what is available or given by the director we should be able to play that role.”

Speaking about an incident when he was rejected for a role by director Maniratnam, Bharani said that was the saddest part of my life... but I moved on. One needs problems in life to learn. Invite problems, but pray to God to give strength to face those problems.

After many years of this incident, the same director Maniratnam called me and asked me to write the dialogues (Telugu) for the movie PS1 (Ponniyin Selvan I). “I just gave him a draft and Maniratnam immediately told me to finish the work.”

While shooting for PS1, Maniratnam told Bharani that for the first time I am attempting this type of movie and the inspiration for this is from Telugu director SS Rajamouli.

“I don’t have any big ambition in life. I take life as it comes and try my best in whatever I do. If there is one role I would like to do, it would be Shakuni's role from mythology. Many great people write their life stories or ask others to write, but I want to tell my life story as a narrative, and soon I will be doing it. "

Talking about today’s youth and marriage, Bharani said many youngsters are not interested in taking responsibility, and definitely films have an effect on their thinking. Many youngsters are influenced by movies. “Don’t expect a film-maker to send a good message to the audience. They invest millions to make profits, and of course these days only negativity sells and even viewers are looking for that. Look at the TV serials... day in and day out serials are churning out negativity in the society.”

About social media and its effect on our lives, Bharani said social media is like a double-edged weapon. “If used in a proper way it helps us, otherwise it will damage the entire society.”

Talking about the Telugu film industry, he said today the industry is in top position, and even top Bollywood actors are yearning to act in Telugu films. “I feel Telugu industry will reach even greater heights in near future.”

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