Dasari Narayana Rao, a true legend and a people’s man. That’s what we know about him today. We have always seen him talk harsh about the circumstances and never fear about anyone. Was he always the same?
For the answer, we need to dwell deep into his career. He is the man of his words even when he started out. He believed in few principles and never gave up on them. For him, his written word is divine. He never took someone’s criticism over it for unjust reasons or just because they were bigger in stature to him. One day, during his earlier writing days, he wrote a line, “Kunti Kukka mida Kobbari Kaya Padattu (It’s like a coconut has fallen on a limping dog)” Suryakantham, the legendary actress wanted the line to be changed to “Mulige Nakka mida Thatipandu Padattu (It’s like being hit by a strong stone while the fox is already bruised)”. Dasari did not heed to her demand. He thought the line was perfect and even the entire unit could not convince him otherwise. When producers entered he gave up on the movie and asked them hire another one who will adhere to all their demands. Finally, Suryakantham decided to go with his line and finished the shoot.
Another instance is that SV Ranga Rao found the monologue written for him in the climax for a film, Dasari directing bit too long and asked him to shorten it. Dasari once again did not heed. Unable to control his anger, SVR threw the props and walked out of the set. After an hour or so, he came back to shoot and completed the scene. Dasari Narayana Rao, offered to show him the rushes and asked him to decide if he was wrong. SVR appreciated his guts and praised his judgement. He told to everyone, “This is how a director should be!”
Such was Dasari Narayana Rao’s strong will. He never let another’s ride over his beliefs. It’s common and casual to drink at a party but Dasari never touched the alcohol. If anyone forced him, he kept away from it. He never allowed people to drink on his sets and one day, at a party organised by Production house in their office, Dasari just went to a silent room and started writing dialogues. Lyricist and writer, Vitoori offered him a glass, but Dasari smoothly rejected it. To convince him, Vitoori said if you don’t drink you’ll never become a director. Dasari replied, “If I will ever drink alcohol I will stop writing and leave Madras immediately. I don’t care about anything other than my principles!”