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Bollywood Baptism in Telugu films
- Uttara Kumari B
3 sankranthi films

Most of the top stars of yesteryears had their baptism in Telugu films. From Waheeda Rehman, Rekha, Hema Malini to the recent ones including Anil Kapoor to Keerti Reddy.

Beautiful Waheeda made her debut in the Telugu film Rojulu Marayi in the early fifties. She dances her way into audience hearts with her foot tapping number Yeruwaka Saagalo …. This tune inspired such greats like SD Burman and Chitra Gupta. SA Burman came out with an Asha Bhonsle number Dekhne Mein Bhola Kya Hain … from Bambai Ka Babu. Chitra Gupta used Lata Mangeshkar's soft voice for the song Rang dilki dhadkan bhi. Guru Dutt's friend who saw the Telugu film was so fascinated by Waheeda's natural beauty that he recommended her for CID. The Guru Dutt - Waheeda Rehman pair went on to become cinegoer's delight.

Hema Malini, the star who ruled Hindi filmdom for two decades, faced the arc lights for the first time in … you would not guess … a mythological film. Titled Pandava Vanavasam, which had stalwarts like NT Rama Rao and Savitri, young Hema appeared as a lead dancer in a song meant to entertain Dhuryodhana. She was barely sixteen then. Much later Sapnom Ka Saudagar happened. In the seventies, Hema again appeared in a dance number in yet another Telugu mythological film Sri Krishna Vijayam.

Madam Re as Rekha is known today, started her career as a child artist in a Telugu film like Rangula Ratnam. In Rekha's case, her mother tongue is Telugu. Her beautiful mother Pushpavalli is a rage in forties. Her first lead role was too for a Telugu film. And guess who her Hero was? Krishnam Raju, the present Minister of State for Defense. The film was Amma Kosam, produced by Anjali Devi. Sawan Bhadon followed much later.

Zarina Wahab, who stole Hindi cinegoer's heart with Chitchor, first donned greasepaint for, yes, a Telugu film. This Rajahmundry lass paired with superstar Krishna in Gajula Krishnaiah, which was a runaway hit. Since she clicked in a big way in Hindi films, she confined herself to Hindi films.

Not many know that the talent powerhouse Sanjeev Kumar acted in a Telugu film. The actor paired with Sarada in the film Urvashi. Sarada, the thrice national award winning actress, played a double role in that film.

The 'real hero' Nayak Anil Kapoor learnt all about lights, action and camera from artist-cum-director Bapu. Bapu gave him his break in Vamsa Vriksham. Anil then appeared in a Kannada film Pallavi - Anupallavi, directed by Mani Ratnam. In the Hindi Woh Sath Din, again it was Bapu who gave Anil's career a boost.

Keerti Reddy, the happening heroine, made her bow with a bang in Telugu flop Gunshot apposite Ali. Then came a sensational hit Toli Prema with Pawan Kalyan, which has been remade in Hindi as Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hain.

End of 'Bollywood baptism in Telugu films''
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