Maharshi – The man & his movie

I’ve known him for quite a while now. As an actor & more importantly as a person. It may be presumptious or even audacious on my part to say that I KNOW Mahesh Babu as a person because I’ve probably met him only half a dozen times face-to-face. Both of us played the same roles each time – He, as an actor and I, as a writer. And yet, in those one-on-ones, I’ve had the privilege of peeking into his soul or so I would like to think.

Why I believe I’ve seen his soul primarily is because his eyes say it all. The world famous smiling eyes speak a language that is genuine. Actors have to be pretenders, they say but this man is anything but that off screen. His Social Media handle `urstrulymahesh’ states the fact. His earnestness & honesty as an actor, as a son, as a husband, as a father, as an employer, come through in everything he does.

He has seen heights of success with blockbusters, he has also hit lows with super duds. When Pokiri shattered box office records, he chose to take off for introspection while anybody in his place would have gone on a signing spree. But when his much eagerly awaited big ticket films flopped miserably, he chose to bounce back with a super hit. Always, mind you, always following his heart that believes that cinema can be a change agent even while it entertains in every frame.

So that is his secret. After having established himself as a superstar, he chose the path of commercial meaningful cinema. The last two outings especially Srimanthudu & Maharshi have spawned a movement. Of making a difference, making a statement that all of us have a social responsibility. By following through with his personal endeavour in the social work space that works in villages.

Beside every successful human being is their life partner. In Mahesh’s case, he doesn’t see beyond Namrata whom he trusts implicitly to hand over the reins of his work & home. On her part, she stands by him like the proverbial Rock of Gibraltar enriching his life in every aspect and in all angles.

The next film of his should actually feature Namrata as his life partner on screen and be titled `ardhanareeswara’ because they’re truly one soul in 2 bodies. The perfect Yin for the Yang. But then that’s just my wishful thinking. I’ve known and worked with Namrata more closely than I have with Mahesh because she is my go-to person for all things Mahesh & all things her.

I’ve never met or interacted with a more down-to-earth star wife than her. Simple (inside out), uncomplicated, zero airs and so so real. Also the reason why I know that my wish of seeing them together on screen will remain just that – a wish. She will never, ever seek limelight on screen because she is the light in which Mahesh Babu shines and dazzles the world. If she moves even a wee bit, his work may not see the light of the day the way it does now.

Here’s to Indian cinema’s most real couple – Namrata & Mahesh… Let’s raise a toast to Maharshi & his Maharani. Well, that was just for the rhyme. She will laugh herself silly when she reads this one. I am sure of that because the Namrata I know is so committed to her role that she even schedules her public appearances according to her kids’ school timings. That’s her. That’s him. Let’s raise a toast!

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