Ramoji Rao published an editorial in "Eenadu" about me and my friends. Here's why

                 Ramoji Rao published an editorial  in "Eenadu" about me and my friends. Here's why

              Ramoji Rao published an editorial in "Eenadu" about me and my friends. Here's why

Ramoji Rao garu wrote an editorial about us in ‘Eenadu’. This lengthy editorial on a Sunday took my friends and me by complete surprise. We were elated that an unusual programme - unheard of - for that matter - that my friends and I organised at Arts College, Osmania University, caught his attention.

The editorial, while lauding us for thinking of holding such a programme, appreciated us for thinking of talking openly about such as thing as we did, on the campus, for the benefit of students. The editorial also suggested that such ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas should be encouraged and appreciated.

I had never met Ramoji Rao garu till then. In fact, it would only be two decades later that I would have a chance meeting with him at a conference where we exchanged pleasantries - which last for just a few seconds. There was hardly any scope for me to hold a conversation with him and tell him about how he had eulogised us in the editorial in ‘Eenadu” in 1991.

I began my foray into journalism in 1988 working for “Citizen’s Evening.”  In 1989-90,  I studied journalism from  the Department of Communication and Journalism at Arts College, Osmania University. My friends - Sangishetty Srinivas, Ravi A E, LVSP Sastry, and Anil Kumar and I went on to do our MCJ also during 1990-91. By this time, I had already joined “Deccan Chronicle”.

While we were on the campus, my friends and I noticed what was obvious anyway for everyone who could take but a minute to notice and understand. 

Love happened. Love did not happen.

Someone fell in love. The other person did not reciprocate.

The result: Hearts broke.

The broken hearts lay strewn in pieces all around - in classrooms, on the lawns, at the library, at the canteen, and in the corridors of the Arts College building.

We wanted to apply a soothing balm. 

So, we conceived a programme. We called it “Bruised Lovers Conference”. We printed pamphlets with an image of a broken heart and an arrow piercing the heart with blood dripping. We went to every college on OU campus and put up the invitations to attend the conference that was to be held at Room no. 57, Arts College - the most sought after and famous venue for many a meeting. 

This conference was unlike all the others.

We gave out personal invitations too. We invited those who we saw were disheartened when their love was not reciprocated by someone they were interested in. We also invited those who had the unpleasant experience of turning down somebody’s love.

The podium was set. The microphones were arranged. The doors were left wide open for anyone and everyone to attend the programme.

The intention was to give the students hope beyond a failed attempt at love. Life would have to go on. 

My friends in the English department were also enthusiastic about the idea, as much as friends from the Geography department and Economics department.. I joined the MA English at Arts College by the time our plans for conducting the programme materialised. 

If my friends Sangishetty Srinivas, Ravi AE, LVSP Sastry and Anil Kumar were certain about one thing it was - that no one would turn up for the meeting.

Why would anyone want to be identified as someone who had been rejected in love? Why would anyone else want to be seen with people mourning their heart breaks?

And so, all of us friends, instead of being at the venue, Room no. 57, went to the main canteen on the campus for our daily dose of tea, as usual, like any other day.

“What are you’ll doing here when there is a crowd of people already in Room no. 57?” a friend who rushed to the canteen and found us there, asked.

Was he to be believed?

The point was whether anyone had responded to the invitation or not, as organisers of the programme, we had to to be there. We had, anyway, decided, that irrespective of whether anyone came or not, irrespective of how many came, the show would go on.

I saw a question mark on the face of everyone who had come. I will not say that the hall was jam packed but it was considerably full. This was not expected. But we had drawn up a programme.

I welcomed the audience. They were puzzled as to what was going on. I told them the progrmame was meant to give hope to those who are feeling dejected as their love has not been reciprocated. I said it was meant to give strength to those who were feeling weak that they had been discarded in love. I said it was meant to reiterate self-respect for the one who rejected someone’s love, as they had the right to choose their life partners - at the right time and in their own way.

This meeting was all things to all people.

I invited a friend on to the stage. She was a good singer. We were friends because we liked the same kind of songs - during that period songs of Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan were a huge hit. The music was melodious.

We chose the song “Dil Yeh Kehta Hai” from the movie “Phool Aur Kaante” starring Ajay Devgun and Madhu and sung by Udit Narayan and Alisha Chinai. Music was by Nadeem Shravan.

The lyrics:

Dil yeh kaheta hai kanon mein tere

Thoda karib aa ke, bahon mein tere

Dhire se mai ek bat kahu


I love you, I love you

I love you..I love you

Dil yeh kaheta hai kanon mein tere

Thoda karib aa ke bahon mein tere

Dhire se main, ek bat kahu


I love you, I love you

I love you, I love you

Our speakers on the occasion spoke about how no one should be disheartened because of failure in love. We suggested that everyone going through a turmoil should realise that they should allow the phase to pass. The speeches were made.

Much to our encouragement, another friend asked if she could also speak. She came up and delivered a speech that summarised the real intent of why we had conducted the programme. She said those who get rejected in love - boys or girls - must remain emotionally strong to take their lives forward. They should not continue to dwell on the present discouragement but understand that they are as unique as anybody else and they would find their real love and the one who would really reciprocate in the future. That time will come, she said in encouragement.

The meeting was a huge success. It was a resounding success.

We thought it was all over when a huge news report with photographs was published in “Udayam” newspaper about the event. We were over the moon. This was grand! It was a big surprise, a pleasant one. The one who wrote it was friend and senior in the university Ghanta Chakrapani.

As I mentioned, we were overjoyed. The fact that a well-known newspaper chose to publish a very encouraging new report about our programme was proof enough that what we had done was indeed laudable.

Little did we realise then that the mother of all surprises awaited us. 

The following Sunday, in “Eenadu”, a lengthy editorial was published being highly appreciative of us holding such a unique programme and suggesting that universities should encourage such thought processes

It has been 33 years since the event took place. When we meet as old students of Arts College, we make it a point to go to the venue and recollect the programme. Not only do we recollect, we re-enact them as a remembrance for posterity. 

Eenadu” founder and editor Ramoji Rao has passed away today - on June 8, 2024. We pay rich tributes to the man who stood as a pillar of support and giving us a certificate of appreciation through the editorial he wrote in the newspaper. 

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