RNJ 6th Anniversary


[3 generations: Me, my late grandfather R. Nagendra Rao, and my late father, R.N. Jayagopal (more pictures further below)]


Dearest Appa,

It has been 6 excruciatingly long years since you moved on.

I just wanted to tell you that I think about you every day, multiple times a day.

I watch the Oscars, I think about you.

I listen to a beautiful song (like when Veena just played me one on Youtube barely an hour ago), I think about you and how you would have enjoyed it. I even wonder if my expressions of enjoying something so beautiful are subconsciously mimicking you.

I watch a fantastic scene in a movie, and I think about you.

I read or listen to beautiful poetry or lyrics, I think about you.

You will always be in my heart, my beloved beloved father.

You never left, and you never will.

Hope you are having a great time with Amma, wherever you guys are.

– Ravi, your one and only son.


RNJ with two of the greatest singers in Indian films, S.P.Balasubrahmanyam and S.Janaki, who are getting ready to sing one of his legendary songs that he penned, taking notes and listening intently as he explains the situation, the emotions behind the song, the meaning behind the lyrics, so that they can do justice to the masterpiece that he created.



Attending a song recording with my father, who is sitting next to one of the all-time greats and beloved music director G.K. Venkatesh

Apoorva Sahodarargal (Strange Brothers)

“Strange Brothers”, it was called, as was the custom in 1949, to give Indian movies an English Title as well.

The villain’s role was acted by one of the greatest legends of Indian Cinema, Padmashri R. Nagendra Rao – my venerable grandfather (father’s father).

In this picture below from the movie, he (the villain, on the right) locks swords with one of the “brothers” (hero, left).

And the beauty of this picture, is that the “hero”, Padmashri M.K. Radha, is actually the grandfather of one of my best childhood friends from India, Rajaa Murugan.

Murugan and I used to joke that our grandfathers fought with swords in the movie, maybe we should also try it sometime, fighting with each other 🙂


Apporva Sagodarargal

Here’s a review of the movie from the NY Times:

Following up on S. S. Vasan’s 1948 mega-hit Chandralekha, this sequel was inspired by Douglas Fairbanks Jr.’s 1941 film The Corsican Brothers. The film opens with the dastardly Zoravar Singh vanquishing a rival kingdom and usurping its throne. A trusted servant spirits away the twin princes Vikram and Vijay who are heirs to the crown. Though raised separately, Vikram grows up in the city while Vijay lives his childhood in a forest, both become obsessed with avenging their father and both fall for the same beautiful lass (Bhanumathi). This film was produced in three different languages– Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi — with three different directors credited — T. G. Raghavachyran, C. Pullaiah and S. S. Vasan respectively. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide (link)

Some of the movies my grandfather, R. Nagendra Rao, acted in / directed / produced, are:

  1. Hannele Chiguridaga  1968 (Patriarch)
  2. Attegondukala Sosegondukala  1968
  3. Veera Kesari  1963  (Dharma Nayaka)
  4. Ranadheera Kanteerava  1960  (Dalavayi Vikrama Raya)
  5. Raayara Sose (1958)
  6. Premada Putri (1957)
  7. Nagula Chaviti  1956
  8. Jatakaphalam  1953
  9. Jatakam  1953
  10. Mugguru Kodukulu  1952
  11. Apoorva Sahodaralu  1950
  12. Nishan  1949
  13. Apoorva Sahodarargal  1949  – Zoravar Singh
  14. Bhukailasa  1940

– Ravi Jayagopal