Telugu cinema ‘Power Star’, style icon and social reformer – Pawan Kalyan manages to fit each descriptor perfectly.
When he turned 50 on Thursday, the day has seen a frenzy of celebrations across Tollywood and beyond: his fans are throwing birthday parties in his honor; up to 100 cinemas in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are screening the re-release of his hit movie “Gabbar Singh”; there has been a song release from your latest movie; And of course celebrities’ best wishes for the star are trending on social media.
“Many, many happy returns of the day to my garu @PawanKalyan. May this day and next year bring you more and more peace and happiness, ”tweeted Allu Arjun. Others who joined included his nephews, fellow actors, and public figures.
When he started his Tollywood career, Pawan Kalyan was most famous as the little brother of the ‘Megastar’ Chiranjeevi. But throughout the years, ‘Power Star’ Pawan Kalyan is a great name in his own right. Konidela Kalyan Babu, the heart of moviegoers and the youthful icon of the Telugu land, better known as Pawan Kalyan, has donned many stylish hats and continues to do so. Actor, director, writer, producer, real-life benefactor, Pawan Kalyan has been there and done it all.
Born on September 2, 1970 in Bapatla, Andhra Pradesh, the third son of a police officer, Pawan Kalyan watched from his wings as his older brother, Chiranjeevi, made his way to the highest rungs of Telugu cinema.
Surprisingly, it was not the acting but the directing that caught the attention of young Pawan Kalyan. But he made his acting debut in 1996 with “Akkada Abbayi, Ikkada Ammaayi,” which didn’t make much of a hit at the box office. Undeterred by this initial setback, he went on to offer hits like ‘Gokulamlo Seeta’ and ‘Suswagatam’. At that time, the public, especially young people, began to empathize with his laconic portraits of young people and their emotional problems.
With the superhit ‘Tholi Prema’ in 1998, Pawan Kalyan had really arrived and he hasn’t looked back since, no matter what. A series of hit movies like ‘Thammudu’, ‘Badri’ and ‘Khushi’ only added to its appeal. Not content with acting, he ventures into other film departments, in particular choreographing film stunts.
Pawan Kalyan has always offered to help people in distress, whether they belong to the film industry or not. It is also known that he does not beat around the bush when he believes that an injustice has been done.
Known for being introverted and somewhat reclusive, Pawan Kalyan has been known to hide in books. He also loves farming and tries it whenever he gets the chance. An intensely reserved person, but she has never shied away from responding to naysayers who make sarcastic comments about her three marriages.
In 2013 he married Anna Lezhneva, who acted with him in ‘Teen Maar’. They have a son and a daughter. Pawan Kalyan also has a son and a daughter from his previous marriage to Renu Desai, who starred in Telugu movies with him.
In recent years, his films, such as ‘Gabbar Singh’, ‘Attaarintiki Daaredi’ and ‘Katamarayudu’ have kept the box office and his fans asking for more. His latest big screen appearance, ‘Vakeel Saab’, which is a remake of the Hindi movie ‘Pink’, reflected his grip on the box office once again. At present, he is busy with his next film, ‘Bheemla Nayak’.
Even when he rules the roost in Telugu movies, it is in politics that Pawan tries to make his mark. His first foray into politics was in 2008, together with his brother Chiranjeevi, who had floated the ‘Praja Rajyam’ party. Pawan Kalyan then headed the youth wing of the party.
That period ended after the merger of the party with Congress. From there, Pawan Kalyan has been making his own groove in Andhra politics. Establishing the Jana Sena Party (JSP) in 2014, he made his leanings clear with his slogan ‘Hatao Congress, Desh Bachao’ following the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the formation of Telangana.
He wrote ‘Ism’, a book of his thoughts around which the philosophy of his party is centered. Although it had signed an alliance with the BJP, the JSP did not present candidates for the 2014 Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh.
Pawan Kalyan was the star activist of the BJP-TDP combined in the 2014 assembly and parliamentary elections. The combined won and formed the first government in the residual state of Andhra Pradesh.
But fissures began to appear in the alliance and the three parties, which fought separately in the 2019 assembly elections, gave way to the YSRCP led by Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Pawan Kalyan lost in the two assembly constituencies from which he ran.
Since then, JSP and BJP have revived their alliance and are working to establish themselves as serious contenders to rule the state. On his birthday, JSP launched a social media campaign targeting the miserable state of the roads in Andhra Pradesh.
Yet for the moment, Pawan Kalyan is walking a tightrope between Tinseltown and politics. With age on his side, is he the elusive leader Andhra Pradesh, after her date with actor and former chief minister NT Rama Rao, yearns for? Only time will answer this million dollar question.
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