Dallas, Texas : Saturday, September 8, 2012
Over 700 members of Dallas Telugu Community gathered at the Marriott Hotel at Legacy in Plano, TX on Saturday, September 8, 2012 to celebrate the 89th birthday of legendary South Indian movie star “Padma Vibhushan” & “Dada Saheb Phalke” awardee Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao under the aegis of Telugu Association of North America (TANA).
Dr. ANR was given a grand welcome as he arrived in DFW Airport by several local prominent Telugu community members. On Saturday evening he was brought in a convoy led by motor-bike riding security and entered the premises in an exquisitely decorated horse-drawn buggy with impeccably groomed horses to the hearts’ delight of all guests gathered. The “Evergreen Hero” with over 255 movies to his credit over an 80-year span entered the venue with Vedic priests chanting Vedic hymns and mellifluous “Nadaswaram” music.
Dr. ANR joined Mr. Harish Parvataneni, the new Consul General of India, Houston who opened the ANR photo exhibition with 89 exhibits. Invited guests included CM Ramesh (Member of Parliament), Dr. Subbarao Anumolu, Chowdary Yalamanchili and Dr. Jayaram Naidu.
As he took his seat at the head-table of banquet hall filled with over 700 people, Manju Kanneganti, TANA SW Regional Representative, welcomed the gathering and the national anthems of India and USA were sung respectively. Prasad Thotakura, TANA President, introduced the Chief guest Dr. ANR. An inaugural dance was performed by the Suri sisters to a welcome song specially penned by music director Veenapani followed by an enthralling “ring” (hoola-hoop) dance by an upcoming dancer Ambica Javvadi. Dr. CR Rao and Dr. Srinivas A. Reddy followed with their personal experiences with Dr. ANR recalling their long-time association.
A DVD presentation on Movie Life & Times of Dr. ANR, produced exclusively by SV Rama Rao, a well-known movie historian, writer and fan of Dr. ANR from Hyderabad, was shown to the audience followed by a brief speech by its producer.
A large contingent of TANA team consisting of current and past office bearers, trustees, nominated committee chairpersons and other dignitaries joined on the stage to felicitate Dr. ANR with TANA Lifetime Achievement Award along with a beautifully designed memento to the glory of all ANR fans around the world.
A commemorative poem written by Veenapani, extolling the virtues of Dr. ANR in symbolic 89 verses in Telugu was read out. Students from Natyanjali Dance Academy danced to this specially composed music. Following this, Dr. ANR released the logo, TANA title song and theme for the upcoming 19th TANA Conference in Dallas (May 24-26, 2013) focusing on Language, Service, Tradition and Progress.
For the first time in the world, TANA in collaboration with Goldenline Corporation (Atlanta, Georgia) released a limited edition (symbolic 89 pieces) commemorative coin bearing the image of young Dr. ANR on one side and TANA logo on the reverse with extensive sleeve notes on Dr. ANR’s background and TANA. Dr. ANR's birthday was celebrated in a new way by lighting up 89 candles instead of blowing candles and toasting payasam instead of cutting a birthday cake.
Dr. ANR in his acceptance speech recognized several great personalities who have contributed to his long and cherished life and experiences while thanking all the people who helped make this event such a grand success.
Dr. ANR said “During the times when artistes who act in dramas and movies were considered ineligible for any awards or felicitations, I took my birth in a remote village. Over the last eighty years I have paid my dues and excelled and won many an awards in my acting career against severe competition from highly experienced and talented actors across India.
The guests were treated to a sumptuous dinner by Our Place restaurant with traditional Andhra delicacies, as the hit songs from his movies were played to the hearts’ content of the attendees.
During this current USA trip, Dr. ANR recognized a total of 89 NRIs for their contributions from various walks of life which include several academicians, social workers, entrepreneurs and business persons across USA. He has delivered such recognitions to 49 people during the prior three meeting venues: New York/New Jersey; Detroit and St. Louis. The final 40 recipients chosen from rest of the states including Texas, Oklahoma, California etc. were presented with the citations during this event.
National Telugu Associations such as American Telugu Association (ATA), North American Telugu Association (NATA) and Telugu Association of North Texas (TANTEX), India Association of North Texas (IANT) along with several regional Telugu Associations (Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Oklahoma) joined TANA in felicitating Dr. ANR on his 89th birthday celebrations with garlands, mementos and silk shawls.
Dr. ANR sincerely thanked TANA for bringing all major national and regional Telugu organizations on a single dais to extend this great honor to him. He thanked each and every member of those organizations from the bottom of his heart.
Ambica Javvadi performed yet another exhilarating fusion dance with folk and patriotic themes utilizing the hoola-hoop.
The entire program was coordinated by a team of dedicated volunteers from TANA such as Ravi Kondabolu (National Coordinator), Core Committee members such as Dr. CR Rao, Dr. Srinivas A Reddy, MVL Prasad, Manju Kanneganti, Ram Yalamanchili, Chala Kondragunta, and Murali Vennam. The program was compered by Chandrahas Maddukuri and Rajeswari Udayagiri.
Telugu Association of North America (TANA) under the leadership of its President Prasad Thotakura, several volunteers have worked very hard for over 4 months to make this event a grand success. Prasad Thotakura expressed his heart-felt thanks to all the attendees for making this such a grand and mega event in recent history of TANA with overwhelming support from the fans of Dr. ANR.
The program was concluded by Ram Yalamanchili thanking Sponsors like Murali Vennam, Chala Kondrakunta, Chowdary Yalamanchil, Dr. Jayaram Naidu, Our place, Goldenline etc.,