Star Maa Koilamma
Koilamma to go off-air tonight; Saikiran Ram and Tejaswini cherish their memorable journey
There are many daily soaps and then there is Koilamma, a one-of-its-kind musical drama on Telugu television with over 450 original compositions. The Telugu version of Bengali daily soap Potol Kumar Gaanwala (2015-2017) went on to push the bar higher by successfully completing a run of over 1000 episodes and more. The popular daily soap soon got a Malayalam version titled Vanambadi which was equally popular and successful. Along with Vanambadi, Koilamma is concluding tonight (September 18) and on the occasion, actors Saikiran Ram aka Manoj Kumar and Tejaswini Gowda aka Kokila tell ETimes-TV why it is their ‘most memorable show’ ever.
“I may do many shows in future but not something like Koilamma ever’ - this is what I told my team on the last day of shoot. My grandma and others also call me Chinni at home. So, Koilamma and Chinni will remain with me forever,” asserts Tejaswini with a sense of pride in her voice.
“When Vanambadi ended, I felt one half of mine is dead and now Koilamma has ended, too. I lived my character 'Manoj Kumar/Mohan' (in Vanambadi) for more than 25 days every month and for a good four and a half years. More than emotional, it is that pinch of an identity crisis. It is like Clark Kent can't be superman anymore. From those stylish walks to those kurtas and dhotis, I will miss Manoj Kumar,” said accomplished actor Sai Kiran Ram.
Tejaswini, who said she will miss her character and team, added that she had a heavy heart right from a few days ahead of the climax shoot. “There was this sequence where I had to say Vellosta (bye) to my close ones, I started crying then. I even shot for the climax songs well but I couldn't control my tears in the sequence where I took the award from my dad (Manoj). We all had a heavy heart while working on the last shoot schedule."
Both Tejaswini and Manoj share a great rapport both on and off-screen. Tejaswini calls Manoj 'Dadda' in real life and they didn't realise when and how they developed such a beautiful bonding. "He is a popular and successful actor and I've seen his (Sai Kiran) movies, too. Being a newbie, I was naturally apprehensive about talking to him but eventually we got closer. Now I feel I always had that warmth with Dadda," said Tejaswini. And Sai Kiran loves the same about their relationship. He said, "She is a very hardworking and sweet girl. I like how she owns people and makes them feel nice and comfortable. I will miss the special Dum Idli that she used to send me (laughs)."
Songs are something not just fans but the cast and crew of the show also love about the show. "Evarini..Nenavarini.." is one song that both Tejaswini and Saikiran love the most. "This is a show only K Raghavendra Rao garu and his team can do. It requires knowledge, taste, a strong will and conviction to produce and execute a TV show like this with over 450 songs. Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum, Madhurapuri, Evarini Nenevarini songs. I had a tough time in Vanambadi memorising the lyrics but not in Telugu," said Sai Kiran Ram.
Wishes are pouring in for both the actors and the entire team on the last day of telecast and talking about it, Tejaswini said, "I'm in a shoot right now but I'm quite excited and emotional, too, to interact with fans on social media as it's the last day. If I were the writer, I would have never ended the show now (laughs). But I was convinced with the ideology of our makers to end the show on a high without extending it for no reason. Audiences have owned Chinni and I wish I've the same love and support from them."
Recollecting a heartwarming message from a fan, Sai Kiran said, "I got emotional when an engineering student messaged me saying he is clueless as the show is ending because he used to watch Koilamma with his grandma during her last days. His grandma passed away recently but he continued to watch the show thinking she is there beside him. Now the show has ended, too. Then I've yet again realised that we might be transient but our work will remain forever."