Nagarjuna about Baba Hathiram

The praises for Nagarjuna’s performance in Oopiri is still pouring in, but the actor has already started his preparations for his next film. He is all set to play Baba Hathiram, ‘the 18th century devotee’ of Lord Venkateshwara.

The movie will be directed by K Raghavendra Rao had also directed three other devotional movies starring Nag — Annamayya, Sri Ramadasu and Shirdi Sai . Nagarjuna was quoted by a national daily as saying, “We have realised that there’s no specific image of Baba Hathiram in popular culture. So we have no reference to understand how he dressed or what he looked like when he was around. Zeroing in on the look of the character is going to be crucial. We will begin the discussions in the first week of April and probably arrive at a look for Baba Hathiram,” says Nagarjuna.

The actor went on to say, “Devotees of the Lord of the Seven Hills would know about his penchant for playing with the pachikalu (dice). And legend has it that he used to come to Hathiram’s house every night to play with him. It was during this time that Hathiram had several conversations with the Lord. He shared the stories with his disciples which have been handed down over generations. We will be recreating all of that in the film,” shares the actor adding, “Hathiram came to Tirumala all the way from Rajasthan because he had a divine calling. He spent all his time worshipping Lord Venkateshwara. It is believed that the seva programmes held at the temple today — suprabhatam, pavalimpu seva, archana etc — is the routine he formulated.”