Ram Gopal Varma - Early Years

Early Years

In an interview to Tehelka, Varma talked about his relationship with his parents and the reasons behind his decision to become a filmmaker.

From my parents’ perspective, I looked like a useless bum. It was the truth. I had no objective. I was just fascinated by people, so I used to study their behaviour. I was most fascinated by the bullies in my classroom. They were like gangsters for me. They had the guts to push around people, do things I couldn’t— perhaps did not even want to do myself. But I’d want a friend like that (laughs). I used to adulate them like heroes. That was my first touch with anti-socialism. Over a period of time, I developed a low-angle fascination for larger than life people. I was always a loner — not because I was unhappy, but because I live away from myself, not just others. I like to study myself — the way I am walking, talking, behaving. My constant obsession with studying myself and other people is perhaps the primary motivation for me to be a filmmaker.

Varma completed BE in civil engineering from V.R. Siddhartha Engineering College, Vijayawada. Even during this period, Varma remained a film buff, through his uncle. Varma would skip classes often and watch films instead. He would watch the same film repeatedly "just to watch certain scenes which interested him." According to him, that is how he learned film direction.

After a brief stint as a site engineer for Krishna Oberoi hotel in Hyderabad, he put his dreams on the back burner and decided to go to Nigeria to make some money. It was at this moment that he visited a video rental library in Hyderabad. He loved the idea and decided to start one of his own at Ameerpet in Hyderabad, through which he slowly developed connections with the film world. Without being successful as a fourth assistant director in B. Gopal's film Collector Gari Abbai, Varma directly ventured into film direction, with the 1989 Telugu film, Siva.

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