‪‪Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani‬ Telugu Novelist Passes Away at 78

Veteran writer, novelist Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani, who along with her women counterparts Arikepudi Kousalya Devi and Ranganayakamma, heralded a new era in Telugu fictional literature since the 1950s, passed away at California on Monday.

The writer, who hailed from Kaza village of Krishna district, was 78.

While it was Kousalya Devi who ushered in the trend of film adaptations of Telugu novels with Doctor Chakravarthy, it was Sulochana’s writings that captured the fascination of an average reader since the ’60s reflecting contemporary trends, relationships with her signature nostalgic style.

It was thanks to her writings that readers awaited her novel chapters across various Telugu magazines.

Films were one of the reasons that catapulted her readership to greater heights, as actors such as Sobhan Babu, Murali Mohan, Akkineni Nageswara Rao often fit the bill to portray her male protagonists.

A filthy rich handsome but arrogant hero (for English literature enthusiasts someone like the evergreen Jane Austen hero Mr Darcy), with a bungalow so huge that can accommodate at least a hundred people, and an expensive and ultra-luxurious car – mostly Impala or Benz…

A (lower) middle class but self-confident heroine (someone like Elizabeth Bennet) whose self-respect doesn’t let her accept love or help easily…
Now, when two people with such strong and divergent personalities come together, their meeting is bound to have sparks flying and their romance not just adorable but also fiery!

Welcome to the fascinating world of renowned Telugu fictional writer Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani… a world that was created with tenderness, optimism, love and romance, and one which has enchanted youngsters of the yesteryear for over two decades.

But, is it just the element of romance that kept scores of Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani’s fans glued to her books? Not really! Her novels were a perfect blend of the lifestyle and emotions of people of the 60s to the 80s – reflected in every page. And her works were, undoubtedly, page-turners.

A beautiful description of the nature, picturesque locales, surroundings and emotions – where everything sounds natural – makes her books worth every penny spent on them. Simple storylines and exceptional narration – done in accordance with the characters, plot and scene – are what made her novels endearing to readers across generations.

Etching phenomenal characters with a touch of class, especially that of the heroines who know how to carry themselves very well, was Sulochana Rani’s forte. Whether it is Meena, Keerthi Kireetaalu, Agni Poolu, Girija Kalyanam, Secretary, Kalala Kougili, Sravana Sameeralu, Premalekhalu or Jeevana Tharangalu, her heroines are unforgettable.

The emotional struggle that her characters go through – swinging from one extreme to the other, like Jayanti and Rajasekharam in Secretary, for instance – and the way they come out victorious in the end stood as inspiration to many a youngster of that era.

Fantastic characterisation and a unique style of writing are what made Sulochana Rani the most popular and prolific writer of romance in her time. Her novels were reckoned as the Mills & Boon of Telugu literature. The way the author handles family relationships in each of her books is praiseworthy.

While Chaduvukunna Ammayilu paved the way for her entry into the Telugu film industry, over 15 of her novels were made into successful movies. One of her most popular novels, Meena provided the storyline for not just one but two movies in Telugu – the original Meena (1973) with Krishna and Vijayanirmala in the lead and A..Aa (2016) with Nithiin and Samantha as the lead pair. This goes on to prove her popularity with generations of readers.

After captivating readers with her romantic fiction for more than 20 years, 78-year-old Sulochana Rani passed away in her sleep yesterday due to cardiac arrest. Her death leaves a huge, unfillable void in the life of Telugu fiction lovers.

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