Born in 1942 five years before India's independence, at Arikela village, Chittor district of Andhra Pradesh, South India, Vakkantham Suryanarayana Rao had studied up to school final. Having witnessed the first independence day of India, a sense of patriotism and social awareness is injected in him since childhood.
He wrote his first story in his childhood for kids. He showed it to his father late Mr.Varadayya. He, the affectionate father who always appreciated and encouraged his son’s inbuilt talent, tapped his back and advised him to read extensively before starting writing. He gave him a novel titled, Ithanni nammakandi which means do not trust this guy. Yeah, that was a detective novel, written by then great writer Temporau. V.S Rao read it several times. Following the advice of his father Mr. Rao continued reading books of all types throughout his teens. He became very close to the legend writer Mr. Temporau, who introduced pocket size detective novels in Telugu language. He became mentor to Mr. V.S Rao and encouraged him to start writing. He used to tell repeatedly that Mr. V.S Rao, ‘You are my successor in detective fiction writing’! He has rightly predicted that Mr. V.S Rao would become a future Telugu legend writer.
As V.S Rao was growing up, his attention was drawn towards the issues in society, especially women's psychological and physical issues and the injustice done to them. He wrote his first novel titled "Abala aantharyam which means a women’s heart. That was published in 1966 by Mandana publishers, Chennai. They have not paid royalty to him. They have not even informed him about the publishing of the novel and have not sent complimentary copies of the novel too. Mr. V.S Rao travelled all the way to Chennai to buy a copy from them. That was his first experience as a writer.
Since then, V.S Rao has penned many female issue based novels and short stories. Acharya Athreya a famous Telugu film writer and lyricist who claimed him-self to be an admirer of Mr.V.S Rao’s works, used to call him "maga rachayitri".
Mr. V.S Rao became full-fledged writer since 1980. Mr. Rao has published his detective novels and short stories under his pseudonym V.S Rao and published religious and social works under his original full name Vakkantham Suryanarayana Rao. He still continues the same practice. (He has used other pseudonyms: Baatasaari, Koundinya, Suryaatreya and Chitrabhanu.)
So far Mr. Rao has 84 titles to his credit, which includes short stories, crime novels, social novels, women oriented novels, epic novels, and stage plays. And he has also written hundreds of devotional songs for various audio cassette producers.
He has created a detective character called Tempo named after his mentor writer Temporau. (After Temporau’s demise). He wrote around dozen novels with Detective Tempo in the lead. They became very popular among Telugu readers that many of them believed that Tempo was a living character.
Mr. Rao worked as a translator in Daasa Saahithya Project auxiliary of Thirumala tirupathi devasthanams, the world's richest temple located in south India. During this period he had translated many kannada religious books in to Telugu which were published and marketed by the Publication Wing of TTD organization.
INVESTIGATIVE NOVELS BY V.S RAO.
TEMPO-A private detective-The Hero:
Before presenting the synopsis of each novel, it is mandatory to introduce the hero of all these novels TEMPO, a private detective, a fictitious character created by Mr. V.S Rao.
The name TEMPO has an identity. V.S Rao named this character after his mentor writer TEMPORAU’s demise.
V.S rao’s character detective Tempo is six feet tall, white complexioned, curly hair, black sharp eyed handsome hero who can steal a girl’s heart at first sight. Tempo has a typical steel but musical voice that any one feel like listening to him.
He is the prototype for the mastermind detective. He has uncanny ability to gather evidence based up on his honored skills of observation and deductive reasoning. His brain runs faster than the wind and light. The words called impossible, failure never exists in his mind. His eyes and heart are so bright that he sees light in dark. The best example for his vision is when there is no single clue of criminal was left out with a case, he could track down the criminal’s identity with the help of the victim’s finger prints.
Tempo became real character in the readers of South India in 1980s.
All the cases that were solved by Tempo are original, taken from then the society of South India. This makes these novels unique.
‘A real hero talks less with voice and more with actions’ This is what V.S Rao shows through his hero TEMPO.
This characterization was different from other hero characters present in that period of South Indian novels.
Tempo could make people get connected with him instantly.
Tempo was real for them.
And he was and even today yes, for those readers he is real, A man of actions.
Synopsis of Tempo’s winning stories (Novels) :
1. ADAKATTERA: case- missing. Only son of a billionaire goes missing. The billionaire announces huge cash award for finding his son out. This gives a bad idea to a close associate of this family. He becomes kidnapper and kidnaps him, calls the billionaire and demands ten times more. The rich man seeks private detective Tempo. Tempo tracks down the case with his typical investigative methods with in no time and saves his son from the clutches of kidnapper.
2. NEELI NEEDALU: case-Blue film. Film actress Sasipriya is off to Paris on her honey moon. Her husband Gangadhar is handsome, lovable person, takes all efforts to make her happy. They go to a movie on a lovable night in Paris. They are horrified to see a blue film instead of a feature film, that too the obscenity role was enacted by Sasipriya. Sasi is upset. Her husband feels cheated by her. He instantly dis owns her and walks out of her life. Sasipriya who is innocent about the film approaches Tempo the private detective. She pleads him to find out how she is seen in that blue film when she never acted in that role. Tempo investigation leads to shocking facts.
3. THOLU BOMMA: case-blackmailing. Ranganatham, a proprietor of a leading showroom has an extramarital affair with Jwala, beautiful sales girl in his show room. An intelligent rogue takes photos of them when they are together and starts blackmailing Ranganatham; collecting ransom money on weekly basis. This rouge is invisible all the time. They could not trace out his identity. He multiplies the money every week. They seek Tempo’s help. Tempo steps in and after twists and turns the invisible blackmailer is caught by Tempo.
4. JALASAMADHI: case-coffin buried under river. Johny and Moti are after easy money. They kidnap Vanitha, the only daughter of an industrialist. They put her in a watertight coffin, arrange for oxygen, and bury the coffin under a river bed. They demand huge money. They collect it and vanish without giving the details of coffin. The industrialist’s heart is broken in to pieces with tension. He approaches Tempo to solve this death puzzle and save his daughter.
5. BEEJAKSHARALU: case-victim’s finger prints. This murder mystery is first of its kind in crime fiction. The murderer who is very cunning leaves no clues or sense of the crime. The police are helpless. Tempo takes up this case. In this unique novel, detective Tempo traces out the identity of the killer with the evidence of victim’s finger prints instead of criminal’s fingerprints. This novel was much talked among the crime fiction in those days.
6. VAJRAKIREETAM: case-diamond’s crown. Godman Dasa Avataarananda has a fleet of followers. On his shashtipoorthi (60th birthday) celebrations, his devotees make arrangements to felicitate him offering a diamond crown worth billions. Intelligent criminal Balaram, with the help of his accomplices, swaps the diamond crown with a duplicate one and disappears. Tempo investigates to nab the culprits and restore the diamond crown.
NOTABLE WORKS :
1. Navagraha Puraanam
2. Bhagawan Parasuraam
3. Sri Sivaraathri Mahaathyam
4. Ashta Dikpaalaka Vaibhavam
5. Sani Charitaamrutham.
1. Aathma Sandarsanam
2. Karnaataka Haridaasa Panchakam.
3. Sookshmam lo Moksham.
1. Nyaaya Dundhubhi-(social)
2. Srinivaasa Kalyaanam-(mythological)
3. Yatra Naaryasthu Baadhyanthe-(social)
4. Gouri Kalyaanam-( mythological)
1. Vichitra Vadha
4. Thiruguleni Mandu
5. Dabbukosam Daarunam
6. Mruthyu Bhasmam
7. Boothu Bomma
8. Addam Thiragani Katha
10. Bakaasura Vadha
2. Neeli Needalu
3. Tholu Bomma
4. Jala Samaadhi
5. Phaala Netram
6. Vajra Kireetam
7. Paamu Paga
9. Rudra Simham
10. Agni Netraalu
1. Abala Aantharyam
2. Sambhavaami Gruhe Gruhe
3. Mother India
6. Baala Bharatham
7. Pelladi Preminchu
8. Vennela Bomma
1. Parama Chora Chakra
2. Champi Chudandi
3. Ammaku Paalu Pattandi
4. Dishti Bommalu
1. Sambhavaami Gruhe Gruhe
BOOKS PUBLISHED BY TIRUMALA TIRUPATHI DEVASTHANAMS
2. Kesavaadi Rupaalu
3. Purandharadaasa Keerthanalu
4. Sreenivaasa Sankeerthanalu
5. Daasa Tattva Prakaasika
7. Prasanna Venkatadasa
8. Gopaala daasa
1. Srinivaasa Kalyaanam
3. Satya Harischandra
Vakkantham Suryanarayana Rao has won many awards and rewards.
The Hindi version of Model, one of his Telugu short stories, was included in the annual number Vishita Bharatheeya kahaaniyan published by the Bharatheeya Jnanapeeth the highest literary institution of the government of India.
The highest honor that can ever happen for a writer is a University recognizing his literary works and crowning his works with status of Research worth literature. Yes, Sri Venketeswara University (Tirupati) awarded Doctorate to a student for his thesis on Rao’s literary works under the title "Vakkantham Suryanarayana Rao Rachanalu oka Pariseelanamu".
Nyaaya Dundubhi a lady oriented social play has won the prestigious MANASWINI-ATREYA LITERARY AWARD instituted in the memory of the noted Telug film writer and lyricist Aacharya Atreya. (Best Script)
The same play won the KUPPAM REDDEMMA LITERARY AWARD after its publication.
Yatra Naaryasthu Baadhyanthe, another lady oriented social play bagged the SOMESWARA LITERARY AWARD. (Best Script)
Gouri Kalyaanam, a mythological drama has won the N.T.R VIGNAAN TRUST AWARD. (Best Script)
Sambhavaami Gruhe Gruhe, women oriented novel won third prize in the competition held by CHATHURA a monthly magazine of EENADU GROUP.
Mother India, a novel which portrays the exemplary form of Indian Mother, has won second prize in the competition held by THE AMERICAN TELUGU ASSOCIATION (ATA). (to be serialized in Navya a Telugu weekly magazine) And this novel will be published in book form by ATA.
V.S rao noted and successful author in Telugu who has dedicated his life to literary service is continuing his writing activities.
V.S Rao is pride to Telugu literature.