April 22, 2012 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
Most people have heard the song Mayadari Maisammo Maisamma but not all know the true history of the place Medaram and why a crore of people congregate every two years to celebrate the tribal festival in honour of the deities Samakka Sarakka. Producer Suresh is finally bringing alive a thousand year old festival of the State on screen. He has visited Medaram umpteen times, enquired from people the real story of Sammaka and Sarakka but all of them have given different versions. In order to remove confusion and give the devotees a clear picture, he has undertaken this venture.
"I have met professors from Telugu and History from Osmania University and even went through every literature remotely connected with them. Medaram is 130 kms from Warangal and it was once ruled by ruled by the Kakatiya King Prataprudra II. He wanted to take Medaram in his possession which was ridden by drought for 42 years.
None of the inhabitants paid taxes because of poverty, but once Samakka and Sarakka were found by the Koyya tribes in the forest, Medaram miraculously turned green, rich and prosperous. The Koyyas refused to pay taxes as they believed that the nature's wealth was theirs; The king apprehended that the rest of the citizens too would turn defiant and not cough the money and planned a war."
The story is that Sammakka and Sarakka meditated and were blessed with powers, they even fought the war and died in the process after which both the sisters turn into turmeric and vermilion respectively. It is also heard that Sammakka's son Jampanna jumped to death into the Sampega Vagu (stream) during the war which is now called Jampanna Vagu. Believing that a dip in the Jampanna vagu heals all the diseases, people in large numbers vied with each other to make their way towards the rivulet.
The producer adds, "Even today we have the pilgrims tying a piece of turmeric and applying vermilion on two sticks that have anklets representing the deities. I have seen people benefitting from the trip and resolved to make a movie. We have lakhs of people turning up from West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Vijayawada, Srikakulam and other agency areas."
Ask Suresh why he isn't directing the film when he has done such exhaustive research he replies, "I'm entering film production for the first time, I am incapable of directing as I don't have the technical knowledge. Moreover there are a lot of doubts on Samakka and Sarakka, people think they are sisters, some say they are mother and daughter. My film will be a perfect answer to the queries, I must confess that I did bring in an element of fiction to complete the story.
The film is releasing in May and Suman plays Pratap Rudra, the king. Pravallika from Chennai plays Samakka. Music isn't loud, it's simple and the emphasis is on the story."