Padmavathi Malladi (Mahanati), a writer weaving the best stories for entertainment

Padmavathi Malladi

Padmavathi Malladi has found her purpose in life with writing. In these times where content is king, writers such as her are placed on the highest pedestal. We as the audience get engrossed in a film or story which takes us on a journey of many emotions. To bring out such feelings, it is the task of our beloved writers who dig into their creative best. Padmavathi Malladi chose her career to bring us the best entertaining stories after deliberate consideration and hence is here to stay. She rightly believes that working on the job we love feels like no work at all. Her love for storytelling is as deep as her wish to create great scripts in the Telugu Film Industry. Her craft gives her joy and that in turn will fill our lives with the same, multiplied.

Hers is a story of finding herself through the shadows of doubt and uncertainty. Let us find out more about her and her story of perseverance. 

Family of academicians

Padmavathi Malladi was born to Jayakrishna Malladi and Saroja Ravoori on 14th of May, 1985 in Hyderabad. She and her sister were raised by their Uncle and Aunt, who is their mother’s elder sister. She was nurtured in a family of academicians.

Padmavathi Malladi
Padmavathi Malladi

Padmavathi’s parents have always encouraged her to do what she loves and to pursue her dreams. They never put pressure on her to choose a career or to find a job. She had the opportunity to become anyone. “In fact it took me time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life until I started to write,” she notes. 

One person that equals a hundred

They say, one good friend is more than a hundred frenemies. Padmavathi Malladi has such a person in her life. She has a younger sister who means the world to her. She has always been the biggest support of her life. She says cheerfully that they fight, love and care but are any day inseparable. “We share everything with each other and consult each other before we make any major decision.”

Being in the creative profession means one has to face a lot of financial struggle. “Many of us go through it and it is a small price that we pay for choosing something that we deeply love as our profession,” the writer observes. She shares that there was a time in the past when she had no money even for petrol. She was stuck at home for almost three days.

When her sister called, she spoke to her but didn’t mention anything about her financial crunch. Unexpectedly, after ten minutes, her account was credited with money. With this, she had tears in her eyes. “I would have managed without the money probably. But knowing that you have someone to take care of you in your rainy days gives immense happiness,” she gushes. 

Padmavathi Malladi has a good group of friends as well. All her friends had stuck with her through good and bad days.

Padmavathi Malladi

Two of her best friends live in the same neighborhood so that they can all be there for each other. “I have a lot of friends from childhood to recent times who have always been there,” she states. 

An eventful education

Padmavathi Malladi had studied in Hyderabad her entire life. She did her schooling at St Vincent high school, SR Nagar, Intermediate from Sri Chaitanya Jr college and BSc in Biotechnology from Villa Marie Degree College. She further completed her MBA from Malla Reddy Institute of Management, after which she pursued PG Diploma in Total Quality Management from NIMSME.

Padmavathi Malladi reveals that she was a very mischievous kid in school. When she was in kindergarten, she used to tear away the pages in her homework book and accuse the teacher of not giving any homework in the first place. Speaking like many people with vivid imagination, she says that she was always lost in her own world. She used to forget her schoolbag in the school, go home and then realize that it was missing at night. In college she once punctured her teacher’s bike because she punished her for coming late. “I was a handful for my parents,” she agrees. 

She used to love to doodle during the school days. Recently, she restarted it during the lockdown and it has become a stress buster.

Still, her education and teachers impacted her in a lot of ways. She loves her telugu teacher, which resulted in her developing a love for the language. Her mother was her school principal and she has inspired Padmavathi to work hard and be disciplined.

Her uncle used to read Bhaagavatam and many mythological books to her and her sister every night. This created her love for storytelling. Her uncle has been a very strong influence on her as he never settled for less and always encouraged them to aim high.

With such an impact, teaching is her other favorite thing to do. She always wanted to establish a school and be an academician like her parents. This might one day be an alternative career. 

Skills learnt from life

The writer mentions that she has not specifically trained for anything. She had learnt most of her lessons from life itself. “Read, heard, watched, felt, told stories. It is all the training I had.”

Speaking about the most important skill in the Industry, she notes that her cool headedness and easy going nature takes her places. She doesn’t get frustrated and disappointed very easily.

Game changing moment

Getting an opportunity to work for Chandra Shekhar Yeleti was the best thing that happened to Padmavathi. It was at this point that she found herself as a writer.

Remembering the journey, she had with her a short story that she wrote. One of her friends, Vamsi, had sent it to ‘Radhe Shyam’ director Radha Krishna. He found it to be interesting and sent it to Chandra shekhar Yeleti. Then, Padmavathi Malladi got a call from him the next day to go and meet him at his office. She amusingly says that she was a nervous wreck and spoke to him without much thought. “I thought I screwed it up. The next day I got a call from him to join the writing team and I was very happy.”

Only the best survive

Padmavathi Malladi faced certain struggles after she entered the Film Industry. But, the struggles are not her focus. Looking at it positively, she says she also had some great experiences, met some amazing people and learnt many new things. “So, the struggles have paid off and I have no complaints. Industry tests your mettle before it gives you anything in return. You have to prove that you deserve to be here.”

Armed with this positivity, she worked for ‘Manamantha’, ‘Mahanati’, ‘Choosi Choodangaane’ and even a lot of other scripts which didn’t make it to the sets. She considers Mahanati her best work till date, where she got a chance to work on it from scratch. “I will always be indebted to Nagi for giving me that opportunity,” she says. 

In this process, there are many downs, she states. There are months without work. There are times when you have to accept a lot of criticism.

In her words, “but then there are times when you are appreciated for what you have done. Sometimes you do bad work which you have to live with. Sometimes you surprise yourself doing something that you never expected. But that is what you live for, to learn and grow by the day.”

Happiness, the biggest success

Not compromising is the most important thing for Padmavathi in her career. She comments that she still has a long way to go in the path towards success. But, whatever she does, she wants to be proud and satisfied of it. “I don’t want to look back and regret. So, I thrive to give my best.”

She shares that writing gives her a sort of fulfillment. It makes her voice feel heard. It is like a venting outlet for her. It stresses her out and relaxes her at the same time. Most importantly, Padmavathi feels she enjoys the challenge in it.

“I never planned to be what I am today. But I was in constant pursuit of something that I will enjoy doing. I let my heart and destiny decide my career and I am glad I did,” she says happily. 

Appreciation for work

The movies that Padmavathi worked for have received a lot of love and awards, particularly the national award for Mahanati for best film. It made her proud to be a part of it. “Biggest epiphany was when I was watching the film and everyone next to me was crying. I cried watching their reaction.,” she remembers fondly.

Current and upcoming projects

Padmavathi is writing a couple of web series and she is also under trials for direction. She has written a story about a fifteen year old girl who fights for a cause via Gandhian principles. The writer is very excited to tell the story and hopes to make it soon.

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