After a career in films, Taraka Ratna looked set to make his mark as a politician, though destiny had other ideas
Last Updated: 06.24 PM, Feb 18, 2023
Taraka Ratna, grandson of the legendary actor and former CM NTR and son of Mohana Krishna, breathed his last today after battling for life at a private hospital in Bengaluru for a little more than three weeks. Under the shadows of his dear uncle Balakrishna, Taraka Ratna was set to embark on a new innings in politics and just when he sensed a new ray of hope in life, destiny had other ideas.
A couple of decades earlier, his acting career was off to a decent start with the college drama Okato Number Kurradu but his filmography struggled to gather steam post the initial high owing to a flurry of flops. He’s famous for being offered nearly a dozen projects when his debut film opened well. With his later films struggling to perform at the ticket window, many of these producers didn’t show up again.
While his tryst with cinema continued for a few years, he stepped back eventually, realising the time had to come to move on. He’d witnessed more lows than highs in the industry though he’d dealt with them in private and didn’t become bitter about it. Even in his rare media appearances, he exuded warmth and talked highly of his grandfather and uncle. After a brief sabbatical, he earned plaudits for his portrayals in Ravi Babu’s Amaravathi, Raja Cheyyi Vesthe.
Amarathi even won him a Nandi award as a villain while his brief appearance in Manamantha besides the devotional film Maha Bhakta Siriyala and Devineni (the biopic of Devineni Nehru) proved that he was game for challenges. As an actor, Taraka Ratna was open to trying a wide variety of roles, though commercial success eluded him for long. In his time away from cinema, he cared less about his appearance and his health appeared to have taken a toll.
He’d made his web debut with Hotstar’s 9 Hours a year ago and even during its promotions, the actor wasn’t keen on being photographed and preferred to be precise in his responses with the media. There was a hint of optimism in him that a new avenue had opened up for him as an actor and his measured portrayal as a cop in the show was a reflection of his maturity as a performer. He played a sincere officer experiencing struggles in his marital life in 9 Hours.
Social media didn’t particularly enthuse Taraka Ratna and he believed that what actors do on screen should matter more than what they do in their personal lives. He was facing some trouble from an imposter, who was posting tweets on his name and Taraka Ratna had to clarify that he didn’t have to do anything with it.
A handful of films that he’d wrapped up, were set for a release in early half of 2023. In late 2022, his graph took an interesting turn with his keenness to make a mark in politics. The year was supposed to be about new beginnings for Taraka Ratna - as a politician and as an actor - but it wasn’t meant to be. Those close to the actor have often remembered him as a thorough gentleman, a good friend who took on the vagaries of life with grace.