"I vow that knowingly I will not commit any wrong doing or any mistake, which will affect the dignity and pride of the film industry or give it a bad name." With these words, superstar of Telugu cinema Chiranjeevi bid adieu to the world of films at a farewell party marked by emotion and bonhomie.
Addressing the gathering of actors, directors, producers and other members of tinsel town in Hyderabad on Saturday evening, Chirnjeevi said quitting the film industry to enter public life was not an easy decision. "The thought that I will not be donning the greasepaint again has saddened, even scared me," said Chiranjeevi.
The actor who has now turned politician and is all set to unveil his party in a couple of days had personally invited film colleagues to join him over tea. "I am sure that you will appreciate my decision and extend your blessing and support to me," Chiranjeevi said.
The actor, who has worked in 138 movies since he made his debut in 1978 with Punadi Rallu and joined the galaxy of biggest ever stars of Telugu screen, said, "I am not going from the industry alone. I am taking your blessings, love and emotion with me and I will never let you down. I promise that I will make all of your proud of the fact that we knew each other."
The actor was on the verge of tears many times during his emotional speech.
While no film star from the politically influential NTR family attended the party, the presence of another senior star Mohan Babu came as a big surprise to observers and fans.
Mohan Babu, who is seen as a rival to Chiranjeevi and who had a war of words with him during the recent diamond jubilee celebrations of the Telugu film industry, came, hugged the actor and wished him well in politics.
"Chiranjeevi had personally called and invited me to join him over tea. Not responding to a namaskar with a namaskar is not my sanskar (culture)," said Mohan Babu.
Another family conspicuous by its absence was of veteran actor Krishna. Mahesh Babu, Krishna's son, also stayed away from the party amid speculations that the father-son duo was set to campaign for the Congress party in the next elections.
The film stars from the NTR family -- Balakrishna and NTR Junior -- will be campaigning for the Telugu Desam Party.
Nagarjuna and Venkatesh were among the stars who attended the function along with prominent producers and directors like D Rama Naidu, Raghvendra Rao, K Vishwanath, Ashwani Dutt, Rajendra Prasad, Devi Vara Prasad and Kodandarami Reddy.
Chiranjeevi, who will make his last appearance in a coming Telugu film along with his son Atmacharn, has said that he may work in an occasional film if it has some serious social message to convey. His decision not to work regularly in films after entering politics has saddened his lakhs of fans in the state.