Ram Charan in action mode

Fighting: Telugu-style. Backdrop: Bangla-style. South superstar and Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan Teja got his first taste of shooting in Kolkata on Friday as he got drenched, flaunted a trishul and battled baddies at Chhotelal Ghat near the Mullickghat flower market for VV Vinayak’s untitled film.

Teja was all flared nostrils and rippling muscles as he came face-to-face with villain Pradeep Rawat and his henchmen — a group of ‘Black Cat commandos’. The unit that’s been shooting in Kolkata from July 22, will complete its first schedule on July 30. The second leg begins in September and Teja will be joined by “Singham”girl Kajal Aggarwal.

The film also stars Ashish Vidyarthi and well-known south comedian Brahmanandan. Fight master Kanal Kannan, who was busy training the junior actors a few moves, was happy with his Kolkata experience. “The city offers a unique backdrop to the story,” he said.

This is not Vinayak’s first tryst with the city though. The director has shot parts of his superhit “Lakshmi” and “Adhurs” here and considers Kolkata his lucky charm.

“I had to shoot here. The city is full of life. There’s so much of movement on Howrah Bridge. Wherever I turn, I see the place throbbing with activity. I wanted to capture all of that,” Vinayak said. Did he get time to explore the city after work? “By the time we wrap up, it’s already too late. But we’ve tried Bengali cuisine. I love the yellow fish curry.”

Alok Mukherjee, production executive of the Kolkata leg of the shoot, was caught up with the 47 sadhus he had got together for that Kumbh Mela feel. He said, “The city’s old world charm is a huge draw for southern filmmakers. Another advantage is that people can work here for 12 hours. The cheaper wages for technicians also is an added bonus.”

A tough day for Teja, but he seemed far from tired. As the unit broke for lunch, his wife, Upasana Kamineni, joined him. When it came to striking a pose though, Upasana shied away from the flashbulbs. They got married in June, and maybe she’s still getting used to being a superstar’s wife. But Teja had made up for the loss by then.(TOI)