The life of Padma Shri winner Chintakindi Mallesham, who invented the the Asu machine that processes yarn for sarees mechanically, is being recreated in a biopic, Times of India reported. The Telugu-language film will be directed by debutant Raj, the publication said.
The innovation was born when Mallesham, a high school dropout, set his mind to making the life of his mother, a handloom weaver, easier. His invention mechanised the process known as asu, which is integral to making the Pochampally Ikat saree. The laborious technique involves winding yarn by moving one’s arms thousands of times around a peg and his mother would frequently complain of joint pain. The machine reportedly reduced the time taken to weave the saree from six hours to 1.5 hours. In 2017, he was awarded the Padma Shri, the country’s fourth-highest civilian award.
Telugu actor Priyadarshi will play Mallesham’s role, while anchor and actress Jhansi will be play his mother. The film will reportedly cover 12 years of Mallesham’s life, between the late 1980s and the 1990s. Production is half-way through, said the Times of India.