Telugu director and producer Vijaya Bapineedu passed away at the age of 82 today, on February 12. The filmmaker was suffering from old-age ailments and took his last breath at his residence in Hyderabad. Actor Chiranjeevi was one of the first celebrities to have arrived at the filmmaker’s place to offer his condolences.

While talking to Times of India, Chiranjeevi expressed the grief and said that Vijaya was a mentor and a father figure to him. He said, “I still cannot believe that Vijaya Bapineedu is no more. He is like a father, brother and mentor to me. Besides the director-hero relationship, we are extremely close in personal space. From Patnam Vachina Pativrathalu in 1982, we worked in a total of six films together.”

The Telugu star also shared an incident and remembered Vijaya. He said, “After I shifted to Hyderabad from Chennai, Bapineedu asked me to stay in his guest house and allocated two full floors to me. I would miss him terribly.” He had worked with the director in films like Maga Maharaju (1983), Magadheerudu (1986) and Khaidi No. 786 (1988)

The filmmaker’s last rites will be held in Hyderabad itself. As per the reports, the family of the director is waiting for his elder daughter to arrive in the country from the USA. May his soul rest in peace!