Saying it with signs: Meet the face of popular Instagram account 'The Telugu Dude'

The page is a collective effort of three friends – Naveen, Nani, and Praneeth. The stern, angry face of ‘The Telugu Dude’ is Naveen who is currently pursuing MA in public administration from Osmania University, Hyderabad. Naani and Praneeth are aspiring filmmakers. Naani writes, Praneeth shoots, and Naveen poses.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  20 Feb 2022 12:23 PM GMT
Saying it with signs: Meet the face of popular Instagram account The Telugu Dude

Hyderabad: While scrolling through Instagram, have you come across a guy with a long beard, tousled hair, wearing his signature sunglasses and holding a placard with quirky handwritten Telugu quotes? That is 'The Telugu Dude' – a popular Instagram profile.

The page is a collective effort of three friends – Naveen, Nani, and Praneeth. The stern, angry face of 'The Telugu Dude' is Naveen who is currently pursuing MA in public administration from Osmania University, Hyderabad. Naani and Praneeth are aspiring filmmakers. Naani writes, Praneeth shoots, and Naveen poses.

The Telugu Dude has grown gradually since its inception during the first wave of COVID-19. The page now has over 30K followers.


During the first lockdown, Naveen grew his beard longer than usual. "After seeing my beard, Naani came up with the idea to write quotes and express ourselves like the Dudewithsign," Naveen explained. And so it began. The three held several brainstorming sessions to find funny yet thought-provoking content.

Dudewithsign is a popular creator who expresses his thoughts via placards. "Many people say we copy Dudewithsign. But that is not true. In fact, one can say that our account is something of a tribute to Dudewithsign," Naveen said.

While their content creation is strictly confined to cardboard and Naveen, the trio constantly tries their best to not sound preachy and offensive. "We keep the content as light as possible. Our main aim is to connect with the audience through our page. If our posts are able to make at least one person smile even for a brief moment then that' enough," he says.

"Aapatlo Devudiki Oka Mudha.. Eppudu Social Media Ki Oka Mudha" – this quote has become a favourite. "While this quote is funny, it also shows the social media obsession over posting pictures of food before eating, while eating," Naveen explained.

"Aa Justice Hastaglu Chudani Roju eppudu vasthadho" is another post by The Telugu Dude which indirectly points out crime against women and other issues.

Recalling one of his favourite posts, Naveen talked about a shooting outside an intermediate college after the exam results were declared. "Fail Ayyindi Exams Lo. Life lo kadhu" – the quote reads. "This was a very chill post so that students can understand that marks aren't everything," Naveen explained. He recalled how several students reached out to him when this was posted expressing their gratitude. "Students said that they keep thinking the same exact thought I wrote but they can't speak out due to fear. But we gave voice to their opinions," he said.

The Telugu Dude has also been trolled by several people. "Initially, I used to panic. Now, I realise that the more we are trolled, the more famous we will become. So, I have begun enjoying the trolls," Naveen added.

The page hasn't been active for the last month since Naani and Praneeth are working on another project. But Naveen gets recognized in college and other public places. "There are so many content creators on Instagram and other social media platforms. It is a rat race. Once you stop posting regularly, it's like you are out. But now that I see people recognizing me, I feel like The Telugu Dude is making its mark," he said.

Naveen, Nani, and Praneeth hope to start posting again on The Telugu Dude in another one-two weeks.

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