Remembering a legend- On Occasion of the great Veturi’s Birth Anniversary

Remembering a legend- On Occasion of the great Veturi’s Birth Anniversary

Most of the people in our generation have grown up listening to the songs of the great legend Veturi Sundararama Murthy garu. The earliest rememberance was his sensational Vetagadu and he gave us Sankarabharanam songs before we forgot Vetagadu. Sankaraabharanam is still not forgotten by most of the telugu people even after more than 30 years of release. Compare that with the current lyrics that are forgotten in a month and you will realize why he is called a legend. Before we could even check if the tapes of Shankaraabharanam have worn out, he presented us with another gem called Sagarasangamam and 80s and 90s literally belonged to him. Look at few names of the films for which he has written in 80s- Saptapadi, Subhodayam, Subhalekha, Sagara Sangamam, Meghasandesam, Mudda Mandaram, Malle Pandiri, Nalugu Stambhalata, Rendu Jalla Seetha, Amarajeevi, Sreevariki Prema Lekha, Ananda Bhairavi, Srivari Sobhanam, Mogudu Pellalu, Chantabbai, Sitaara, Anveshana, Alapana, Mayuri, Amavasya Chandrudu, Janaki Ramudu and Geethanjali.Iam sure you will remember atleast one song from each movie and that’s why he is called a legend who can never die. He has elevated himself in 90s as King of Telugu lyrics by striking a fine balance between mass and class and he has given us some very beautiful numbers. His work in movies like Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari, Sarigamalu, Seetharamayya Gaari Manavaralu, Mathru Devo Bhava, and Mechanic Alludu has established his position in the industry.

There are people who remember him for his mass songs and dismiss him against Acharya Aathreya or others but look at the way he has used telugu language and you will realize what he is made of. His words and phrases are delightful and mystifying. Can you ever imagine a phrase like Gasagasaala kougilintha and if you have, you know that it is written by only veturi. Look at the words below from the film Saptapadhi-

anagala raagamai toluta veenulalarinchi,

analEni raagamai maralaa vinipinchi

Few lines from our most favorite song in Sankaraabharanam-

merise merupulu murise pedavula chiru chiru navvulu kaabOlu,

urime urumulu sari sari natanala siri siri muvvalu kaabOlu

paravaSaana SirasUgangaa dharaku jaarenaa Sivaganga

naa gaanalahari nuvu munuganga, aanandavRshTi nE taDavanga!

If you have forgotten his songs from Saagarasangamam, few lines that will bring the legend back to you-

naruDi bratuku naTana, eeSwaruDi talapu ghaTana,

aA renTi naTTanaDuma neekendukinta tapana

lets look at few more lines from the same film from the legendary song ‘ Mounamelanoyi’-

palike pedavi vonikindi enduko
(Why the lip which talks is shivering?)
vonike pedavi venakaala emito
(What’s behind those shivering lips?)

…………..
ivi edadugulaa valapu madugulaa
(Are these the sacred seven steps or the intimacy of Love?)
kanne eedu vulukulu kantipaapa kaburulu
(..the disturbances and conversations in the young unmarried girl.. )

While he was popular with the classic films from Vishwanath, one of his best came in the form of national award winning Maathrudevobhava where he wrote-

Raalipoye puvva neeku raagalendukey
totamaali nee todu leduley
vaalipoye podda neeku varnalendukey
lokamennado cheekataayele..
neekidi telavaarani reyamma..
kaliki maa chilaka paadaku ninnati nee raagaam

Geetanjali got him so many awards and he made the first kiss song of telugu industry look classical in this movie-

om namaha nayana shruthulaku
om namaha hrudaya layalaku om
om namaha adhara jathulaku
om namaha madhura smruthulaku om

He is truly a legend who is born by the blessings of the Lord Sarawathi and his immense love for telugu language can be seen in each and every song. He has written class and mass alike and experimented with the words every song he wrote. Government of India recognized this legend too late and he got national award for his song raalipoye poova from Mathrudevobhava. He received Nandi Awards seven times for the following songs and I’m sure you will agree with me that each of those songs are memorable.

Song: Maanasa Veenaa Madhu Geetham (Telugu: మానసవీణ మధుగీతం), Movie: Pantulamma, Year: 1977

Song: Sankara Nadasarerapara (Telugu: శంకరా నాదశరీరాపర), Movie: Sankarabharanam , Year: 1979

Song: Brundavani Vundi (Telugu: బృందావని ఉంది), Movie: Kanchanaganga, Year:1984

Song: Ee Duryodhana Dussaasana (Telugu: ఈ దుర్యోధనదుశ్శాశన), Movie: Pratighatana, Year: 1985

Song: Pavuraniki Panjaraniki (Telugu: పావురానికి పంజరానికి), Movie: Chanti, Year: 1991

Song: AakaaSaana SuuryuDunDaDu (Telugu: ఆకాశాన సూర్యుడుండడు), Movie: Sundara Kanda, Year: 1992

Song: Odanu Jaripe (Telugu: ఓడను జరిపే), Movie: Rajeshwari Kalyanam, Year: 1993

There is no death for legends like him and no award can really honour such great poets. It is sad that he didn’t win any Padma awards and he is today one of the forgotten poets in the eyes of governments. But in the eyes and hearts of the telugu film lovers and the people who love literature, he will live forever and ever.

by Brahma Mahesh
[email protected]


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