was born in Madhya Pradesh in a place called Shivoni. My grand
parents are basically Telugu people, but settled in Madhya Pradesh.
But I have to admit that my native place is Anakapally. My parents
moved to Anakapally when I was 3 months old. I studied in Anakapally
till 10th class. Later on my father is transferred to Kakinada
as ITI college lecturer.
father struggled a lot in his life. He is a rare genius. He is
an expert in 14 languages including Sanskrit, Urdu and Persian.
He mastered all most all subjects including Commerce, Mathematics,
Physics and Chemistry. He also used to teach the ICWI students.
I am the elder son in the family, my father wanted to teach me
all the knowledge he learnt. At the age of 9, my father taught
me Bhagavatgeeta. I by hearted Bhagavatgeeta at that age. When
I was in high school, he taught me calculus and trigonometry.
But I had some kind of averseness towards this systematized educational
believe in Joint family system and my father is the only earning
member in the family. Hence, for my father the family means not
just his wife and sons. The family consists of all the members
of my grandfather's offsprings. Hence he has to take care of 15
family members. He is also an eminent homeopathy doctor. He used
to struggle on daily basis to earn money to feed us. He got job
in aided college at the age of 36. Till then, he was working in
would like to elucidate about my way of studying. Since my child
hood, I used to spend less time in classroom and more time in
library. I read all the Telugu books from back to back. I never
prefer reading any books that are not in Telugu. I was a very
poor student in English. In Telugu, I used to come first in all
the contests like debates. If I attend a debate competition in
Telugu, the organizers use to reserve the first prize to me. When
I had the number one position in Telugu, I never tried my hand
at other languages, which are not my forte. By the age of 15,
I read all the books including the works of Viswanatha Satyanarayana.
Chandamama magazine is my guru. I learn a lot about Shake
Sphere's plays and Arabian Knight's stories. Chandamama
helped me to get familiarize with the world literary works.
used to be eka sandhagrahi when I was a kid. If I listen to anything
for once, I used to repeat it. My father made me repeat the entire
100 slokas of Sivananda Lahari when I was a kid. I used
to have fascination for films. I used to bunk school to watch
I actually made me of what I am today is my childhood. My father
is a great Guru for me. My father always wants me to speak truth.
He never tolerates lies. He feels happy if I confess to him that
I have made a mistake. My father is a great admirer of Gandhiji.
My teacher at elementary school used to watch a film a day. And
he is very fond of me, as I was the number one student. I used
to bug him to take me along with him for the movies. I went to
the film along with master. When I came home late, my father asked
me why I was late. I told him that my teacher has taken me to
movie. He did not believe it and he beaten me up thoroughly that
night. That was the first time my father got angry and beaten
me. Next day, my father went to teacher's house, enquired and
found out that what I told was truth. He felt very happy about
me that I told him truth. Next time onwards, I used to go and
tell him that I went to movie whenever I watched one. At the same
time, my ego used to get hurt whenever I had to tell him that
I had done something wrong. Telling truth has become a way of
life for me now. I have discovered a feel of comfort to go along
with the truth.
also learnt to think from the grassroots level on all issues from
my father. There are a few preconceived thoughts and opinions
that are blindly followed for ages. Let me give you an example.
Lots of people in this country use the name of Godsey as opponent
of Gandhiji and synonymous to evil. It's a wrong notion. If you
keep aside the discussion about Godsey killing Gandhiji is right
or wrong, I have not found a more sacrificing fellow than Godsey
even in all the purana's and in the world's history. Godsey is
a great admirer of Gandhiji. Godsey believed that Gandhiji is
trying to appease one particular group at the cost of existence
and survival of another group. Godsey knew that the people for
whom he is killing would hate him forever. Nobody can do such
a sacrifice. He is projected as a greatest villain. Nobody names
one's son as Godsey like nobody names his or her son as Ravanasurudu,
Duryodhanudu or Keechakudu. But Godsey is not a bad
guy like Ravanasurudu, Duryodhanudu or Keechakudu.
But nobody ever cared to know or understand what motivation Godsey
had behind assassinating a national father figure like Gandhiji.
My father taught me rational thinking. His rational thinking used
to be very sharp and striking. He used to ask me a question and
gave me a time of five days to answer him. He used to ask me very
basic questions and ignited me to think logically what could be
the real reason behind them. He gave a good statement that artists
and scientists are like kids. They get excited and try to do new
things every day. But philosophers must control them. A philosopher
needs to decide if the work done by scientist is useful to society
or not. If is it useful one must implement the works done by scientist.
But times have changed now. The people want youngsters as the
national leaders. This belongs to Sri Sri philosophy. In an editorial,
somebody mentioned that 'Sri Sri Munduku Nadiche Kavi
Viswanatha Satya Narayana venuka nadiche Maha Kavi'.
used to feel that I was a great singer. I was under that illusion
till I listened to Ghantasala song 'Mukkoti Devatalu .. Okkatainaaru'.
Ghantasala sings so effortlessly that his songs appear to be plain
and simple. But, when you attempt to sing them on your own, you
will flat on the face. I failed to sing that song on my own. Then
I realized that I am not a singer and I had lots of limitations.
was involved with RSS at the age of 11. My disciplined life started
since then. I used to hum songs with typical 'la la la'
sound. Later on, I started constructing my own words and sing
my own songs. When I penned a song, my brother told me that it
looks like a poem. As I was an activist in RSS, I used to write
I listened to a song, I never used to bother about how good the
tune is or how great a voice is. What interests me in any song
is the lyric. I liked Hindi songs a lot at that time. I strongly
feel Telugu lipi has two languages. One is the language of commutation
for regular life and the other one is the language of communication,
which has nothing to do with regular life. You might say that
even in poems we use the same words, which we talk in regular
life. Though we use regular words, they communication more when
they are used in poetry. I used to like Sri Sri a lot when I was
a kid. At the same time, I had a little complaint about him. He
invented free verse. It had good and bad effects. He created a
feeling that anybody can write poetry and any written thing can
be called poem.
strongly feel that any poet should possess the following three
balam: Most of the people possess this. But one has to improve
it by 'Abhyasam'.
One has to learn and practice. One can't put a Tamarind seed
on his head and claim that he is sitting in the shade of Tamarind
tree. There a big process of planting that seed and nurturing
it and waiting till it grows to become a big tree. There is
a systematic method of expressing the inner feelings.
There should be some Laya to the poetry or song
intermediate, I got an offer to study MBBS. I did not even have
the financial backing to study MBBS, as our family was a below-middle
class one. When I was studying my intermediate, I applied for
P & T as a clerk, which needs a qualification of 10th class.
But my father had different plans for me. He told that he would
make me join MBBS if I could get a seat in the open competition.
I procured a rank of 18 among the 3,300 aspirants applied for
MBBS through written test. Only 33 sears were allotted to open
quota. There were only three Medical colleges in AP. At that time,
my father used to spend Rs 300/- (in 1973) on me for my MBBS education
and living expenses. Due to meet this extra burden, my father
extended his tuition time till 1 am in the night. My father daily
schedule used to be hectic. His day starts with tuitions from
6 am to 9 am in the morning. Then attends college as lecturer
from 10 am to 5 pm. From 5 pm to 8 pm, he practices as homeopathy
doctor. After 8 pm, he had tuitions till 1 am. I worried a lot
about his health.
my college, I used to attend classes from 7 am to 5:30 pm. I am
never interested in that kind of systematized continuous study.
I used to be a first bench student till I entered my MBBS studies.
In MBBS, the first benches are occupied. I had to sit in the last
bench. I was not aware at that time that I had an eyesight problem.
I did not realize earlier as I used to sit in first bench. But
when I started sitting in the last bench, I had difficulty in
reading what professor was writing on the board. In addition to
this, the professor used to speak in English, which I was poor
at. These two factors planted some kind of inferiority complex
in me. At that time ragging used to be very mild. The worst and
toughest question my seniors asked me when I joined MBBS was to
narrate my train journey from Kakinada to Rajahnundry in English.
that time, I started smoking cigarettes. Everyone used to call
us doctors. I used to follow a life style. I used to have meals
in the mess and then eat a paan followed by smoking a Gold Flake
cigarette. I used to behave as if I was a practicing doctor when
I was a student of MBBS. Though I liked the lifestyle as MBBS
student, I had inner guilty feeling that I am not learning anything
due to above-said reasons. My father was struggling.
that point of time, I got a job for the P & T department,
which I applied long back. The job is given based on my 10th class
marks without any interview. I would get Rs 300/- a month if I
join that job, which is very exciting for me. It sounded pretty
foolish for others in those days. Hoards of people from my places
are on my back to fund my studies on the condition that I would
marry their daughter later. My problem was that I am not morally
entitled to smoke at the cost of my father's sweat and blood.
I was fascinated by the idea that I would get Rs 300/- that I
can spend at my own will, without depending on anybody. I joined
that job as a clerk. To make sure that I wont get tempted again,
I took that T.C so that I am not entitled to join MBBS at a later
point of time.
Continued in Part 2