Tendulkar's century is "yet another" century, a great
invention of Edison, like a phonograph , was "one among"
his inventions, a great song by Gulzar is "one more"
in his oeuvre. It is quite easy to forget what a person has
achieved in his lifetime, to what great heights he scaled, to
what critical acclaim he was greeted with, if he still continues
to live among us and does what he did best irrespective of the
popular opinion. The man in question vacillated between the
extremes - brilliance was balanced with mediocrity, playfulness
was subdued with utter seriousness, pathos was treated with
the same intensity as the rage inside. It would not be grossly
exaggerating to note that no conceivable emotion in entire human
spectrum was left untouched by his word. Ironic it is, when
there are no words that wrap around his overall achievement.
A man of his word, a man of many words - Sri Veturi Sundara
the sea, after a huge tide dies down, there would be a period
of lull in which it would seem that there never would be another
tide of that same proportion and magnitude that would overwhelm
everything in the immediate vicinity and the period of calm
and quiet would continue forever, and nature has it, that there
surely would rise another tide. During the mid 70s, when Aatraeya,
Cinaare, Srisri and Aarudra were ebbing towards eternal calm,
one voice stepped in and made the transition seem as unique,
as vibrant and as different as anybody had seen till then. Where
all the aforementioned poets had distinctive tones that were
instantly recognizable in their lyrics, Veturi with his inimitable
expanse in his range reminded of Aatreya in his simplicity of
language, Cinaare in his richness of expression, Srisri in his
force of thought, Aarudra in his alliterations of usage, thus
making him the consummate expressive voice of his times.
in during the most troubling period for telugu music, Veturi
ventured into new territory, where the context, the subject
and the topic proved as props and transcended into more playful
nature of lyric writing. Consider his "aaku caaTu pinde
taDise" lyric (aDavi rAmuDu) - the song which would remain
the yardstick to rain songs, and one which would serve as his
template for the innumerable dry songs that he would pen in
his career - one where the director offers nothing more than
a "regular duet" lead, one where the character has
to burst into a song for no apparent reason, one where the presence
of the song would neither aid the narrative nor make any sense.
His career can be demarcated by the eras during which his contributions
were paramount, significant and noteworthy, in the same order
- the 70s, 80s and the 90s.
a notable debut in "O seeta kadha", Veturi teamed
up again with Sri. K.Viswanath for "siri siri muvva"
- a nava rasa bharitha racana. His delicate dealing with words
and emotions for the song "godaaralle eenneTTo godaaralle
(oDupunna pilupu odigunna pulupu oka gontulOnae palikindi)",
the emotional and explosive barrage for the song "raa digi
raa (vikaTa naTaspada visphulingamula vilaya taanDavamu salipina
neeve, Silavae aitae pagilipO, SivuDae aitae ragilipO)",
the profoundly philosophical yet yeoman like simplicity for
the song "evarikevaru ee lokam lO (vanaa kurisi velisaedi
vaagulO, vaagu vanka kalisaedi nadilO, nadulu kadali caeraedi
kaDalilO, aa kaDali kalisaedi endulO?)", the pada and bhaava
laalityam for "andaaniki andam ee puttaDi bomma (palaka
manna palakadee pancadaara cilaka, kulukae singaaramaina kona
siggula molaka)" offered a glimpse of his repertoire. When
the late 70s saw an explosion of low budget but tasteful features
like "pantulamma", "rama chiluka", "padahaaraeLLa
vayasu", "inTinTi ramayanam" etc, Veturi was
leading the fore, dishing out even tasteful lyrics to meaningful
and subject sensitive contexts.
was a watershed moment in Veturi's career wherein "SankaraabharaNam"
and "aDavi raamuDu" released with a span of an year
crowned Veturi as an ambidextrous bard - peerless and priceless.
Winning commercial acclaim for his artistic prowess and winning
critical acclaim for his commercial forays, Veturi continued
marching along the paths of commercially artistic and artfully
tasteful with great ease and equal aplomb. He balanced every
"omkaara naadaanu sandhaanamau gaanamae" with "olammee
tikka raegindaa", he countered every "cilaka koTTuDu
koDitae" with "yeDaarilO kOyila tellaranee raeyilaa",
he meted the same treatment to "kokilamma peLLiki konantaa
sandaDi" as he dished out to "kiraataarjuneeyam".
His command over the variations of the language, his ability
to mix the complex with the colloquy, his treading of the fine
line between showing his trade and showing off his talent, earned
him critics' accolades and won him audience's hearts.
entry and subsequent establishment in the filmdom was as dramatic
as the quote that is usually ascribed to Julius Ceasar - Veni
Vidi Vici (He came, He saw, He conquered). Veturi successfully
completed the first part in the 70s and eventually went to finish
off the quote in the 80s.
here for the next part)
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