Sirivennela will remain immortal and reside in our hearts through her works: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu
I feel blessed to have spent the most beautiful moments of my life in the company of Sirivennela: Trivikram Srinivas
There’s no high that writer, lyricist Chembolu Seetharama Sastry aka Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry hasn’t seen in his three and a half decades of movie dating. From the start of his career with K Viswanath’s Sirivennela to signing a song named after the film (Sirivennela) in Shyam Singha Roy, he has been synonymous with lyrical quality of the highest standards. To commemorate her birthday on Friday (i.e. May 20), a special event was organized by Sirivennela’s family and TANA at Shilpakala Vedika, Hyderabad.
The first volume of a book, compiling his literary works, was launched in the presence of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, filmmaker Trivikram, scholar Garikapati Narasimha Rao and other dignitaries of film and literary fraternities in addition to a huge crowd. Several dance and music performances, to the works of Sirivennela, took place in a heartfelt celebration of his legacy.
“I still remember my youth when me and Sirivennela used to talk to Anakapalli regularly and I could recognize his literary sense back then. It was an element of pride for me to see him reach such great heights in the literary and cinematographic world. Every song has to have a larger purpose and meaning in movies and Sirivennela has never let his quality suffer in his many years in the industry. He used the films as a medium to spread the glory of Telugu literature, constructive thoughts among the masses,” said Venkaiah Naidu.
“The beauty of art is that it enriches us, inspires us and gives us happiness. Every song he wrote reflected worldly values and sent a message to society. His songs wake us all from sleep and tell us to move on. His vocabulary was definitely one of his strengths, but what was most beautiful was the deep thought beneath his words. Sirivennela is a man who will remain immortal through his works,” he added.
“I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to spend some of life’s most beautiful moments in his company. I was with him not only for my films; such was the bond we shared that he used to call me even at midnight to talk about an inspiring thought or song that had struck his mind. It is a luxury to listen when a poem is born from the mind of a poet; when a poet sings, we do not hear his voice but the bottom of his heart. Many of those memories flash before me today. His stature is higher than the song he writes, he is a person with greater depth than the meaning of the song. You don’t want the best of poems, books or movies to end; he is one of those magnum-opuses. His thoughts penetrate us like an arrow,” Trivikram explained.
“Telugu cinema has given birth to great writers like Pingali Nagendra, Malladi Ramakrishna Sastry, Samudrala Raghavacharya, Veturi Sundararamamurthy and it is no small feat to make a mark among such talent. What Sirivennela (garu) wrote in his twenties about Ganga’s origin in a song is still relevant today. The best quality of art is its ability to overcome time; Sirivennela’s works are timeless. He gave me the space to interact, debate and discuss with him; such was its greatness,” he said.
“The idea of releasing a compilation of Sirivennela’s works in book form is very noble and is a key link to know his inner vision. If you need to know the bigger picture of the man, who was also a follower of Sadguru Sivananda Murthy, you have to buy his book. Take time to read his books and it will bring you self-awareness, motivation and enlightenment to a different level. His song to Maharshi, Sahasam Naa Padham, is a great example of how he woke up society through his lyrics. He would have produced literary works of the quality of an Allasani Peddanna and the stature of a Manu Charitra, had he stuck to literature. He let the radiance of his songs do the talking,” Garikapati said.
“Sirivennela’s lyrics flowed into an effortless song, it’s an ocean that had the sweetness of nectar and also the strength to spark a revolution, motivating, inspiring, cajoling and bringing immense joy through her lyrics. If young people understood the deeper meaning of his songs, there would not be so much chaos, disappointment and unhappiness in this world.At the mere mention of his name, every Telugu speaking person’s heart swells with pride. I thank his family for immediately accepting our idea to publish his works in book form. On this occasion, we are pleased to announce a special honorary prize in his name which will be awarded annually to literary talents,” said Thotakura. Prasad (former president of TANA).
Some of the other guests who have praised Sirivennela and their association with him include Mandali Buddha Prasad, Jonnavithula, Suddala Ashok Teja, Thaman, Ramajogaiah Sastry, RP Patnaik, Krish Jagarlamudi to name a few. The TANA World Literary Conference will be the center of all eyes, honoring the achievements of many more great names from Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry, said Anjaiah Chowdary, President of TANA and Thotakura Prasad. Veteran actor Pradeep and Niharika did a commendable job as the organizers of the event.