Writer Kovvali was celebrated for his revolutionary stories.
During the thirties and forties, train travel was an unusual experience. Book vendors would get into trains with bundles of magazines and short novels, shouting the name ‘Kovvali'. His full name was Kovvali Lakshmi Narasimha Rao. These novels, a quarter-size of foolscap paper, were sold thick and fast as Kovvali novels had a big clientele. .
Imagine the contribution of Kovvali to Telugu literature, for he wrote more than a thousand novels which is an Indian record. He passed away 35 years ago, and Kinnera Art Theatres came forward to recall his contribution to Telugu literature by celebrating his Vardhanti. Former minister and lover of literature and arts, Mandali Buddha Prasad, attended as chief guest at the programme.
In his novels, Kovvali instructed women to get educated, not to cling to unhappy marriages, get out of child marriages, and not to hesitate to marry for love. Imagine the days from the thirties to the seventies, when he propagated these revolutionary ideas dealing with sexuality. He was ahead of his time, and was both bold and expressive. His female characters knew what they wanted and fought to get them. Kovvali was socially conscious and expressed himself against hypocrisy, blind faith in the name of tradition, greed and corruption. His subjects ranged from love stories to historical novels to crime stories. Kinnera Art Theatres instituted cash awards on the study of these novels, and selected G. Syamala, G. Sambasiva Rao and B. Jayaramulu as winners in a competition on articles written on Kovvali novels. These were received in the presence of two of Kovvali's sons, Nageswara Rao and Lakshminarayana.
Sri Buddha Prasad pointed out that these novels reflected the social conditions like child marriages, education, and caste disparities in the period. Mukteswara Rao IAS, Additional Secretary, Agriculture also toed the same line. When one looks at Kovvali once again, it is amazing that one person could write so many pages in his life though he failed to get any recognition from his contemporaries in those days. Obviously he wrote many novels without any break, some in a week and some just in two days. On the occasion Sravya, Ananya, Lakshmi, Kirtana and others of Natya Sudha danced to Annamacharya Kirtanas.