Bhuvanachandra served the Indian Air Force for 18 years before debuting as a film lyricist with producer-director Vijaya Bapineedu’s Nakoo Pellam Kaavali. In these 25 years the ace wordsmith wrote over 2000 lyrics, many of them, super hits. He sieved through them and chose these five among his bests.

Vana Vana Velluvaye… (Gang Leader)

Cast: Chiranjeevi, Vijayashanti

It is my first rain song. When Vijaya Bapineedu garu asked me to write the lyrics, I was apprehensive as by then two rain songs, Chitapata chinukulu paduthoo vunte by Athreya and and Rajasri’s Kurisindi vana naa gundelona.. were immensely popular. I have to be on par with them. I started writing with the lines vana vana velluvaye… konda kona thullipoye cheliya choopule…and then words flowed. Bappi Lahari composed the tune at Suresh Guest House, Hyderabad. To my dismay the song was vetoed out. I persuaded Bapineedu to retain it. He conceded but said, “If not for Chiranjeevi, it will go to Rajendra Prasad for my next film with him.” On my return journey to Madras in the train I completed this song and five other songs. After the song was recorded, Chiranjeevi liked it. It was just as beautifully filmed 20 years later on Ramcharan and Tamannah in Racha as it was filmed in the original version on Chiranjeevi and Vijayashanti.

Bangaru Kodipetta Vachenandi… (Gharana Mogudu)

Cast: Chiranjeevi, Nagma, Vani Viswanath

This song remains popular even after 19 years thanks to the excellent picturisation by K. Raghavendra Rao, Keeravani’s racy composition and wonderful performance from Chiranjeevi. In fact, I wrote a different song for the situation and that was also recorded. Chiranjeevi said that he had expected a more peppy number so that he could perform with full energy. We sat for composing at producer K. Devi Varaprasada Rao’s house. During the lunch siesta, Keeravani suddenly got up, hummed a tune asking Manisharma who was his keyboard player then, to play it on the keyboard. Being a good writer, he also gave me the key words, smuggled goods bandi vachenandi… I changed them as Bangaru kodipetta… vachenandi, and in just half an hour the lyric was ready for the catchy tune. When it was remixed recently in S.S. Rajamouli’s Magadheera, the song received similar patronage. The credit goes to Keeravani who composed music for both the versions and showed brilliant variation, retaining the original version’s flavour.

Priya Raagale Gundelona Ponguthunna Subhavela…(Hello Brother)

Cast: Nagarjuna, Soundarya, Ramya Krishna

E.V.V. Sathyanarayana’s Hello Brother with music by Raj-Koti was a sensational hit. Like the above songs, this one also had that perfect blend of lyrics, music and performance. Sometimes good lyrics are born out of good tunes. Raj-Koti gave such a lilting tune to me to write the lyric. I wrote 28 ‘pallavis’. We were at SPB’s Kodandapani Recording theatre, Chennai. E.V.V. wanted some more masala added to the lyric. But Nagarjuna felt otherwise. He wanted a melody. I gave him this lyric, Priya raagale.... with a lingering doubt he may not accept it as Veturi Sundara Ramamurthy had earlier written, Priya Priyathama Raagalu for a Nagarjuna starrer. To my relief Nagarjuna approved it. It appealed to Koti and EVV too. And today no singing competition is complete without the rendition of this song.

Ra Ra Sarasku Ra Ra…(Chandramukhi)

Cast: Rajanikanth, Nayanatara, Jyothika

Choosing the right words is important for such period songs. The words should be semi-classical. It is to my fortune that P. Vasu and producer Ramkumar Ganesan chose me to write the Telugu lyric for this Tamil film. Vidyasagar gave an excellent tune and my job was to weave the words that match with the tune. Brilliant portrayals from Jyothika, Vineeth and Rajanikanth made it a memorable song. My day was made when the legendary Tamil lyricist Vali who wrote the same song for the Telugu version said ‘you have written better than me.’ I consider the trophy I received at the 804 day celebration of this Tamil cult hit, my prized possession.

Marala Telupana Priya… (Swayamvaram)

Cast: Venu, Laya

Marala Telupana Priya… Marala Telupana Yedha Loyala Dachukunna Madhurohala Parimalanni… I have written this song in my dairy purely for my pleasure. Hero Venu and director Vijaya Bhaskar liked the three songs that I wrote earlier in two days for Swayamvaram. So I was asked to pen two more songs. While casually browsing the dairy I kept on the table, Vijaya Bhaskar stopped at a page and asked, ‘Bhayya, this is the lyric I am looking for, will you give me this one?’ That’s how this song found a place in the movie. ‘Vandemataram’ Srinivas brought life to the lyric with a soulful tune. That year Venu, Laya and ‘Vandemataram’ Srinivas bagged Nandi awards for this film. If the song is still fresh in the minds of the listeners then the credit must also go to Chitra for her mesmerising rendition.

(Creator’s choice is a fortnightly column that will feature the five best works as shared by maestros from the industry.)