Rich tributes were paid to cine lyricist, poet and journalist Veturi Sundara Ramamurthy who passed away at Hyderabad on Saturday.

Reminiscing his association with Veturi, a native of Krishna District, former All India Radio station director Praharaju Panduranga Rao on Sunday said that it was AIR that gave him the break in 1972 by airing the all-time hit musical play “Srikaakolunu Chinnadhi”.

“I was transferred from All India Radio Rajkot station to Vijayawada in 1972 and I met Veturi who was keen to make a musical play.

Veturi, with the help of former Andhra Prabha editor V. Deekshitulu and friends like Sri Gopal and C. Ram Mohan Rao produced the play and I, who was then a duty officer, had the privilege of assisting him in the making of it,” said Mr. Rao.

Describing Veturi as a gentleman, Mr. Rao said the poet gave respect to all. “In 2002 I met him at Hotel Ilapuram and spoke about my involvement in the making of “Srikaakolunu Chinnadhi”. He was happy to see me and enquired about my welfare. He also asked me to give him a CD of the play, which I did,” Mr. Rao recollected.

Senior journalist C. Raghavachari said he ran into Veturi whenever he went to see his friends Mullapudi Venkata Ramana and Bapu while they were working with Andhra Patrika.

Senior journalist and Padmasree awardee Turlapati Kutumbha Rao said that Veturi dealt with ‘bhakti', ‘rakti' and ‘mukti' with finesse in his songs. “I still remember his soothing words, written in the form a letter, when my wife passed way,” he recollected.

Abhiruchi Cultural Association secretary P. Krishnaji said that the association presented the Jandhyala memorial award to Veturi in 2007 for his contribution to Telugu language and Telugu film industry. “In fact, we were planning to celebrate his 75{+t}{+h} birthday next year in a grand manner. Few weeks before his hospitalistion we approached him and he readily accepted for the felicitation in Vijayawada. He had a special place in his heart for Krishna District,” he pointed out.

X-Ray Cultural Association general secretary B. Anjaneya Raju said that Veturi's words played a key role in the success of the films. “His contribution to Telugu language will always be remembered”.

State Bank of India officer Syed Ali's association with Veturi signifies that the legendary poet hardly had any airs about his status. “He used to visit our bank in Chennai where I was working as a cashier. He always remembered me by name. He was a great soul,” said Mr. Ali.

Keywords: LyricistAIRCinema

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