The poet's centenary celebrations held in various parts of Andhra Pradesh

The birth centenary of ‘Mahakavi' Sri Sri aka Srirangam Srinivasa Rao was celebrated with fanfare in the city on Friday with his admirers going all out to relive the poet/writer's extraordinary literary works.

A series of programmes was held in different parts of the State too. Abhyudaya Rachayitala Sangham (Arasam) organised a programme on Tank Bund here, where floral tribute was paid to the statue of the popular poet. The 31st re-print of his epic-work ‘Mahaprasthanam' was released on the occasion. Praja Natya Mandali organised another fete at Ravindra Bharati.

Speakers at different programmes recalled how Sri Sri transformed into the first modern Telugu poet, whose writings reflected the issues confronting the day-to-day life of the common man. They also referred to how ‘Mahaprasthanam', an anthology of poems published in 1950, rocked the Telugu literary world.

Top litterateur

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah led the State in paying tributes, at a function in Jubilee Hall, to the poet terming him one of the top litterateurs of the 20th century. He referred to the prodigious talent of the writer, who penned his first poem at the age of eight.

Recalling the sensational ‘Mahaprasthanam,' Mr. Rosaiah said the epic work brought name and fame to Sri Sri leading to the title of ‘Mahakavi'. Much to the surprise and delight of the audience, the Chief Minister recited a portion of the popular work.

Inspired lakhs

He said the poem ‘Maro Prapancham, Maro Prapancham' inspired lakhs of people. This was evident from the fact that ‘Mahaprasthanam' had run 30 re-prints.

Though poems in ‘Mahaprasthanam' appeared to have a Marxist bent, Sri Sri himself had admitted that he did not know much about Marxism, Mr. Rosaiah said.

The Chief Minister also spoke about lyrics written by Sri Sri for Telugu films by making a special mention of ‘Manusana Manasai' from Dr. Chakravarthy, ‘Hello Hello O Ammayi' (Iddaru Mitrulu), Naa Hrudayamlo Nidurinche Cheli' (Aradhana), and ‘Telugu Veera Leva Ra' (Alluri Seetarama Raju). Later Mr. Rosaiah released a compilation of ‘Sri Sri Prathana Thriyam'.

Praja Rajyam president K. Chiranjeevi was also present.