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Why the lyrics in ‘Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo’ are a toast to the Telugu language

Allu Arjun in ‘Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo’s song, ‘Sittharala Sirapadu’

Allu Arjun in ‘Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo’s song, ‘Sittharala Sirapadu’  

His love and passion for the language is taking lyricist Kalyana Chakravarthy Tripuraneni places

It has been a swift rise to the top for Kalyana Chakravarthy Tripuraneni. Known as Kalyan to industry folks, the lyric writer of Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is a native of Gudivada and is armed with a B.Tech and MBA graduate worked in the revenue department of the Telangana government for five years before moving to the film industry to pursue a career as a lyricist and a dialogue writer. He talks of his salad days, “I was introduced to music director Chakri and he was impressed when I wrote a few lines. I was supposed to meet him again but he died the next morning. Then I went back to my home town and ran a private school; I was busy with that for three years. A music director and a few other people came as chief guests to one of our school functions. The welcome song that I had written caught their attention and they advised me to move to the film industry. I did.”

Is there a ‘filmi’ grammar to writing songs? “If you learn Telugu till the X std fluently, you can write not only kavyalu but also kalakhandalu. I am a voracious reader of new poets and I am inspired by Patanjali’s writings,” says Kalyan whose first film was 118 and then he worked on Guna 369. He had written campaign songs for Andhra Pradesh elections too.

Lyricist Kalyana Chakravarthy

Lyricist Kalyana Chakravarthy  

The title track of Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo that begins with Bammera Pothana’s lines, continues with Kalyan’s lyrics; it has become an instant hit and fetched him recognition. Title songs are usually given to senior lyricists so he was lucky to bag the assignment, he says. The other songs for the film were written by Seetarama Sastry, Kasarla, Shyam, Rama Jogaiah Shastry and Vijay Kumar. Kalyan shares, “There is diversity and freshness when different people write songs for a film rather than one lyricist getting a single card. It creates employment too. Enni rasavu ani kadhu yela rasavu (It’s not how many you wrote, how you wrote) is important,” he says as a matter of fact.

Kalyan was influenced primarily by his Telugu teachers and his grandmother. He had exposure to literature as his grandparents were littérateurs. His father was an NTR fan who would play Dana Veera Soora Karna VCD innumerable times at home. Kalyan recalls how when someone asked NTR Bhashani yela brathikinchukovali (How do you keep the language alive)? the actor’s reply was matlaadi brathinchukovali (by talking). He adds, “When you keep meeting new people, you observe different mentalities. I was born in Andhra, grew up in Telangana and worked as an engineer in Rayalaseema. I’m exposed to different culture and languages. I remember writing a song in the VII std .”.” He stresses the importance of Telugu being the medium of instruction at least till the V std. Recently when he was writing dialogues for Paruchuri Brothers, he used a word ‘Uppirisindhi’ (the stripes on the collar caused by sweat) and Paruchuri Gopalakrishna was thrilled, he said he could sleep happily for hearing a new word. Such is the power and satisfaction that language can give a person.

He recalls the day Trivikram Srinivas had summoned him to write the title song, “There is intellectual satisfaction working with him. Ninety percent should be understood by the listeners and commercial in nature and the remaining 10 percent demands to be understood,” he sums up.

Kalyan believes that though there are many lyricists, opportunities come to those who try hard. His next projects are Miss India and S5 ..no exit.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 4:47:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/ala-vaikunthapurramuloo-lyricist-interview-kalyana-chakravarthy-tripuraneni/article30606714.ece

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