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Kinnerasani: Lyrical and melodious treat

Keeping up to his promise, producer Edida Nageswara Rao offered Vamsy to direct a movie under his Poornodaya Movie Creations’ banner. Vamsy had worked as an assistant director for that banner and during that period, Edida had found him exceptionally talented. Vamsy decided to put on the celluloid his much appreciated novel, Mahallo Kokila, and the producer gave him the go-ahead. Since Edida Nageswara Rao had a sentiment that the title of his films should begin with the letter ‘S’, Vamsy opted for the name Sitara (1984). Like his mentor K Viswanath, Vamsy too is a great lover of music with a proclivity towards melody. In fact, both were fortunate to have a producer who had an ear for good music. For Sitara, Edida roped in Veturi Sundararamamurthy and Ilayaraja to write the lyrics and compose the tunes respectively.

Kinnerasani: Lyrical and melodious treat

During the music sessions, friends and well-wishers of the producer suggested that he incorporate a folk song which he had recorded but had left out from his previous movie, Sagara Sangamam. “It was not a full song, but a bit that was originally planned to be placed at the end of the song, Natya vinodamu natya vilaasamu parama sukhamu paramu, in which Kamal Hasan showcases his prowess in different forms of classical dance from Kathak to Kuchipudi,” recalls Edida Raja, the youngest son of Edida Nageswara Rao. He had worked as the executive producer for Sitara (his name appears in the titles as Edida Satish) even while pursuing his college studies.

Kinnerasani: Lyrical and melodious treat

As Veturi completed writing the song, Natya vinodamu…for the movie Sagara Sangamam, K Viswanath who was directing it, felt that a folk dance by the hero would make the scene completeto the scene. So Veturi came up with the lines Kinnerasaani vachindamma vennela paitesi/ Viswanatha palukai adi virula tene chinukai--- which was recorded by Ilayaraja in the voices of S P Balasubrahmanyam and S P Sailaja. However, the ace director subsequently had a change of mind when he went for the shoot. He felt that a folk dance might not go well with the classical dance forms in that scene. Hence the song bit was left out of the movie, though by then it had found its way into the audio cassettes and won all round appreciation. Veturi had drawn inspiration from the legendary writer Viswanatha Sathyanarayana’s poetic works to write the lines, kinnerasaani vachindamma, in which he did not fail to mention Viswanatha. Interestingly, Veturi’s first meeting with the Viswanatha was when he went to interview him as a reporter for Andhra Prabha.

“There was an apt situation for this song to be placed in Sitara,” continues Raja. “Retaining the opening lines, Veturi garu wrote new lyrics to suit the situation with Ilayaraja coming up with a fresh tune.”

Kinnerasaani vachindamma vennela paitesi/ Viswanatha palukai adi virula tene chinukai/ koonalamma kulukai adi Kuchipudi nadakai/ pachani chela pavada katti kondamallele koppuna betti/ vache dorasani ma vannela kinnerasani…

The scene

Kokila’s (Bhanupriya) past life is unveiled in a flashback to photographer Devadas (‘Subhalekha’ Sudhakar), who changes her name to Sitara, and is responsible for her new beginning. For the first time in her life, Kokila steps out of the dilapidated palace after she meets Raju (Suman), a performer in a street-play group and breathes fresh life in his company. In that joyous mood, they both break into a duet in the melodious voices of S P Balasubrahmanyam and S P Sailaja.

Yendala kanne sokani rani/ Palleku raani pallavapani/ Kotanu vidichi, petanu vidichi/ kanulaa ganga ponge vela/ Nadila taane saage vela/ Raagaala raadaari poodari authunte…

It was Bhanupriya’s maiden Telugu movie and Vamsy’s first association with the maestro Ilayaraja. Bhanupriya went on to become one of the most acknowledged heroines and Vamsy-Ilayaraja duo churned out many chart-buster songs. Edida Nageswara Rao’s faith in Vamsy reaped rich dividends as Sitara not only turned a blockbuster commercial hit, but also won three prestigious national awards in 1985 — the best feature film in Telugu, best female playback singer for S Janaki (Vennello Godari andam) and best editor award for Anil Malnad.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2020 8:08:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/kinnerasani-lyrical-and-melodious-treat/article19784978.ece

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