Music

Melody made by masters

The song ‘Andaala gani...’ came through with stalwarts coming together

DIRECTOR’S CHOICE

During a conversation with this correspondent in 1987, Arudra, the the literary wizard, remarked that he was fortunate enough to work with the three stalwarts who had shaped Telugu cinema – H M Reddy, C Pullaiah and Y V Rao. As the trio had trained many a later day popular filmmaker in the art of movie-making, he compared H M Reddy to Bheeshmacharya, C Pullaiah to Dronacharya and Y V Rao to Kripacharya. “I was then working in veteran actress Kannamba’s Raja Rajeswari Film Company. Her producer-director husband Kadaru Nagabhushanam used to shoot his films at the Gemini Studios where H M Reddy and C Pullaiah also held their film shootings. They were impressed by the way I was totally involved not only in the story, dialogue and songs, but also in editing. Later C Pullaiah assigned me the job of writing the lyrics for his trend-setter, Devanthakudu. The songs from the film were big hits, especially the Go, Go Gongura song, which is popular to this day,” recalled Arudra.

C Pullaiah’s next venture was Rajyam Pictures Krishnaleelalu (1959), produced by veteran actress Lakshmi Rajyam and C Sridhar Rao. Arudra was engaged to write the lyrics. Recollecting the days, Arudra said, “Exactly at 9 in the morning, Pullaiah Garu would come to the production office, keep his uththareeyam on the hook, the water-filled silver marachembu (pot) on the table and then the story discussion used to start. After thoroughly scanning the tenth chapter of the Bhagavatham, he completed writing the screenplay, based on which Sadasivabrahmam wrote the dialogue. After the script was ready, Pullaiah Garu sent word for me, explained the song situation and also how he had imagined the scenes. He asked me to pen the lyrics based on his briefings. He used to give total freedom to the lyricists. I wrote two or three lyrics and showed him. He liked them and asked me to sit with music director Susarla Dakshinamurthy, when the tunes were composed. The song --- Andaala gani ee brindavani --- was one among them.”

A few days later, when Arudra went to the Rajyam Pictures office, with one more lyric he did not find C Pullaiah there. Upon enquiry, he learnt that the doyen had left the project following differences with the producers. The reason was the producers insisted on retaining a few popular scenes and song situations from Vel Pictures 1935 film, Sri Krishnaleelalu, starring music maestro S Rajeswara Rao as little Krishna. This Pullaiah did not like. When he found that the producers were adamant, Pullaiah said he would not work for the film, took his uththareeyam, put it on his shoulder and walked to his car with the silver marachembu in his hand, never to step into that office again. In his place, Jampana Chandrasekhara Rao took over as the director.

It was only after Lakshmi Rajyam and Sridhara Rao assured him that they would follow the original script (while adding some parts) that Arudra completed writing the remaining lyrics given to him by Pullaiah. “When I think of the songs I wrote for Krishnaleelalu, I experience a strange feeling of felicity. This song, Andaala gani ee brindavani, is special to me as I had written it as per C Pullaiah’s wish, vision and contentment.

Andaala gani ee brindavani/ Lavanya Ramani maa Yamuna nadi/ Yelugethi piliche le lemmani/ Intha challani reyi, Intha chakkani haayi/ Anthayu tilakinchi santhasinchaali/ Ani Yamuna pilichindi raa rammani/ Intha challani…/ Kerataala marugulo, chirugaali parugulo/ Jalathaaru vennele jaladarinchindi!/ Poola Podarindlalo gaali kougillalo/ Gaaname leenamai gaguru podichindi! Intha…/ Sadileni nadireyi, jagamantha nidurinche/ saradindu kiranaalu chali chaliga prasarinche/ Isuka thinnela meetha, pasidi vennelalona/ Rasarajya Ramani raasakreedaku piliche/ Intha challani reyi…

The Scene

On the pretext of conducting the Dhanur Yaga, Kamsa (played by S V Rangarao) sends Akroora (P Suribabu) to invite Balarama (Master Sathyam) and Sri Krishna (Baby Uma) with the plan to kill Krishna. After coming to Mathura, fascinated by the beauty of his birth place, the young Krishna sings the song in the soothing voice of Jikki (P G Krishnaveni), melodiously composed by Susarla. Arudra would have been happy had the song been picturised by C Pullaiah. But it did not happen, despite the fact, that the song became a hit. Arudra’s concluding words were: “Through this incident and with his irrevocable action, C Pullaiah conveyed a strong message to me. That, in a production company where there was no freedom for him, no creative person could get along and he should leave such place.”

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 10:04:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/melody-made-by-masters/article20379225.ece

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