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On the inherent relaxation within ‘Kaarulo shikaarukelle...’

A still from ‘Kaarulo shikaarukelle...’ with ANR and Savitri

A still from ‘Kaarulo shikaarukelle...’ with ANR and Savitri  


This song in ‘Thodikodallu’ worked on the strength of its lyrics though placed without any context in the film

Our movies have three types of songs — songs written for a strong situation in the narrative, songs just for entertainment with a fixed formula along with three or four fights, and then songs for relaxation, irrespective of the fact whether or not there is a situation for it. When the filmmaker feels that the narrative is loaded with heavy drama and the audience may need a breathing space, he opts either for a comedy scene or a song for relaxation.

Producer Dukkipaati Madhusudana Rao and director Adurthi Subbarao felt the need for such a relaxation song after watching the rushes of their family drama, Thodikodallu (1957). Along with writer Acharya Athreya they discussed the matter. No situation was given to Athreya to pen the lyric, as there existed none. Athreya then recalled a song he had written much before his entry into films. He took the song sheet from his file and gave it to the director. Both Dukkipaati and Adurthi liked it. Under the baton of music composer Master Venu, and rendered by Ghantasala, the song was recorded by Kasinathuni Viswanath at the Vauhini Studios recording theatre.

But where would the director place it, wondered the producer and the lyricist. After toying with a couple of places, Adurthi decided to keep it in the first half of the movie, in fact within 15 minutes of its roll. The ace director knew the song would be a hit with the audience and he did not want to miss it.

Indian poet, scenarist, playwright, lyricist, and screenwriter Athreya

Indian poet, scenarist, playwright, lyricist, and screenwriter Athreya  

The song

The hero, who is also a poet, tries to pen a song and he watches from his balcony a woman zooming past in a topless car. He gets the idea for his song.


Kaarulo shikaarukelle paala buggala pasidi daana/ Bugga meeda gulabi rangu yela vachheno cheppagalavaa?

Ninnu minchina kannelendaro mandutendalo maadipothe/ Vaari buggala niggu neeku vachhi cherenu telusuko/ Kaarulo…

Imagining the rich lady dancing with joy in her bungalow, he writes:

Chaluvaraathi medalona kulukuthaave kurradaana/ Meda gattina chaluvaraayi yela vachheno cheppagalavaa/ Kadupukaale kashta jeevulu odalu vidichi ganulu tholichi/ Chemata chaluvanu cherchi raallanu teerchinaaru telusuko

Kaarulo shikaarukelle paala buggala pasididaana / Nilichi vinu nee badaayi chaalu/ Telusuko ee nijaa nijaalu/ Karulo

Just then his wife comes with a cup of coffee as he delivers the lines:

Gaalilona telipoye cheera gattina chinnadaanaa/ Jilugu velugula cheera silpam yela vachheno cheppagalavaa/ Chirugu paathala baruvu brathukula nethagaalle nesinaaru/ Chaakirokaridi soukhyamokaridi, Saagadinka telusuko/

Kaarulo shikaarukelle paala buggala pasididaana/ Nilichi vinu nee badaayi chaalu telusuko ee nijaa nijaalu/ kaarulo…

Since the lyric empathised with the oppressed classes, there was a misconception that it was written by Sri Sri, though its author was Athreya. In contrast, the Sri Sri lyric, Manasuna manasai… from the movie, Dr. Chakravarthy, was attributed by many to Athreya as he was popular in that genre of writing and was even called Manasu kavi.

Madduri Venugopal better known as Master Venu

Madduri Venugopal better known as Master Venu  

The scene

Sathyam (played by A Nageswara Rao) is an idealist and a poet. From the balcony of his house he sees a well-to-do lady zooming past in a topless car. Words flow from him as, with a wry smile, he sings the song. Just then his wife Suseela (Savitri) brings him coffee and asks him who is the woman about whom he is singing. He replies that it is she whom he has imagined, travelling in a car, wearing a sari that is fluttering in the breeze.

A few senior film critics of the time are of the opinion that Athreya wrote this song after watching affluent women driving past on the Marina beach road, Madras.

However, an eminent researcher on Telugu film songs, Pydipala, has, in his book Telugu Cine Geya Kavula Charitra, quoted the lyricist’s wife, Padmavathy Athreya, as telling him: “Athreya was then writing stage plays and enacting in them. He also took to a part time job teaching drama to the girl students of the Kasturba Baalikala School, founded by Ponakaa Kanakamma at Nellore. He saw some rich girl students coming by car. Though he was a scholarly person, he did not enjoy the luxury that the girls were enjoying. It was this comparison in him that culminated in that song.”

Whatever be the reason for the origin of this song, it has proved that a good song, well composed, well sung and well enacted would turn out a chartbuster even though it lacked a strong situation in the movie to back it.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 7:40:26 AM |

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