Music

Aatreya remembered

Telugu cine legendary lyricist Acharya Aatreya's 92nd birth anniversary was celebrated on a grand scale under the aegis of Vizianagaram-based Aatreya Smaraka Peetham of Ganti Murali at Kalabharati Visakhapatnam. A lyricist and playwright of a high order, Aatreya walked tall across the vast expanse of Telugu theatre and filmdom. His works constitute lush pasture in the landscape of Telugu cine literature and social theatre.

Born in 1921 in Mangalampadu village near Sullurpet in Nellore district, Kilambi Venakata Narasimhacharyulu became popular as Acharya Aatreya, assumed his gotram ‘Aatreyasa' as his pen name and grew up into a fine literary mind in an age of titans in Telugu modern literature. He had his schooling in Nellore and Chittor and was into writing playlets during his student days. He left studies as he got arrested for participating in the Quit India Movement.

With a sound grounding in classical literature, he was one of the few writers whose lucid expression stood out for its simplicity of word, clarity of thought and directness of appeal and an inimitable turn of phrase. He arrived on the Telugu literary scene as a playwright in 1940s. In all, his available theatre works add up to ten plays and 15 playlets. His early works such as Santhi , Dr Kotins are missing.

His works redefined the contours of social theatre and formed the nucleus for theatre of protest. His play N.G.O. way back in 1948 turned out to be a trend setter. This play remains a landmark in the realm of Telugu theatre. His works Ashok Samrat, Goutama Buddha, Parivarthana, Vaastavam, Eenaadu, Bhayam, Kappalu, Viswa Santi and others are a class apart. Perhaps his growing up during the years of World War II had a profound impact on him, making peace a recurring element throughout his works.

He debuted in Telugu filmdom as lyricist in 1951 with the film Deeksha . Renowned singer M.S. Ramarao sang his debut song Porababu Po Poi Choodu Ee lokam Pokada . Conversant with rich and varied nuances of simple idiom, he explored the whole gamut human emotions in his cine lyrics. A lyricist nonpareil of situational songs, he carved a niche for himself as ‘Manasu Kavi' (poet of the heart in Telugu) penning innumerable songs of lasting appeal that captured the agony of broken hearts in its entire poignancy. The philosophical import in between the lines further heightened its universal appeal.

Romance in its exquisite charms was another dominant element that formed an impressive hue in the rainbow of his cine lyrics that swayed the young hearts for generations. Patriotism, devotion, pathos, sentiment or joy whatever be the mood, he captured it in his lyrics in his unique style that endeared it to the learned and the laity alike. Besides being an ace lyricist, he produced and directed a film Vagdanam in 1961 and acted in two films Adarsam and Kode Nagu .

On this occasion in the musical nite of Aatreya's lyrics a host of local singers belted out chosen numbers with verve. Minister for Port, Investment and Infrastructure Ganta Srinivasarao, who was chief guest and Chairman AP Hindi Academy Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad paid rich tributes to Aatreya.


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Printable version | May 19, 2022 10:55:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/aatreya-remembered/article3472839.ece