METRO PLUS

Inducing progressive thinking thro plays

WRITER V. Lakshmipathi .

WRITER V. Lakshmipathi .  

His plays have won awards at the State and national levels

There are very few who haven't heard of Annamacharya and his keertanas in praise of Lord Venkateswara. On the contrary, there seem to be very few people who have heard about Kanta Krishnamacharya or Kantamayya.

This ardent devotee of Lord Varaha Lakshminrusimha Swami of Simhachalam had penned over four lakh kritis in praise of the Lord way back in 10th century A.D., several centuries before the birth of Annamayya.

A writer from Visakhapatnam has taken great pains in going through the voluminous works and penning a play on the great saint who was not only a great poet but also was a social reformer more than 1,000 years ago. The play was published recently and it would be staged during the 'Nandi Natakotsavams' (Nandi drama Competitions) to be organised later this year or early next year.

Born to Viriyala Venkata Rao and Bhagirathi at Yendada in Visakhapatnam in July 1943, Lakshmipathi had his secondary education at Mrs.A.V.N. College High School. After graduating from Mrs.A.V.N. College, he obtained a diploma in mechanical engineering.

He was deeply influenced by his father, who was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi. His father, a teacher by profession, used to visit Sabarmati Ashram every year and serve at the ashram for a month.

When he was eight years old, Lakshmipathi listened to 'Bobbili Yuddham' burrakatha and that left a deep impress on him. He used to repeat the story again and again exactly like the burrakatha artiste.

His paternal uncle's son Narasimha Rao's departure to Canada for higher studies produced intense feelings of separation in Lakshmipathi, and he penned his first poem. The poem was published in 'Andhra Prabha Weekly' and that spurred the writer in him, and from then onwards there was no looking back.

His literary pursuits received a boost after joining Visakhapatnam Port Trust in 1965. The VPT authorities used to encourage artistes and writers and its cultural association used to bag awards invariably at various levels. He wrote three playlets - 'Kalyani', 'Kalki' and 'Maramanishi' - in the first few years after joining VPT and his poems were published in Telugu literary magazines and dailies. His play 'Panchama Vedam' (Fifth Veda) was staged about 100 times in different places all over the country, including Chennai and Delhi. It was staged thrice in Chennai and it won the appreciation of the late Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao when it was staged in Delhi. The play portrays the problems of Harijans and makes a scathing attack on orthodoxy. It won several awards, including the Kalasagar Award for the best play. His 'Abhinaya Vedam' also won the Kalasagar Award for the best play.

Apart from stories, poems and plays, he wrote two street plays - 'Tholu Bommalata' and 'Sava Thandavam'. His plays 'Athadu Adavini Jayinchadu' and 'Ruthu Sanketalu' broadcast by All India Radio, Visakhapatnam, got him awards at the national level.

Lakshmipathi, along with another noted writer Puripanda Appalaswamy, spearheaded a movement for promotion of colloquial language in literature during the 1980s. He was State secretary of Abhyudaya Rachyatula Sangam (ARASAM - Progressive Writers Association) when its State convention was held in Visakhapatnam in August 2004.

He cherishes the blessings of Sri Tridandi Srimannarayana China Jeeyar Swami who witnessed the 'Amuktamalyada' play and the felicitation following the staging of the play 'Abhinayavedam' in Mumbai.

His other published plays include 'Nagaara', 'Agnipuneetham' and 'Srikantakrishnathandavam' and his unpublished works include 'Darwin Monkeys', 'Devanam Priya' 'Satyabhama Jada', 'Simhala Devidi', 'Gandhi Nannu Manninchu' and 'Ashwagoshudu'.

"Creating awareness on social issues and promoting progressive ideas and removing social evils through literature is my mission," says Lakshmipathi.

B. MADHU GOPAL

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