‘Sirivennela’ is no longer a fact that is difficult to digest and accept. But such is life, no one knows when death kisses a person. the movie industry. In this regard, I would like to share my personal perspective on him.
Sirivennala was my older brother’s classmate, theirs is the first group of middle man who studied at Kakinada Ideal College. My brother used to say he was a prankster and wrote hilarious lines about teachers. At the same time a very intelligent student, he was a lively person and used to cheer up friends, making several jokes and also spontaneously making many poems and short ‘kavitas’.
With the best percentage of grades he obtained in SSC, he applied for a job in the BSNL department. He was selected and there was no interview and he immediately joined the service at Kakinada. I too have had the privilege of meeting him several times and enjoyed his lively company. He was still a smiling person, a cigarette held between his fingers and every puff he used to enjoy and immerse himself in literary discussions. Luckily, he tried his luck in filmmaking and with the blessing of none other than K Viswanath. He had a golden chance to write all the songs in the film ‘Sirivennela’ and the film and his songs were an instant hit, all of them noticed with wonder the value of his writings. The actual title of the film became prefixed in place of his last name and was identified as “Sirivennela”.
Since then he has not looked back and he has enriched the film music industry with his rich contributions and left his own mark, he has sparkled alongside another talented all-round lyricist, Veturi Sundara Rama Murty. Veturi and Sirivennela are both descendants of Vagdevi. Sirivennala has written a wide variety of songs ranging from devotional, romantic, folk, revolutionary, mass and classical poetry. He earned the name for skillfully writing for classic songs filled with rich Telugu and Sanskrit vocabulary, his range cannot be measured and every song was a gem.
Each film poet has his own idiosyncrasy. ‘Sirivennela’ is only in the mood at night to write lyrics and he used to swallow cups of tea and smoke all night long and the result of his efforts is that a gem is produced by his pen. When SPB in a lighter vein asked him why should he bother writing movie songs so much when Veturi wrote a wide variety of songs just during the day without too much stress. To which Sirivennala frankly admitted that Veturi was a hundred times talented than him, unless he made such an effort, he couldn’t write a top song.