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A man of all seasons - Veturi - 10
Srinivas Kanchibhotla

continued from part 8

The writing had been on the wall foThe man arrived with no fanfare and left the scene with none, in spite of achieving a whole lot in between. Phrases like 'trend setting', 'path breaking' et al do not apply to him. He is not hailed as someone who heralded a new way of doing things, and neither did he try breaking the existing norms and moulds. He went about doing his job in the way he knew best and in the way laid out by his predecessors. 'Old School' suits him to a T. His choice of instruments, typical, his style of orchestration, beaten track. But the man consistently proved in decade after decade of changing styles and tastes, that a music composition doesn't need to be complex, complicated, extravagant or thunderous for the composer to earn critical appreciation and garner commercial reception. After all, a tune is but an arrangement of words in a way that could be easily remembered and recollected at a moment's notice (much like 'chandassu' in poetry, and 'jata', 'ghana' etc in Vedas). If convenience to summon back the words quickly and easily is the sole aim of music, why not make it easy and accessible, instead of burdening in with unnecessary and redundant elements, which makes the act of remembering that much more difficult. And it is simply for this reason that the man and his creations would be remembered for however long film music would remain relevant, only because they can be revived from lost times and past memories with least bit of effort. He remains the last music director of the golden era, who stood steadfast with the words and let music be a beautiful arrangement/adornment around them. He remained a perennial favorite of both the budding and seasoned lyricists for letting them take the center stage and allowing the limelight to be shone entirely on them, while he comfortably retreated to the background. He remained a trusted consort to the directors aiding them to advance the situation lyrically without any loss of the mood. He continues to remain in the minds, hearts, and as in the wont, on the tongues of music connoisseurs with his creations that remained ageless and effortless - K.V.Mahadevan.

Whenever he was at the helm of the affairs, the major onus of creating a song rested solely on the shoulders of the lyricists. Irrespective of the situation - artistic or bombastic - he waited on the lyricist to make the first move, compelling him to put his, the lyricist's, best foot forward every single time. And if the lyricist was of any reasonable repute, he reveled at the opportunity to showcase his prowess, striving for his best even for a simple situation. That way Mahadevan remained the conscience of every wordsmith, forcing them to turn in decent and respectable lyrics, when the situations were dire, and elegant and ethereal, when the situations soared. And with someone blessed with extraordinary intellect like Veturi, Mahadevan's job became that much easier, as the words, in their own right, did most of the heavy-lifting. When the question pops up, well, then what is the difference between a poem and a song, if the music director doesn't share an equal burden. And Veturi answers

alalu kadilinA pATae
aaku medilinA paaTae
kalalu chedirinA pATae
kalata chendinA pATae
ae pATa nae pADanu
bratukae pATaina pasivADanu

and Mahadevan completes the reply by infusing a soul in the words, answering the question with, if words are the heart, then the tune is its beat, if poem is a work of art, then a song is a living and a breathing entity, parented by the words and the notes. If the lyricist gives birth to the words, then the composer shows it the right way (sAhityam - talli, sangeetam - tanDri). Veturi let out some of his best creations with Mahadevan, having started his journey under Mahadevan's tutelage, learning every step along the way, the divinity in the words and the piety in its usage. When the situations called for words to invoke that pious feeling, Veturi stepped in and delivered

OmkAra nAdAnu samdhAnamau gAnamae SankarAbharaNamu
Sankara gaLa nigaLamu Sreehari padakamalamu
rAga ratna mAlikA taraLamu SankarAbharaNamu

mahisha maradana Seela, mahita garjana lOla
bhayada nartana kaeLikae kALikae
durgamAgama durga pAlinae durgae daevi ||akhilAnDaeswari chAmunDaeswari||

enimidi dikkulu ookaTainaTula
enDa vennalai velluvainaTula
niTAlAkshuDae tushArAtriviDi
visAlAkshmitO tALalaya gatula ||naTanam ADenae||
(greatly recounting 'kumAra sambhavam', on par with his own 'kirAtArjuneeyam' ballad)

It would had been both challenging and stimulating for Veturi working with Mahadevan, more when he had to don the hat of a pure poet, dealing with metaphors, symbolisms, and beautiful phrases and usages, keeping his lyricist title aside for a second, and thinking purely in terms of abstraction (as, a song deals with specificity, while a poem chooses generalization)

she: manasu mATakandani nADu madhuramaina pATavutundi
he: maduramaina vedalalOnae pATaku pallavi puDutundi
she: pallavinchu paDuchudanam paruchukunna mamatalu chooDu
he: pasitanAla vaekuvalO musurukunna mabbulu chooDu
he: andukae dhyAnam andukae mounam ||komma kommakO sannaayi||

pilichina rAgamae palikina rAgamae koonalammakee
mooga teega palikinchae veeNalammaki
bahusa adi telusO aemO jAnA kOyila
rAlaedu ee tOTaki ee vaeLa ||rAgAla pallakilO kOyilamma||

mabbulu viDivaDi manasulu muDivaDi
kannulu kalisina kArteekalO
kougili bigisina aekAntamlO ||chandrOdayam||

There were commercial fares as well the 'aaraesukObOyi paaraesukunnaanu' kind, but his commercial collaborations more than measured with seemingly artistic fares of the others.

nA velugulu nalugae peDitae
nee jilugulu naenae chooDAli
nA sogasulu sega peDutunTae
nee magasiri naenae chooDAli
ee choopula rApiDilO aa sooryuDu udayinchAli ||suprabhAta sundari neevu||

ee kanne kOpAlu vennellO deepaalu
aa muddu muripAlu ae poddu sagapAlu
ee kanTi neelAlu aa kanTa pongitae
suraganga teerAla sariganga tAnAlu
ee chukka rAkatO navarAtri navvanee
ee okka raatiri sivarAtiravvanee
kalalannee kalayikalai
kalusukunae kougililO ||vandanAlu vandanAlu valapula harichandanAlu||

There is no doubt that every lyricist adjusts his output to the whims and the rhythms of the composer, sometimes merely being a word-caterer to fit the tune, and sometimes being a word-creator to inspire a tune. With 'swara brahma' Mahadevan showing the way, Veturi followed suit being a 'pada brahma', blessing many a song with eternal life and undiminished adulation. And if there is one particular trait that Veturi seemed to have imbibed from Mahadevan, it is the elegance in simplicity, emphasizing the fact that greatness often finds its home in the comforts of the modest and nothing could underline that statement more than the words below, which are as simple, as beautiful and as profound they can get.

kRshi unTae manushulu rushulavutAru mahApurushulavutAru
taratarAlaki taragani velugavutAru ilavaelupulavutAru

Cont'd in the last part... And Then...



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