In the recently conducted MAA music awards, the normally reticent Trivikram shed his shyness and spoke about Sirivennela Seetharama Shastry. The tone of the speech varied from that of despair to that of angst. The speech was basically about the falling standards of Lyrics in Telugu film industry and how Sirivennela held his own all these years. The beauty of the speech was such that, you could have replaced Telugu and put any other language. The angst would have been the same, regardless of the language
He started off by saying that he neither had the standing nor the vocabulary to talk about Sirivennala. “When I heard the songs in Sirivennala, I wanted to find the meaning of a few words used in the song. That was the moment I realised that there exists a dictionary in Telugu and bought one. I referred to the words in the dictionary.” He says in no unmean terms that Sirivennala’s name adds to the song. “The job of a lyricist is to not just write songs that are understandable to the audience, but to write songs that a common man would crave to understand.” He complimented him by saying that the value he lent to a song was immense “He is the man who increased the lyrical values in a song. Instead of resigning himself to the fact that the audience wanted to listen to a few kind of songs, he reached out to those people who strived hard to understand the lyrics.”
He mentioned a few great works and said that a few words are difficult to use in books, but Sirivennala used the same words with ease in the songs and contributed towards increasing the stature of the listener. He further added that he deserves respect for actually increasing the stature of the listener.
“We all clapped and went crazy when we saw Chiranjeevi’s song on the AV. What we din’t notice was the lyrics in the song. You need guts, first of all, to write those lyrics in a song. To convince a director, get the producer to agree on having the lyrics isn’t an easy job. I know how tough a job it is, as I myself am a director.”
“ In Bobilli Raja, we have all heard the song that gained Mass adulation. He was the one to show that there is scope for surrealism in the lyrics. It wasn’t that there was scope for surrealism there. He bought the scope by himself. He was the one to show us that the lyrical values in a commercial movies are not always derogatory. He has treaded on thin ice all along.” His comparison of writing mellifluent songs with that driving a Porsche in lanes around Charminar area evoked thunderous applause. He laid into everybody associated with cinema when he said “ Lyrics take a beating because the heroes are preoccupied with their images, the directors are ignorant of the words used, and all that the producers care for are the so-called ‘commercial values’”. He also blamed the audience for not being able to comprehend the lyrical value of a song
“Sirivennala needs to be feted for the single reason of going about his work in spite of all the above mentioned obstacles. It was for all these obstacles that he made sacrifices in life” At that moment it appeared as if he was going to transgress the line that separated speech from ventilating. He controlled himself and said “I normally don’t come to functions such as these as I find it difficult to control my emotions”.
He compared him with a sun that rises in the midnight and said his presence through lyrics pervades our everyday lives. He said “Using words as rays of hope and alphabets as weapons, he goes out to war. He asks us not to quit. Ask us questions, which we can’t answer”
Recounting a personal experience, he says “ I went to watch ‘Sindhooram’ in my days as a struggler. There was discontent brewing as I was watching the movie but a few words which went “Do we call 50 years of ignorance as independence?” made me stand up, put my hands in the pocket, and walk away. I didn’t know where I was going but I was just just walking along. Such was the impact of his words. Only words can make the impact that can change a life”
He opined that being a Telugu movie lyricist might have actually stunted his progress. He was saddened by the fact that he restricted himself to the Telugu Film Industry. “No value exists for the people who write lyrics in Telugu film industry. That is the reason why we couldn’t respect people like Malladi Ram Krishna Shastry, Jannu, Deverapally Krishna Shastry, Dasaradhi. All these people weren’t recognised for their efforts because they wrote songs for Telugu films. People like Veturi and Sirivennala had it in them to write Nobel prize winning efforts but instead they sought to stay back in the Telugu Film Industry”
He ended it all by saying that it was the misfortune of the writers to be languishing in the film industry and the people should feel blessed to have someone so special in their midst