What did Nanduri Subbarao say about Yenki Patalu? - #1

PALANA (nparinand@cas.org)
Thu, 20 Feb 1997 15:10:47 -0500


       A couple of weeks ago I posted a small review on a recent audio recording
   of Nanduri's Yenki Patalu (by Kiravani). In reply to my question, Sri Veluri
   gAru mentioned some interesting facts on the earlier singers who sang these
   songs and those recordings. Sri Veluri gAru also mentioned about Nanduri
   Parthasarathi who used to sing his dad's yenki pATalu so nicely. Rajani also
   used to sing these Yenki pATalu. From 1938-1941, at Andhra Universtiy, the
   gang was really in love with Yenki Patalu. Later, Rajani and Janamanci, from
   that batch moved on and settled in AIR. Unfortunately Sri Janamanci
   Ramakrishna is no more. But Sri Rajanikanta Rao is the only source to know
   more about these recordings or earlier singers who sang these songs (whom I
   can get in touch with).

   Then I looked for my books on Yenki pATalu and I shoul have an older copy
   (with drawings of Adivi Bapiraju). I finally laid my hands on the book.
   I read the prefaces by Naduri for both the editions (1925 and 1952).
   These prefaces present a great deal of history behind these enchanting Yenki
   Patalu. I would like to present here most of Nanduri's words (in Telugu as in
   Prefaces) in English.

   ---pAlana

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	      Nanduri Subbarao in his own words on Yenki pATalu  -#1
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			 Preface for 1925 Edition
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       Nanduri Subbarao started writing these songs while he was preparing for
   the final BA examinations (1917-1918 at Madras Christian College). Nanduri
   (as he stated "fortunately"), then, made freindship with Sri Adhikarla
   Suryanarayana Rao and then both became room mates. Nanduri Subbarao was
   acquainted with Sri Basavaraju Apparao, who used to teach (train) Nanduri
   various literary aspects long ago and Sri Basavaraju used to live in Madras
   those days. Sri Patibandla Apparao used to join them to chat. Nanduri used to
   get surprised at (sitting in a corner) each praising his own (bragging)
   writings.

       While returning from the college in the tram, Nanduri started humming
   a fine tune. Nanduri searched for words in order to sing that song in
   himself. It seemed so familiar to him that he immediately came up with a line
   "gunDe gontukalOna koTlADatAdi" (the heart flutters in the throat). Upon
   reaching his house and memorizing that line, Nanduri Subbarao, finished his
   first song (gunDe gontukalOna koTlADutAdI, kUkunDa nIdurA kUsinta sEpu -
   muddula nA yenki).

       Nanduri, with hesitation, read those songs in front of Basavaraju
   Apparao and Suryanarayana. Immediately Suryanarayana (Nanduri, it seemed,
   called him "jAnakIpati") encouraged him to continue writing. Basavaraju
   Apparao, as opposed, told Nanduri that it was not his natural style (of
   language) and Nanduri could not search for truth with this style of language
   that Nanduri was using in his songs. In other words, Basavaraju Apparao,
   discouraged Nanduri Subbarao.

       Nanduri cashed on Surayanarayana's encouragement. He himself expressed
   that the moment he was inspired by Suryanarayana, he did not stop thinking
   of Yenki poetry. Suryanarayana was more determined in his opinions about
   Nanduri's poetry. Basavaraju Apparao gradually became mellow, changed his
   opinion, and started encouraging Nanduri.

      "To whom I should be grateful? Should I be grateful to Yenki who was
   my gifted inspirer for the spontaneous sprouting of these songs in me? Should
   I be grateful to Sri Adhikarla Suryanarayana who encouraged me to continue
   writing these songs? Should I be grateful to our Basavaraju Apparaya who
   taught me the 50 essential secrets of poetry? I should be grateful to all the
   three!" Nanduri said.

      Well-wishers, several, encouraged Nanduri. Sri Desoddharaka Kasinadhuni
   Nageswararao pantulu garu rendered Yenki songs and primarily he was
   responsible for publishing those in Bharati and Andhra Patrika, and
   advertised the Yenki Patalu book in his journals without any cost. Nanduri
   said that he was indebted to Sri Desoddharaka Kasinadhuni Nageswararao
   Pantulu.

      Jamindar of Nuziveedu, Sri Venkatadri Apparao Rajabahdur was poet himself
   who used to enjoy listening to Yenki pATalu. Sri Venkatadri Apparao Raja
   helped Sri Nanduri Subbarao in many ways. Sri Nanduri wrote half his Yenki
   songs during his acquaintance with him. Nanduri extended his heart-felt
   gratitude to Sri Venkatadri Apparao Raja.

      Sri Kolavennu Ramakoteswararao also encouraged Nanduri in his project.

      One of the great painters of Andhra, Sri Adivi Bapiraju, drew the pictures
   for this issue. Nanduri said that if his Yenki would be responsible for those
   great feelings (in the readers' hearts) that Bapiraju's paintings generate,
   he would be the most fortunate.

      The society of Madras Andhra Scholars (maDrAsu Andhra panDita manDali)
   invited him specially and felicitated him. From that day onwards, Sri Nanduri
   was not scared of them but had developed respects towards them.

      The Orthodox Telugu Scholar, Sri Panchagnula Adinarayana Sastri used to
   jump up high if he would listen to the word "Yenki". That much he used to
   like Yenki pATalu. He never treated Yenki pATalu down to inferior even though
   he was a real Telugu scholar. Naduri paid his respects to Sri Pancagnula and
   Sri Pokkuluri Lakshminarayana (who was also one of his well-wishers).

      One of the most famous Telugu singers, Sri Vidvan Parupalli Ramkrushnayya
   toiled and set nice tunes to Yenki pATalu for the first time. Nanduri always
   used to sing his Yenki Patalu in the same tunes as set by Sri Vidvan
   Parupalli Ramakrushnayya (telugu dESamlO pErondina mETi gAyakulu mahArAjaSrI
   pArupalli rAmakRshNayya gAru entO SramapaDi SraddhatO yI pATalaku svaram
   cESAru. vAriki nA namaskAramulu. adE nEnu pADE vidhamu). That was great.
   As Sri Veluri Venkateswararao gAru wrote in his message, Nanduri himself
   wrote that he used to sing his own songs.

      Sri Ganti Suryanarayana took the initiative to pbulish the Yenki songs
   for which Sri Nanduri was eternally grateful to Sri Ganti, a Grammarian and
   Logician.

      Sri Nanduri Subbarao dedicated his songs to his cousin (pettalli kumAruDu)
   Sri Bhavaraju Venkata Subbarao. Sri Nanduri's father passed away when Nanduri
   was 4 years old and immediatedly Sri Bhavaraju Subbarao took care of the
   entire family. These Yenki Patalu were dedicated to Sri Bhavaraju by Nanduri
   for the magnanimity.

					    --based on Original Preface
					      for Yenki Patalu
    --pAlana                                  By Sri Nanduri Subbarao
    (English)                                (Madras; 29-8-1925)

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    Opinions are mine only
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    To be contd...............

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    Sincere Thanks to Srinivas Paruchuri and Sri Veluri V. Rao who
    indirectly encouraged me to put this in this form.
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