Monday, September 6, 2010
'KARUNASRI' JANDHYALA PAPAYYA SASTRY (1912-1992)
( courtesy : Sri Innaiah)
Udayasri was the heart of Karuna Sri. Vijayasri was his head. Karunasri was his life-- This was the life of my father in a few words! He wrote till his last breath and lasted as long as he could write.
He felt happy that his poetry became people’s poetry when he found a cobbler singing his poems with rhythm. He was so tender that he refused to get into a rickshaw drawn by a man in the days before the appearance of cycle rickshaws. He corrected the poems of one Mahabub Bhasha, fed him and blessed him.
Karuna Sri worked as a teacher in Ramakrishna high school and as a Telugu lecturer for twenty two years in A.C. College, Guntur. Students used to be enchanted by his lectures and students of Hindu college used to attend his lectures at A.C. College. He used to advise young lecturers to recite poems in a melodious manner. My mother Anasuyamma was very helpful to him and their intimacy had to be seen to be believed. He has two sons and one daughter.
My father wrote nearly seventy six works including small and lengthy works. He also brought out Kalyana Kalpavalli , an anthology of gems of telugu poets. Umarkhayam is his another famous work. He also wrote Telugu Bala for children.
Once he sent this work to a boy who could not get it in his place.
In spite of many works of his, he found a place in the hearts of readers as the poet of UDAYASRI, PUSHPA VILAPAM, and KUNTI KUMARI.
He felt happy when a great actor Gummadi named his daughters as Udayasri and Vijayasri.
In these days when a reprint is rare, Udayasri was reprinted more than fifty times.
When this fact was related by the poet in a meeting in Varanasi, a Hindi poet who had earlier talked about ten reprints of his work got stunned.
Ghantasala’s voice and Karunasri’s lyrics complemented each other.
His Pushpavilapam was born out of his anger towards a visitor who began eating the petals of a rose from the flower vase on the table while the poet had been in his prayer room.
He was modest when Akkineni Nageawar Rao’s praised his Pushpa Vilapam as a means of peace in mental distress.
Karuansri was stoical, compassionate and brave and never craved for any awards.
To him , his readers were equal to Padmasri, Padmaa Bhushana or Kala Prapoorna.
Karunasri was born out of his stream of his thoughts when he visited rare Buddhist sculpture, Maha Chaitya and pillars at Amaravati.
He wrote PAKI PILLA ( a scavenger Girl) when he was sixteen years old. “Every mother was a scavenger when one was a child.”
He donned the roles of Radha and as Chandra Gupta on the stage a few times. He also participated as the poet Mukku Timmana without make-up in a number of “Bhuvana Vijayam” events.
Many people took ‘Sri’ as pseudonym after Karuna Sri.
He inaugurated “Morning hour”, a book of poetry by a fourteen- year old girl Srikalyani and blessed her.
He felt the same elation to receive the degree of Rashtra Bhasha Visarada from the hands of Mahatma Gandhi and a when a trader offered to sell his own work to him for fifteen paise.
My father who wrote naturally like the blooming of lotus, the cool blowing of light winds, nodding of creepers, stretching of baby’s hands, birth of first love was a precious stone among the world of poets.
-Translation of article by J.J. BAPUJI from MY FATHER ( Ed Dr. Dwa.Na.Sastry)