Veturi in My Thoughts
I am not going to say anything about Veturi’s writing genius. Just some personal observations and musings.
I heard that Veturi attended Kolluru ZP high school in Guntur Dt. He is about a couple of years younger to my father. My father completed his SSC from the ZP High School in Donepudi, a neighboring village to Kolluru, and immediately served as the writer at Kolluru school. Even though I have no confirmation if this is true or not, it is very likely that Veturi was a student when my father was working there. beerakaaya peechu.
How would you feel if a genius like Veturi has good things to say about your Telugu? Wouldn’t you be in cloud nine? I was. I will share with you an experience with Late Sri Veturi, which dates back to Fall of 2007.
First, here is a stroke of genius by Sri Veturi in one of the popular songs (from Saagara Sangamam):
కుమార సంభవం లోని శ్లోకం:
వాగధ్ధా వివసంతృప్తౌ వాగాద్ధ ప్రతిపత్తయో
జగతః పతిరౌ వందే, పార్వతీ పరమేశ్వరౌ
వందే పార్వతీప, రమేశ్వరౌ
ఈ విరుపుకు జగమెరిగిన అర్ధం:
పార్వతీప = పార్వతి దేవి భర్త, శివుడు!
రమేశ్వరుడు = రమాదేవి (లక్ష్మి) భర్త, విష్ణుమూర్తి!
వేటూరి విరుపులో నేననుకున్న కొంటె అర్ధం:
వందే పార్వతీప, రమేశ్వరౌ = ఓ పార్వతి పై రమించువాడా, నీకు వందనం.
I first accidentally met Sri Veturi at Hyderabad airport on Dec 24, 2005. He was flying to Chennai and I was flying to Vizag with my family. I introduced myself as one of his biggest fans and gave him my card. He was very affectionate to me. I was very happy to talk to him, however brief it might have been. I took his autograph on one of my business cards. As his flight was about to leave, he gave me his cell phone number and asked me to call him so that we can talk more later.
In the Summer of 2007 I started reaching out to him to seek an interview for my show on TeluguOne Radio. I was told that he rarely gives interviews for anybody. When he first agreed, I was elated and I spent nearly four days to prepare a lot of questions for him. For various inexplicable reasons every appointment he gave me had to be canceled. After nearly two months of frequent calls, I wrote him a letter and got it delivered through the then director of TeluguOne Radio. Click here to read that letter:
The TeluguOne rep asked Sri Veturi, on my behalf, if my interpretation of Veturi’s word play for the above traditional sloka in Saagarasangamam (vaagaddha viva samptruttaou…) is correct. Even though Veturi read the letter by then, this query apparently got Veturi’s further attention. He first agreed that my interpretation is also correct and then read the letter a couple of times more.
After reading the letter he repeatedly said “విక్రమార్కుడు, బాగుంది! బాగా వ్రాశారు!!” I was also told that Veturi was very impressed with the way I wrote and presented myself to him. Of course, the guy who reported back to me could be trying to score some points with me by making it all up. But, I was on cloud-nine when I heard all this.
Later I tried a few times to get his interview, but either he couldn’t give me time or canceled the appointments. The last I spoke to him was in March 2008, when he canceled our appointment and politely told me, “Murali gaaru ivaala anukokundaa Rehamaan paata recording pettukunnamu. nenu interview ivvalenu sorry andi.” I was persistent for a while but eventually gave up, which is usually unlike me. I am a self-styled Raja Vikramarka. But, Vikramarka eventually prevailed, but I failed.
Today, Sri Veturi is in my thoughts. I, like millions of Telugu people around the globe, got inspired, solaced, soothed, and felt ebullient and elated by his work. The least I can do is take this time to recognize this great mind through this personal tribute.
However, not being able to chat with him for long is going to be one of the regrets of my life.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.