Popular lyric writer and now Padma Shri awardee Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry is well-known for his thought provoking literature, with its glimpses of human life and society. Elated over his recent award, the industry veteran of nearly 34 years reveals that he began his career with a film titled Sirivennela, which stuck as a prefix to his name. “I am thankful to director K. Viswanath garu who first gave me the opportunity to be a lyric writer in his film Sirivennela,” says Seetharama Sastry, adding that he always follows his ethics when writing for a song. “I never write songs degrading women, irrespective of their characters in the film,” says Sastry, who also shares that he never writes on people or places. “I write mostly about different emotions and feel responsible when I write a song for films,” says Sirivennela, who is known to frankly express his views. “When filmmakers approach me to write a song and narrate the situation, I express my opinion as an audience. Sometimes I make them change their minds and even change a few scenes in the story,” reveals Sastry. “You may feel that I am proud, but all my songs are good and everyone can feel the literature and emotions when they listen to them,” says Sastry, who shares that his favourite song is Lali Jo Lali Jo from Indrudu Chandrudu.
The lyric writer admits that although he mostly gets paid for his songs, he has also done free work in the past. “Filmmakers narrate their story and also tell me about their problems. I have written many songs without taking any remuneration but I don’t want to name those films,” he says on a parting note.