Hyderabad: When I heard the news about Seetharama Sastry’s demise, and it is heart-breaking and shocking too. It is very difficult to deal with given the fact that we shared a fatherson bond. He met me 20 days ago. He came to my house, we had lunch and he spent quality time with us. He was brimming with confidence
and as euphoric as ever when he came here. He showed no signs of illness.
But never in my wildest imagination I thought that would be the last time I saw
Sastry has always been a free-spirited man. He used to tell me not to give any deadlines to him for writing lyrics, and asked me to give him time to come up with the best lyrics. I too never ever hurried things on him. He used to call me “father”, and never called me a director, as he felt I was instrumental in his journey to fame in films.
Such has been our association that we shared stages on various film events, sets, etc. We had great moments and it is hard to pick one. He was a chatterbox and used to tell me not to stop him from speaking his heart, although I tried to control him.
His pen name was Bharani back then. We thought of using that name for my film Sirivennela. But since there was already Thannikela Bharani with the same name, I told him to use his own name (Seetharama Sastry) for the film. He kept telling me that he was forever indebted to me for introducing him to this industry. But it is all his hard work and talent.
Sastry used to write songs going far away from the city and people, and importantly, in silent hours of the night.
To me, the best aspects of his lyrics are “celebrating universality yet being aesthetic”.
We have had our contrasting perceptions, but he did not like arguing with me. So he used to smartly put his thoughts through someone else.
Our families are close and we share a great bond. Although I never interfered in his family matters, because of the intimacy he had with me, he used to take liberty and interfere in our family matters. Although we never shared any personal things, our discussions always revolved around cinema, arts and culture.
The last time we worked together was for Shubhapradam (2010). He wrote two songs for that film. But he kept asking me, “When are we working again together?” I used to just smile at him.
It is a huge loss to the industry given his style of writing and the values and message his lyrics convey. My heart becomes heavy. The more I talk about him the more emotional I become....