Doyen of Telugu cinema and renowned lyricist Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry passed away here on Tuesday evening. He was 66.
According to KIMS Hospital authorities, where the Padma Shri awardee was undergoing treatment for the past few days, the popular song writer passed away at 4.07 p.m. on Tuesday, following lung cancer-related complications. He was admitted to the hospital last week with pneumonia. The doctors had on Saturday said his condition was stable and that he was getting necessary support for the lungs in the intensive care unit.
Dr. B. Bhaskar Rao, managing director of the hospital, said a bypass surgery was performed on Sastry six years ago after half of a lung was removed due to cancer. Last week, 45 per cent of another lung was removed due to the spread of cancer, following which he was stable for two days. “He was then brought to the hospital after complications developed. He recovered after two days of advanced treatment but the cancer had spread to the rest of the lung,” he added.
Dr Rao said Sastry was put on oxygen support for the last five days. “The cancer spread to the entire body as he was obese, developed post-bypass surgery complications and damage to his kidneys. At around 4.07 in the evening, he passed away,” he said.
Seetharama Sastry was born on May 20, 1955, in Anakapalle in Visakhapatnam district to Dr C.V. Yogi and Subbalakshmi. He went to school in his hometown, studied intermediate in Kakinada, and did his Bachelor of Arts in Andhra Viswa Kala Parishad. He began his career in the film industry in 1986 while pursuing his M.A., when film director K. Vishwanath offered him an opportunity to write lyrics in the film ‘Sirivennela.’
With Sirivennela turning into a huge hit, and Sastry’s songs emerging as the backbone of the film, Chembolu Seetharama Sastry adopted Sirivennela as his family name.
In his illustrious career of three-and-half decades, Sastry penned lyrics for over 3,000 songs, apart from writing several poems and donning the role of a singer. His last song was featured in the recent film ‘Most Eligible Bachelor.’ He was awarded with Padma Shri in 2019, besides winning 11 Nandi awards for films Sirvennela, Shruthi Layalu, Swarna Kamalam, Gaayam, Subha Lagnam, Shreekaram, Prema Katha, Chakram, Gamyam and Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu.
Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry’s passing was met with disbelief and agony with a large number of film personalities, political leaders, and others expressing grief and shock.
His body will be kept at the office of the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce at Film Nagar on Wednesday for people to pay their last respects, according to Seetharama Sastry’s family....