“O Ringu Ringuna Saghi” – Annadhata (1954) – Telugu Feature Film

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Faded Into Oblivion Series by Vicky Iyengar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Faded Into Oblivion Series (13)

Annadatha – అన్నదాత (1954) – “O Ringu Ringuna Saaghipoove” (ఓ రింగు రింగున సాఘిపూవ) – Composed by Penapatruni Adi Narayana Rao (పెంపత్రుని అది నారాయణ రావ) – Voice: P Susheela & Pithapuram Nageswara Rao (పులపాక సుశీల & పిఠాపురం నాగేశ్వర రావు) – Lyrics: Penapatruni Adi Narayana Rao (పెంపత్రుని అది నారాయణ రావ)
అన్నదాత (1954) – నటీనటులు : అంజలీదేవి, ఎ.నాగేశ్వరరావు, యస్.వి.రంగారావు, కుటుంబరావు, చలం, డా.శివరామ కృష్ణయ్య, కోడూరు అచ్చయ్య, అడుసుమిల్లి శేషగిరిరావు, దొరస్వామి, రేడియో మిరపకాయ, మహoకాళీ వెంకయ్య, సురభి కమలాబాయి, ఛాయాదేవి, అమ్మాజీ, శాంతకుమారి(జూనియర్), కాకినాడ రాజరత్నo – దర్శకుడు: వేదాంతం రాఘవయ్య – సంగీతం: పెనపత్రుని అది నారాయణ రావు

The Film Crew: Annadhata (1954) lit.translated “The Giver of Grain’, a Telugu feature film (based on the Bengal famine) produced under the Ashwiraj (అశ్విరాజ్) banner was a moderately successful movie at the box office directed by the veteran Vedantam Raghavaiah (వేదాంతం రాఘవయ్య) despite its stellar cast –  Anjalidevi, A. Nageswararao, S.V. Rangarao played the lead roles ably supported by Kutumbarao, Chalam, Dr. Sivarama Krishnayya, Koduru Achchayya, Adusumilli Seshagirirao, Doraswami, Radio Mirapakaya, Mahamkali Venkayya, Surabhi Kamalabai, Chayadevi, Ammaji, Santhakumari(Junior) & Kakinada Rajaratnam. The musical score was composed by Penpatruni Adi Narayana Rao (పెనపత్రుని అది నారాయణ రావు)

The Director: A “Person of Eminence” – “Bharatha Kala Prapurna” Vedantam Raghavaiah (b.1919) ruled the world of Kuchipudi (a form of classical dance art) & South Indian Celluloid as an Emperor for over four decades. Born in Kuchipudi, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh, he married his own maternal uncle Hari Punnaiah’s five year old daughter Sriramalakshmi at the age of nine in the year 1928. He started his formal training in Dance (Yakshagana) and Music (Yakshna Sampradaya Sangeetam) from his own father at a very tender age of five and later he continued under the tutelage of Yakshagana Pitamaha Sri Chinta Venkararamayya and Natyakalanidhi, Shadbharathkalanidhi, Abhinaya Brahma Sri Vedantam Lakshminarayana Sastry. He had also mastered the languages of Sanskrit & Telugu from one of his cousins and Scholar, Bhagavatula Sitaramaswami within a very short span and became one of the star students of Kuchipudi Yakshagana tradition. He also became a poet (Asukavi).

With an unknown level of devotion & passion, he quickly imbibed the various techniques of dance, music and “tala” and above all stage presentation, simultaneously absorbing all the nuances of “laya” under the tutelage of Vempati Venkatanarayana. He made his debut performance at the age of seven, as Prahlada, which earned him a  Gold medal by the erstwhile British Government signalling the arrival of the ‘Golden Era of Kuchipudi’. He excelled in the roles of Lohitasya, Lava Kusa and others. He became one of the outstanding female impersonator of his time by mastering the “Kaisiki Vritthi”.  Raghavaiah who was equally adept in traditional Kuchipudi Sampradaya Sangeetam. His mastery over ‘Mukhya Sancharas’ or the key-notes of every raga of any daruvu made many of his his performances very memorable and soul stirring. Patrons used to travel miles to see him in his famous female impersonator (Rupanurupam) roles. His ‘Ushaparinayam’ was considered to be enough for liberation and thus people used to come in droves from afar as if it was a pilgrimage to watch him perform.

He also created waves by performing the key mythological roles like Harischandra, Hiranyakashyapa, Rama and Krishna. He performed with unique distinction, items like “Bala Gopala Tarangam (with dancing on brass plate balancing a water vessel on his head). This was featured in the film “Mohini Rukmangadha”. His solo items included “Saa Virahe”from Jayadeva’s Ashtapadi, the “Dasavathara Shabdam” written by Sidhabattula Rangadasu (also performed in the film “Raitu Bidda”) and “Kanto Yaasyathi” verses from “Pushpa Bana Vilasam”, “Javalis” among others. His much acclaimed “Siva Thandavam” was also featured in the film “Mayalokam”. Raghavaiah’s repertoire caught the attention of Sri Gudavalli Ramambrahmam (Sarathy Films), who introduced him in his film “Raithu Bidda” (1939). Thus became Raghavaiah’s first exposure to celluloid.

Raghavaiah’s journey in celluloid took him from being an actor to that of a choreographer and he showcased the art of “Kuchipudi” in the following films spanning over 12 years (1937 to 1949): Mohini Rugmangada (1937) (actor in the Balagopala Tarangam), Raitu Bidda (1939) (dancer and choreographer), Seeta Rama Jananam (1942) (choreographer), Panthulamma (1943) (choreographer), Garuda Garvabhangam (1943) (actor and choreographer), Swargaseema (1945) (choreographer), Tyagayya (1946) (choreographer), Palnati Yudham (1947) (choreographer), Yogi Vemana (1947) (choreographer), Vande Mataram (1948) (choreographer), Laila Majnu (1949) (choreographer), Raksharekha (1949) (actor and choreographer)

During those twelve years as a choreographer he mastered the art & nuances of film making – composing, camera, sound engineering, editing & turned his attention towards directing films carving a niche for himself as a film director. The list of successful films that he made makes an interesting disquisition as it spanned over a couple of decades and covered a wide spectrum of emotions and weaved stories to remember for eternity. He was a prolific film maker and he made quite a number of successful movies earning him critical acclaim. His films were not only a hit with the telugu audience but also was remade in other languages and his fame knew no boundaries. His magnum opus, “Devadas” (1952) till today continues to occupy its position as one of the best Telugu pictures ever made and all his films were known for outstanding story line, music, and characterization.

The following are the list of films written, produced and/or directed by him from 1951 to 1970: Strisahasam (1951 – Producer and Director), Shanti (1952 – Producer and Director) ,  Devadas (1953 – Producer and Director), Annadata (1954 – Director), Anarkali (1955 -Director), Bhale Ramudu (1956 – Director), Prema Pasam (1956 – Director), Suvarna Sundari (1957 – Director), Bhale Ammayilu (1957 – Director), Iru Sahodarigal (1957 – Director), Manalane Mangayin Bhagyam (1957 – Director), Raja Nandini (1958 – Director), Intiguttu ( 1958 – Director), Bala Nagamma (1959 – Director), Jai Bhawana (1959 – Director), Adutha Veetu Penn (1960 – Director), Mamaku Tagga Alludu (1960 – Director), Runanubandham ( 1960 – Director), Swarnamanjari (1962 – Director), Mangayir Ullam Mangada Selvam (1962 – Director), Aadabrathuku (1965 – Director), Nanna Kartavya (1965 – Director), Sati Sakkubai (1965 – Director), Rahasyam (1967 – Director), Sati Sumati (1967 – Director), Kumkumabharina (1968 – Director), Sapta Swaralu (1969 – Director), Ulagam Ivvalavuthan ( 1969 – Director), Bhale Ethu Chivaraku Chittu (1970 – Director)

The Composer: Son of Penupatruni Krishnayya Goud & Anusuya with sobriquet “Abbayi Garu”, Adi Narayana Rao (b.1915) was introduced to the stage at a very tender age of six, playing the role of “Narada” in the play “Savitri” (Rajarajeswari Natya Mandali). At Saluru, he went on to study classical music under Patrayani Sitarama Sastry, a prominent preceptor at that time. At age twelve, he was extremely skilled and accomplished in playing many instruments and pursued various literary interests. He started working as a music composer and a play writer and became quite popular in Kakinada theater circles. “Veedhi Gaayakulu”, “Black Market” & “Vasanta sena” were some of his celebrated plays (Burma Shell Amateurs Troupe). At the Young Mens Happy Club, he became quite popular along with famous artistes like Gandikota Jagannatham, S.V. Ranga Rao, Relangi Venkata Ramayya who were all later, part & parcel of the mainstream Telugu celluloid. . It was here that he met his future wife, Anjali Devi, who was under his tutelage and later went on to become a leading actress of the South Indian Silverscreen.

In his formative years, Penupatruni admired and was highly influenced by Chitoor V. Nagayya, the legendary actor, director and music composer who was reigning the Telugu film industry supreme with his compositions in films like “Vandemaatram” (1939), “Sumangali” (1940), “Devata” (1941) & “Swargaseema” (1945). With B V Ramanandam’s, “Varudhini” (1946) he got his first break in films. Although he was initially assigned to write lyrics and compose music, professional differences led to the abrupt ending of the project. Later he worked for a couple of films writing lyrics and/or composing music, which include C. Pullaih’s, the highly successful, “Gollabhama” (1947, co-MD: Dinakara Rao), in which Anjali Devi made her debut. The songs/verses from Gollabhama are a real earworm; “chandamaama andamaina”, “priyatamaa”, “bhoopati jampitin”, “valapu teniyalu”, etc and were ahead of their time in terms of their euphony & tunefulness. In 1949 he founded “Aswini Pictures” along with Akkineni Nageswara Rao and makeup artist K. Gopala Rao.

With “Palletoori Pilla” (1950), a film based on Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s operatic drama “Pizarro” (which focused on the conquest of Peru by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro), his career as an independent composer was launched, thanks to his compadre B A Subba Rao, who later went on to become a much sought after director by the Southern production houses. His adaptation and integration of Spanish tunes into his orchestration were well received by theater audience – e.g “dheera kampanaa” (by Jikki Krishnaveni). Aswini Pictures produced “Mayalamaari” (1951, Tamil: Mayakkari) which ran for 100 days but the music was only a moderate success. So was “Annadhata” (1954), made on the same banner. He wrote some lyrics for “Palletoori Pilla” and “Annadhata” (the aforementioned song). “Annadhata” was an harbinger of a  successful team with himself, ANR & Anjali (in lead cast) and Director Vedantam Raghavaiah, that would sustain the collaboration for more than a decade.

In 1951 he divorced his ties from Aswini Pictures banner and incorporated his own production house namely “Anjali Pictures”.  In 1953 he produced a bilingual “Paradesi” (Telugu) – “Poongothai” (Tamil starring Anjali Devi & Sivaji Ganesan),  under the direction of L. V. Prasad. One may recall the hit number “Naan En Varavendum” sung by Jikki Krishnaveni & D B Ramachandran (who later on turned composer). The mid-50s was a watershed moment for Telugu cinema with blockbusters such as ‘Missiamma”, “Kanyasulkam”, “Anarkali”, “Rojulu Marayai”, “Ardhangi”, “Jayasimha”, “Donga Ramudu” running to packed houses filling studio(s) coffers. Immortal compositions tuned by Adinarayana Rao in his big budget “Anarkali” (1955) and “Suvarna Sundari” (1957) that followed under this banner brought him tremendous accolades & immense recognition.

The movie “Suvarna Sundari” (multilingual) was a capstone in his career. Directed by by the veteran Vedantam Ragavaiah, it was a blockbuster hit running to full houses with songs – “piluvakuraa alugakuraa” (P Susheela), “azhaikadhe” (P Susheela), “mujhe na bhula” (Lata Mangeshkar), “haayihaayigaa aamani saage” (Jikki, Ghantasala), “thesulavudhe” (P Susheela, Ghantasala), ” bommalammaa bommalu” (P Susheela), “jorana bommai” (P Susheela) remain ever-green hits and won him many awards and recognition. However his second Hindi venture  “Phoolon Ki Sej” (1964), based on Gulshan Nanda’s novel “Andheri Biran” was a box-office disaster albeit soulful music (songs rendered by Lata, Asha, Mannadey & Mukesh).

A decade  later, Anjali Pictures commenced production on the  life-story of saint-composer Tukaram titled “Bhaktha Tukaram” (1973) which proved quite successful at the box office. His striking compositions became memorable and noteworthy – ” ghana ghana sundara” (Ghantasala), “poojaku velaayeraa” (P Susheela), “unnaavaa asalunnaavaa” (Ghantasala), “sari sari vagalu telisera” (P Susheela). “Alluri Seetharamaraju” (1974), a biopic on the revolutionary freedom-fighter, followed soon, gaining fame to both the producer/actor Krishna and Adinarayana Rao himself. One cannot forget the immortal hits “vastaadu naa raju” (P. Susheela) & the patriotic number “telugu veera levaraa deeksha”.  In fact as a testament to his purity and credibility in film-making, for his next venture “Mahaakavi Kshetrayya” (1978), he travelled through the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, along with well known Telugu poet, historian and film-writer Arudra, confabbed with several “devadasis”, who have been singing “kshetrayya padam(s)” for centuries.

Some of his celebrated filmography include “Adutha Veetu Penn” (1959), “Runaanubandham” (1960), “Swarna Manjari” (1962), “Sathi Sakubai” (1966), “Sakhu Ali Pandarpura” (1969), “Ammakosam” (1971), “Agni Pareeksha” (1970), “Kalyana Mandapam”, “Pedda Koduku” (1973), “Kannavaari Illu” (1978). Composers like T V Raju, Satyam & Lakshmikant-Pyarelal duo (Phoolon Ki Sej) were part of his orchestral ensemble in their formative years.

Most of his orchestral works had an “unusual dominance of Hindusthani classical music and Marathi Natya Sangeet”.  He also adopted musical techniques of  legendary artists of Telugu stage like Tungala Chalapati Rao, K. Raghuramaiah, Jonnavittula Seshagiri Rao & C.S.R. Anjaneyulu. Noted music critic V. A. K. Rangarao summed it up succinctly: “Adinarayana Rao is credited for introducing Hindustani music in contemporary flavor and simplified orchestration, and thereby impressing both laymen audience as well cognoscenti. It is this music that survives him enthralling all the music lovers”.

ఓఓ ఓఓఒ ఓఓఒ

రింగు రింగున సాఘిపూవే రంగు రంగుల బోట
రింగు రింగున సాఘిపూవే రంగు రంగుల బోట
ఓ రంగు రంగుల బోట
పొంగున ధిమి చెంగుర నని చెంగున పూవే
పొంగున ధిమి చెంగుర నని చెంగున పూవే
దయమున ముందుక పూవే
తరంగులేకే హన్గులేకే చెంగునే పూవే
దయమున ముందుక పూవే
రింగు రింగున సాఘిపూవే రంగు రంగుల బోట
ఓ రంగు రంగుల బోట
oooo oooo oooo
ringu ringuna saaghipoove rangu rangula bota
ringu ringuna saaghipoove rangu rangula bota
o rangu rangula bota
ponguna dhimi chengura nani chenguna poove
ponguna dhimi chengura nani chenguna poove
dhayamuna mundhuku pove
taranguleke hanguleka chengune poove
dhayamuna mundhuku pove
ringu ringuna saaghipoove rangu rangula bota
o rangu rangula bota
ఓఓ ఓఓఒ ఓఓఒ
దనకు బునకు లేకేచాలో లంకణాల బోట
దనకు బునకు లేకేచాలో లంకణాల బోట
హలో లంకణాల బోట
పంకుథానము మానిపూవే పెంకితనపు బోట
పంకుథానము మానిపూవే పెంకితనపు బోట
దిమ్పాటక దిమ్పాటక దిమ్పాటక
ను దిమ్కిపటం తట
లంకు బునకు లేకేచాలో లంకణాల బోట
హలో లంకణాల బోట
oooooooooooooo
danku bunku lekachalo lankanala bota
danku bunku lekachalo lankanala bota
halo lankanala bota
pankuthanamu maanipove penkithanapu bota
pankuthanamu maanipove penkithanapu bota
dimpataka dimpataka dimpataka
dimkipatam pota
nu dimkipatam thata
danku bunku lekachalo lankanala bota
halo lankanala bota
ఓఓ ఓఓఒ ఓఓఒ
పడుచుతనము పోఘరుమారి నడిచుకోవే బోట
పడుచుతనము పోఘరుమారి నడిచుకోవే బోట
దారి చుసుకోవే బోట
నిడిచి పాటు పడిన నీట పల్టి పాఠం బోట
ను ఉల్టా సీదా సత
రింగు రింగున సాఘిపూవే రంగు రంగుల బోట
ఓ రంగు రంగుల బోట
ooooooooo
paduchuthanamu pogharumari nadichuukove thota
paduchuthanamu pogharumari nadichuukove thota
dhari chusukove bota
nidichi paatu padina neeta palti patam bota
nu ulta seedha saata
ringu ringuna saaghipoove rangu rangula bota
o rangu rangula bota
ఓఓ ఓఓఒ ఓఓఒ
రాఘ్మారి పయలించే రాగల బోట
రాఘ్మారి పయలించే రాగల బోట
అనురాగాల బోట
ఎఖఖిక ఏ లోఖం ఎఖుతావే బోట
ఎదుఎఖుతవే బోట
oooooooooooooooo
raghamari payalinche raagala bota
raghamari payalininche raagala bota
anuraagala bota
ekhakika ea lokham ekhuthave bota
edhu ekuthaave bota
ఓఓ ఓఓఒ ఓఓఒ
పడుచుతోటి సైయాట్ట పావుతచాలపత
పడుచుతోటి సైయాట్ట పావుతచాలపత
నువ్వు తెలుసుకొవే బోట
ఈడు జోడు నీకు తోడు పూల రంగాదే బోట
ఈ పూల్ రంగాదే బోట
ఈడు జోడు నీకు తోడు పూల రంగాదే బోట
ధరి చేరు ముదుల ముతా
దిమ్పాటక దిమ్పాటక దిమ్పాటక
ooooooooooooo
paduchuthoti sayyaata pavuthachalapaata
paduchuthoti sayyaata pavuthachalapaata
nuvvu thelusukove bota
eedu jodu neeku thodu poola rangadhe bota
e poola rangadha bota
eedu jodu neeku thodu poola rangadhe bota
dhari cheru mudhula muta
dimpataka dimpataka dimpataka

The Duet: Arranged for a Piano, Strings & 2 Voices

P Susheela has certainly recorded her fair share of duets in a recording career  that now spans over 60 years. For me, the best of these are the earlier ones that she sang with Pithapuram Nageswara Rao, A M Raja, T A Moti, T G Lingappa, Susarla Dakshinamurthy, G K Venkatesh, Ghantasala, T R Mahalingam, Tiruchi Loganathan, S C Krishnan, Talat Mahmood, Kamukara Purushothaman from the early 1950’s when Susheela remained untouchable.  What’s most impressive is the diversity of the collaborators and the consistent and unparalleled quality of Susheela’s vocals.

Most importantly, this duet with Pithapuram Nageswara Rao is truly fantasatic. Their voices meld seemlessly. In between is quite a musical hodgepodge that Susheela’s expert vocalism somehow pulls together. Susheela makes not only her vocal versatility evident but her amazing consistency in the nearly six decades that separate the earliest track.

Susheela’s voice expresses color and emotion one never dreamed of hearing. Her voice stays with you throughout this duet from start to finish. What a craftswoman of voiced sound she is! What a joy to hear her inventing new ones as she sings “ponguna dhimi chengura nani chenguna poove” – “పొంగున ధిమి చెంగుర నని చెంగున పూవే”.  She blends so well in all her duets. Singing duets seems to bring out something in Susheela’s voice –  the luxuriance and detail. The peerless artistry and mellifluous voice so breathtakingly fused with her mesmerizing renditions in such duets – its the sheer harmonics and strength in her voice that could easily overwhelm her duet partner.

You will not find this clarity, this sublime beauty, this purity from any other singer – paduchuthanamu pogharumari nadichuukove thota” , “పడుచుతనము పోఘరుమారి నడిచుకోవే బోట” – she expanded her voice (natural progression) in each of her recordings through the years adding depth and dimension. Many of Susheela’s duets have been far more successful commercially than her contempararies. Hers is not an unathletic sort of singing, and the vocal calisthenics she dishes out are not easily reciprocated.  Pithapuram’s voice is strong enough to hold its own against her longer-held notes and her octave-high jumps – “raghamari payalinche raagala bota”, “రాఘ్మారి పయలించే రాగల బోట”.  He basically holds the line of the melody while she performs balletic vocals around him, usually providing a vocal backdrop of sheer acoustic beauty – paduchuthoti sayyaata pavuthachalapaata”, “పడుచుతోటి సైయాట్ట పావుతచాలపత”. What remains consistent is Susheela’s voice and how gracious a duet partner she is… given how formidable a voice she has.


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