A Humanist Lyricist
Born in Vizag on August 31, 1925,Bhagavathula Sankara Sastry
with pen Name Arudra had his schooling in the city, residing at Butchirajupalem.
He later moved to Vipparthivari Veedhi in Old Town area and subsequently shifted
to Vizianagaram in 1942 for his college education. The seeds of Communism were
sowed in his mind after he came in contact with people like Ronanki Appalaswami
and Chaso. His "Samagrandhra Sahitya" consisting of 13 volumes, is a classic in
Arudra wrote several poems on his reminiscences of the World War II. His "Clerk
Surya Rao" was a reflection of modern city life. He projected the city from
The poem penned in 1948 was published in "Telugu Swatantra", the next year. An
imaginary sand clock and a water clock were used by the poet to depict time in `Tvamevaham'.
The `hours' are a symbol of the rich and affluent, the `minutes' denote the
attitude of the middle class and the `seconds' are likened to the mentality of
the working class. A stop watch was depicted as an instrument to measure
`revolution'. The `key' fanned revolution, while the `alarm' was a warning of
the prevailing situation.
He joined the Indian Air Force as a band boy in 1943 and served it till 1947.
Later, he shifted to Madras and worked as editor of `Anandavani' magazine for
two years. Joining the cine field in 1949, he wrote lyrics and dialogues for
many films. He married noted writer, Ramalakshmi, in 1954.
A multi-faceted personality, Arudra also translated literary works from Tamil,
Hindi and English into Telugu. The Tamil treatise "Tirukkural", which he
translated into Telugu was an astounding success. A voracious reader, he was
also a story writer, cine script writer and a playwright. He coined new words by
Teluguising English words like cherished and perished.
Arudra earned a lot of money by writing songs for films and set up a huge
collection of books in Madras. Later, he donated the books to a library. He was
an accomplished chess player and used to play the game at the Hindu Reading Room
in Old Town.