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Tollywood lyricist and dialogue writer Vennelakanti passed away- Cinema express

Tollywood lyricist and dialogue writer Vennelakanti passed away

He was 64 and is survived by his wife, and sons and lyric writers — Shashank and Rakendu Mouli

Published: 05th January 2021

Renowned Telugu film lyricist and dialogue writer Vennelakanti Rajeswara Prasad, popularly known as Vennelakanti, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest in Chennai today. He was 64 and is survived by his wife, and sons and lyric writers — Shashank and Rakendu Mouli.

Vennelakanti has worked in nearly 300 films, a majority of them are dubbing films. Hailing from Nellore, he was drawn to literature at a young age, and at 11, wrote a satakam with a punchline (makutam), Bhakta Dukhanasa Parvateesa. He also composed Ramachandra and Lalitha satakams. It was in the mid-80s that Vennelakanti quit his bank job to pursue a career in films and began his journey as a songwriter with Krishnamraju-starrer Sri Ramachandrudu (1986).

Vennelakanti, with his inimitable style of writing songs and dialogues, left an indelible impression on Telugu cinema with his impeccable capabilities. He has received acclaim from the masses as well as the literary elite. In a career spanning over four decades, he went on to work with some of the great names in music like MS Viswanathan, Ilaiyaraaja, Vidyasagar MM Keeravani, Madhavapeddi Suresh, and Mani Sharma, among others.

Some of his popular songs include Rasaleelavela Raayabaramela (Aditya 369), Madhurame Sudhaganam (Brundavanam), Sri Ranga Ranga Nathuni (Mahanadi), Raavayya Muddula Mama (Samarasimha Reddy), Bhimavaram Bulloda (Gharana Bullodu), Tenchukunte Tegipotundha (Preyasi Raave), Kontha Kaalam (Chandramukhi), and Konte Chooputho (Ananthapuram 1980). His last song was Praname (Penguin) composed by Santosh Narayan.

Besides songs, Vennelakanti also wrote dialogues for several dubbed films like Panchathantram (2002), Pothuraju (2003), Mumbai Xpress (2005), Dasavatharam (2008), Saroja (2008), Manmadha Baanam (2010), and Premakhaidi (2011).

Turning point

Maata Raani Mounamidi from Maharshi (1988) was Vennelakanti's fourth song and his first with Ilaiyaraaja. Vamsy, who was the director of Maharshi, wanted the song to break away from the conventional duets and suggested Vennelakanti write the song in the form of Mukta Pada Grastham in which the second line starts with the last word of the first line. The trio believed that there wouldn't be a better way to convey the emotional turmoil of the protagonist, who continues to adore his love interest. True to their belief, the song became one of the biggest hits of Telugu cinema and since then, there was no looking back for Vennelakanti. 

Condolences pour in

Lyric writer Bhaskarabhatla Ravikumar, producer Raj Kandukuri, director BVS Ravi and several others from the Telugu film industry expressed their condolences to the members of the bereaved family.

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