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Aali neeku dandame...

A lyricist's tribute to women

Teja's lyrics are full of verve with a subtle streak of aggressiveness; aggression born out of oppression of his meek brethren in Telangana. "Espousing the cause of the oppressed in Telangana is in my blood," says the son of Suddala Hanumanthu, a revolutionary troubadour, who churned out classic stuff like Palleturi pillagada... pasulagaase monagaada... What the young achiever does is to explore stark realities of life and the result, most often, is a mind-boggling excitement that his songs render. "My mother, Janakamma and wife Nirmala, both are simple housewives".

Completely humbled by the generosity and virtues of a typical Indian housewife, Teja paid a glowing tribute to womanhood by glorifying the greatness of womanliness. "A woman teaches a man how to love, share and care. That is the essence of womanhood which I tried to depict in one of my favourite lyrics, aali neeku dandame.ardhangi neeku dandame... amply portrayed in the film, Galam," he says. Songs like Aaa..devudu varamandiste...ne ninne korukuntale..., nee inti peru maarustaa Suvarnaa and the six songs he penned for Osey Ramulamma became an instant rage and catapulted him to the centre stage.

A true symbol of humility, Ashok Teja is fiercely realistic and self-driven and this trait mirrors in the 2,000 songs he wrote before he could make a foray into the film industry. "My father wielded a deep influence on me," he recalls taking a leisure stroll down the meandering lanes and by-lanes of his childhood.

"He would make me sit on his lap while discussing the finer aspects of poetry with his friends. It was perhaps a deliberate attempt to inculcate interest in me," he says smiling.

P. SUJATHA VARMA

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